Tag: stay strong

How To Conquer Your Fear and Anxiety

Are you a worrier – always anxious and fearful about the future? Today’s Book-of-the-Day shares a lifetime of work from one of the top scientists in the world.

It talks about fancy concepts like, “Fear memories requiring protein synthesis in the lateral Amygdala for reconsolidation after retrieval.”

But guess what?

Scientists have also found 4 old fashioned, practical techniques that you can do today to make you less anxious and fearful.

1. Just take a deep breath: “This folk wisdom has a grain of truth to it. During stress the sympathetic nervous system dominates, overshadowing the parasympathetic system. But when one breathes slowly and deeply, “The vagus nerve, becomes more active and the balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic system improves.”

2. Focus less on self by meditating: “Our conscious self will do almost anything to maintain the independence, power, control, or success that it has achieved even if you do so other people, other cultures, or the world has to suffer. A healthier approach is to let go of the ‘absolute self’ that we construct and recognize our broader role in life.”

3. Combine self-exposure with proactive avoidance: If you have fear of crowds, “Rather than forcing oneself to ride out anxiety at a dinner party, use anxiety control strategies, such as relaxation and active coping (like trips to the bathroom or stepping out to make a call) that enable regrouping before re-exposure.”

4. Hang out with resilient, non-anxious people: “Resilient individual send him a large repertoire of active coping options. We’re able to use observation and instruction to explicitly learn to avoid. We create avoidance concepts or schemas, and when in danger we draw upon these stored action plans.”

If you are naturally a worrier you can change: “Although some people are by their nature’s more anxious than others, ever increasing anxiety doesn’t have to be their destiny. Just as the brain can learn to be anxious, it can also learn to not be that way”

Stay Strong

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Is Lying Ever Justified?

Is it ok to lie in certain circumstances – what if you’re an undercover policeman or your kid asks if Santa Clause is real?  

The famous scientist, Sam Harris, tries to answer that question in today’s Book-of-the-Day, “Lying.”

Harris starts by saying, “We often behave in ways that are guaranteed to make us unhappy. Many of us spend our lives marching with open eyes toward remorse, regret, guilt, and disappointment. And nowhere do our injuries seem more casually self-inflicted, or the suffering we create more disproportionate to the needs of the moment, than in the lies we tell to other human beings. Lying is the royal road to chaos.”

White lies. 

Subtle lies.

Lies that save lives.

Hurtful lies.

This book basically makes the point that in the long run it almost always pays to tell the truth. 

Here are some of my takeaways:

1.  Lying is everywhere and it causes lower life satisfaction levels: “One study suggests that 10 percent of communication between spouses is deceptive… Research suggests that all forms of lying—including white lies meant to spare the feelings of others—are associated with less satisfying relationships.”

2. Most white lies just perpetuate delusion but brutal honesty breaks delusion: “A friend of mine recently asked me whether I thought he was overweight. He probably was just asking for reassurance. I answered my friend’s question very directly: ‘No one would ever call you ‘fat,’ but if I were you, I’d want to lose twenty-five pounds.’ That was two months ago, and he is now fifteen pounds lighter.”

3. Our biggest lies are usually to ourselves: “Self-deception isn’t of any value either. I was never going to be a professional singer. People could have said, ‘Oh, you’re a great singer. You ought to quit your job and start recording.’ But that’s just bullshit.”

4. Honesty breaks addictions: “Honesty can force any dysfunction in your life to the surface. Are you in an abusive relationship? A refusal to lie to others—How did you get that bruise?—would oblige you to come to grips with this situation very quickly. Do you have a problem with drugs or alcohol? Lying is the lifeblood of addiction.”

This is a complex subject. Some evolutionary biologists like Trivers might disagree with this all or nothing stance on lying. They might point out that humans lie because at times it’s best for the survival of the group. 

I don’t know the answer but I do think it’s a powerful concept we must all contemplate for ourselves.

When do you think lying is justified?

Stay strong,

stay strong, tai, santa clause

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A Billionaire’s Thoughts On How To Take Over The World

You must innovate if you want to change your life, your bank account, and the world.

Innovation is easier said than done.

In “Zero To One” the author, Peter Thiel, opens by saying that if you are merely following and 100% mimicking other people, you will always be one step behind. Thiel says, “Every moment in business happens only once.

The next Bill Gates will not build an operating system. The next Larry Page or Sergey Brin won’t make a search engine. And the next Mark Zuckerberg won’t create a social network. If you are copying these guys, you aren’t learning from them.” “Nudist Buddhist” is what one of my mentors, Allan Nation, says is the law of innovation.

He told me, “You can be a nudist and people won’t think you’re super weird, because it’s just one thing weird about you. And you can be a Buddhist and people will give you a pass cause that’s only one weird thing about you. But you can’t be a nudist Buddhist.

That’s too weird.” So for me, it’s not just blind innovation. I don’t want to come up with the solution on how to do underwater basket weaving. There’s no demand. It’s too weird. It’s too “Nudist Buddhist.”

Where you want to be is that happy medium where people feel like, “Wow, this is insightful, this is something I’ve never heard before.” But yet their conservative, pragmatic, risk-averse side says, “Yes, I’m willing to take a chance on this new product.”

How can you actually do this? Well in your career and in business, Peter Thiel says: “Start small and monopolize.

Every startup is small at the start. Every monopoly dominates a large share of its market. Therefore, every startup should start with a very small market. Always err on the side of starting too small.

The reason is simple: it’s easier to dominate a small market than a large one. If you think your initial market might be too big, it almost certainly is.” Peter Thiel is exactly right. Think about it.

Facebook was able to beat out the 800 lb gorilla Myspace by starting out by always erring on the side of being too small. At first Facebook was just Mark Zuckerberg in his room and his first customers were his roommates. And then he moved on to just dominating and monopolizing his one university. And once he conquered that he moved on to the next stage, which was conquering and expanding his monopoly to all universities.

It wasn’t until he had conquered this step-by-step that he then went on to acquire over a billion customers. Not many people can say their business hit a million customers.

Zuckerberg was able to say he reached a billion. You may not want to be a billionaire, but there’s a lesson to be learned. Go “straight to the top” in what you learn.

Remember, the main principle that Peter Thiel believes in is that whatever your idea is, just shrink it down. In one of my VIP coaching calls I talked about the book “Switch” by Chip and Dan Heath where they discussed the need to shrink a problem.

If your goal is to make a million dollars a day, think about it more like you need to make $80K per month.

Since even that still seems like a big problem, then shrink that down so you only need to make $2-3K a day. That’s a realistic goal. Err on the small side like Zuckerberg and eventually you can have market share and change the world.

When you do this your bank account will never look the same, and neither will the impact that you have on the world. Stay Strong, Tai

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