Free Will & Willpower Are Becoming a Thing of the Past. Here’s What You Can Do About It.

The global environment has dramatically changed in the past 25 years. This year marks ten years since the first iPhone came out. Technological advancements are accelerating at exponential levels. Humanity, for the most part, has no idea what just hit them. The result? Pervasive addiction. Work. Technology. Information. Stimulants, such as caffeine. Over-stimulating foods containing […]

Is blockchain the future of the music industry?

A lot has been said about the Blockchain technology since it was first defined by mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto less than ten years ago. It has evolved since then and now seems to be finding its first real applications. In one of my articles on the latest law jobs site, I defined blockchain as “A shared, […]

he Trick To Thinking Clearer and Better .

The late historians Will and Ariel Durant spent four decades of their life studying, compiling, and writing the history of Western civilization. The product of their efforts, The Story of Civilization, went on to fill four million words, across 10,000 pages, divided into 11 separate books. After finishing the last one, they then took on […]

My Way: 10 Things About Life I Know to Be True.

Who? Ben Badiee, Founder and CEO of Badiee Developmen t Where? La Jolla, California What? Badiee is a serial entrepreneur who has started more than 10 successful businesses throughout his career, ranging from agriculture and apparel to mobile apps. Of his accomplishments, a couple include Apparel Designer Zone, the largest apparel liquidation event organizer in […]

Addicted To Gaming? You Are Suffering From Mental Disorder, As Per WHO!

Addicted To Gaming? You Are Suffering From Mental Disorder, As Per WHO! WHO has clearly defined defined what exactly an addiction for games is, and why this is a mental disorder. By Ravi Ranjan, We all play games, don’t we? Some of us play little longer, and in some rare cases, the gaming just won’t […]

How a Brain Dump Can Unlock Your Creativity

How a Brain Dump Can Unlock Your Creativity

Trying to process less allows us to be more.
Katherine Fusco

For knowledge workers, entrepreneurs and creatives, generating new ideas isn’t just nice; it’s an economic necessity. Ironically, though, making more content, posting new materials, reading and processing more information isn’t always the answer to achieving deeper creativity. Anyone who has struggled to fall asleep at night as the train of too many ideas chugged through the brain, or who has had the experience of sitting down to write only to feel pulled in a million different directions knows this intuitively.

And the science bears this out. As researchers Shira Baror and Moshe Bar from Bar-Ilan University’s Brain Research Center have found, individuals with a lot on their minds tend to be less creative. To arrive at this finding, the experimenters ran a word association test, while also giving some participants a list of very long numbers to remember at the beginning of the experiment and others very short numerical lists. What they found was that overwhelmingly the people given lots to keep track of before undertaking the creative word association task came up with the most common responses. Whereas the people given little to keep track of tended to have the most innovative and diverse word associations. Put simply, less cognitive load meant more creativity.

So, what can we do about cognitive load? We all live in the world, don’t we? The good news is that with practice, we may be able to reduce the creativity-sucking load on our working memories. As recent neurological research demonstrates, with practice, we can intentionally clear out our minds, thereby freeing up our creative juices. Specifically, meditation allows practitioners to engage what University of Florida’s Dr. Deshmukh calls a “cognitive pause and unload” (CPU) technique that frees attentional space for greater creativity.

Put in simpler, non-neuroscience terms, CPU is meditation. This is not necessarily clear-your-mind-of-all-thought meditation—though if you can achieve that, great!—but more so focusing so intensely on the present and consistently redirecting your attention to the present that you start retraining your brain to release all the built-up ruminations on the past while you focus on the moment at hand.

If you’re a meditation and mindfulness skeptic, it may be worth reviewing the growing number of high profile meditators in fields ranging from hip-hop to stand-up comedy, acting to newscasting. One of the film industry’s most famous meditators, the wildly creative David Lynch offers a useful metaphor of liquid flowing to help explain the effects clearing the mind can have on creativity. He says, “Ideas flow through a conduit. Stress squeezes that conduit. Tension, depression, hate, anger squeezes it.” Similarly, the patron saint of entrepreneurship and self-reinvention Oprah Winfrey has written about the importance of unplugging and letting go to her work: “Now when I begin to feel exhausted, I pull back. If I’m at work and people are lined up at my desk with one request after another, I literally go sit in my closet and refuel.” Neither of these figures could be described as a slouch, and a look at Lynch’s filmography or Oprah’s many business ventures offers a suggestive hint of the kind of openness to possibility that may be accessible when we let go a bit. Perhaps counterintuitively, trying to process less allows us to be more. And who wouldn’t want that?

If you think you are meditation averse or resistant, the good news is that there are many choices about the present-moment experience you can focus on: For many meditators, focusing intently on the breath moving in and out may be useful; others focus on a candle flame. But if you’re just starting, you might do something as simple as focusing intently for a few minutes on massaging scented lotion into your skin, redirecting your attention to the smell and sensation whenever your mind starts to wander.

As important as the ability to focus may be, a big part of what makes meditation a useful way to refresh the brain for creative work comes from its emphasis on disengaging attention from what’s not helpful (in this case, all the built-up material in your working memory).

Now, what if you’re not in a position to sit and meditate on a flame? Facing co-workers’ funny looks may not be conducive to meditation as a technique for clutter-clearing your mind. A number of other workplace-friendly possibilities are still available:

First, if at all possible, do your most creative work first thing in the daybefore other information creeps in, cluttering your attention.

Second, you might write down a brain dump in a notebook, letting all that’s on your mind flow freely onto the page. At the end of your dump, write a note to yourself about the main focus for your day. Take a big breath in and out and say, this is my creative task for the day.

Third, a similar technique involves capturing rogue thoughts on a sticky note or scrap paper in your workplace, thus assuring yourself that you aren’t losing track of the thoughts that pop up, but without full directing your attention to them.

Finally, once you do clear your head, don’t rush to fill it back up with junk. Try to stay off social media and news sites while doing your creative work. Remind yourself that sometimes having more ideas means taking in less information.

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10 Steps to Achieve Any Goal

10 Steps to Achieve Any Goal

Accountability powers you toward your goals, and these guidelines for unleashing its power will get you over the rainbow to what you want.
Roger ConnorsTom Smith
June 8, 2018

Heart. Intelligence. Courage.

They’re all valuable traits, but they pale in comparison to what each of us needs most in the quest to total life success: Personal accountability is No. 1.

We first introduced our powerful accountability philosophy to the world over two decades ago in a New York Times best-seller, The Oz Principle. Since then, millions of people have come to know us as “the Oz guys.”

Why Oz? As it turns out, the perfect metaphoric backdrop for our timeless principles is a timeless story, one that we both loved as kids.

Surely you will recall meeting Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion from the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz, based on L. Frank Baum’s classic children’s novel. All of the main characters are thrust into despairing circumstances beyond their control. A tornado rips Dorothy from her Kansas farm and hurls her against her will to a strange fantasy world. The Scarecrow lives a stagnant life amid corn and crows because his creator skimped on brains. The Tin Man is rusted in place, unable to act because he lacks the heart to move. And the lovable Cowardly Lion? He lacks courage and nerve, and therefore lives a life well below his potential.

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7 Simple Ways to Spread Kindness

7 Simple Ways to Spread Kindness

Generosity doesn’t have to be a big production.

1. Make someone’s day.

As children, our parents tell us to make up for misbehaving by doing something nice for someone. As adults, we help friends move into a new house; we bring hot meals to new mothers; we might even donate time or money to local charities a few times a year. After all, it’s naturally uncomfortable to see a friend (or stranger) suffering or in need. Call it karma or mojo, but these acts are generally reciprocated. We receive tax breaks, returned meals and favors, thank-you notes. Tit for tat.

But what about pure, altruistic generosity, without the expectation of receiving something in return? Some researchers argue this type of generosity doesn’t exist. But our editor set out to see whether she could learn to give without the promise of getting. She made lists of various kind acts and placed reminders on her bathroom mirror, her work computer, her car dashboard: Make someone’s day today!

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How a Keystone Habit Can Drastically Change Your Life for the Better

How a Keystone Habit Can Drastically Change Your Life for the Better

Daniel Thomas Hind

Charles Duhigg, in his amazing book The Power of Habit, nails the importance of creating a keystone habit that practically guarantees success.

An example he uses is Michael Phelps.

Michael Phelps’ trainer, Bob Bowman, helped make Phelps the best swimmer in the world by helping him cultivate a set of strategic habits that made him the strongest mental swimmer in the pool.

He didn’t need to control every aspect of Phelps’ life—all he needed was to target a few specific habits that had nothing to do with swimming and everything to do with creating the right mindset.

Each night before falling asleep and every morning after waking, Phelps would imagine himself jumping off the blocks and, in slow motion, swimming flawlessly. He would visualize his strokes, the walls of the pool, his turns and the finish. He would imagine the wake behind his body, the water dripping off his lips, what it would feel like to rip his cap off at the end.

During practices, when Bowman ordered Phelps to swim at race speed, he would tell him to “Put in the videotape!” and Phelps would push himself as hard as he could. It almost felt anticlimactic as he cut through the water. He’d already done it before. He already knew what it looked like. He’d already embodied the motions of success.

Eventually, all Bowman had to say to Phelps before a race was, “Put in the videotape!” This would set Phelps off into his pre-race warmup routine, a long series of stretches, music, movements, visualization and personal rituals—none of which had anything to do with swimming directly.

Phelps embodied success before he’d even gotten into the water by training a specific routine suited exclusively to him.

As a diet and lifestyle coach, I work with dozens of high-pressured entrepreneurs, entertainers and workaholics who battle their health on a daily basis to achieve a nearly impossible standard of success. I help these people create breakthroughs in their life around their relationship with food. It’s no surprise that many of my clients are recently divorced, or in the process of getting divorced. It’s often during times of disruption that we realize we have the power to change.

Still, the most common refrain I hear is this:

“There’s not enough time to take care of myself and support my family and business and deal with all the changes that are going on.”

To that, I say this:

Meet my client, Karen.

Karen just couldn’t get breakfast right.

For Karen, the morning was a race. She derived a great sense of pride getting to the office before her colleagues. It was thrilling. She knew she was in line for a promotion to become an agent at the talent agency she’d been with for three years.

Her promotion, she thought, was at odds with her securing a healthy breakfast, which would often lead to a series of poor food choices she later regretted. For example, she’d frequently end up getting Cinnabon around 10 a.m., as it was conveniently located in the rotunda of her Manhattan office building. It didn’t always happen, and her choice wasn’t always as egregious as Cinnabon, but it was most mornings, and it was always a choice at odds with her goals.

Believe me, we tried everything. From preparing breakfast the night before, to waking up earlier and eating at home, to bringing a Greek yogurt with her on the go (which she didn’t like).

Nothing felt right. Nothing clicked.

And then everything clicked.

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