What neuroscience says you should focus on instead

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Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

If you’re driving hard toward some goal right now, there’s a good chance that a common pitfall is awaiting you on the other side of the finish line.

But the good news is that you can avoid this, especially if you know how the brain mechanism behind this works.

There’s solid science both behind why your goals might lead you into this well-known scenario, but also good evidence for how to steer around this, making sure to keep your production high and your spirits even higher.

Imagine this, you’re working on your next big app, you’ve been training for that couch to 5K event, or you’ve just viewed hundreds of homes, and now you’re finally taking the plunge, moving into your first place. …


How an unexpected trip to the ER helped me understand the mysterious process of holding the present

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Photo by Aleks Marinkovic on Unsplash

As my wife came abruptly to the stop sign, she already had her parents on the phone, telling them we’d shortly be at the ER.

I remember the conversation, but it was distant, like hearing her describe my symptoms from somewhere else.

Just a few minutes before, I had been found in the shower, writhing in pain, my face pale. She immediately knew that we would not be waiting this out; we needed answers right away.

With what strength I had, I pulled on my jeans, wincing with each tug.
The pain in my abdomen had grown so unmanageable that any motion whatsoever was felt like a searing hot knife plunging further into my gut.
I’d started having some unusual pain in my stomach the night before. But I’m a pretty healthy person, and besides the odd episode of heartburn, I don’t usually deal with anything resembling what kept growing more intense throughout the night. …


But please give them a try when no one else is around

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Photo by Mitchell Griest on Unsplash

It’s no secret that we’ve all dealt with massive amounts of stress this year.

Usually, an article like this will move to a list of examples to drive home what has made us stressed out, lending credibility to the statement above, and also setting up a nice segue into the body of the piece.

But since it’s 2020, I don’t think it’s in anyone’s best interest to bring up all the things, merely for the sake of a silly segue.

Yes, unlike the Segway, which, ironically, is trying to escape the Mall Cop vibe and pivot into an ostensibly cooler dirtbike segment, I will spare you the unnecessary litany of a list of stressful triggers, this early in our journey together. …


Why the future may be more about hormonal therapies rather than raw cognitive power

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Photo by Umberto on Unsplash

As a kid, I would often let my mind wander, dreaming of the amazing things that we’d one day be able to accomplish as human beings.

I can’t remember who told me this, but someone, somewhere mentioned that we only use 10% of our brains at any given moment.

The most likely source was probably a schoolteacher in a science class.

I loved science, still do. I’ve always been inspired by the way that it seemed to open up all of the right questions, shedding light on so many hidden misconceptions, helping propel us to the stars, healing diseases, creating better mental health — the list goes on. …


Why the power of the present isn’t just a trope

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Photo by Jared Rice on Unsplash

By now, is there anyone that hasn’t heard that meditation is the answer to all of our problems?

It seems like meditation, in some form or another, is the new everything.

But why is this? What’s the essence of the practice that keeps us so engaged these days?

I must confess, I’d heard so much about the benefits of meditating for years before trying it, and when I got around to it, the initial results were less than motivating.

But that’s not interesting enough for you to keep reading.

Here’s another thing we all know about meditation. It’s like all the superfoods, and it tastes like a mix of kale and apple juice, but the juice is more like that horrible chocolate substitute called carob. It tastes sorta sweet, but it’s certainly not going to win any of those blindfolded, Coke versus Pepsi contests from the eighties. It’s more of a sugar striptease, but in the end, it’s Chris Farley’s character from Tommy Boy that’s spinning around in a tight jacket. …


Why we need instability along with equilibrium to reach our goals

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Photo by Ugur Peker on Unsplash

You’ve no doubt heard the famous cultural quote that has been misattributed to Einstein. The whole business about insanity and doing the same things.

I bet you didn’t know that it’s also been misattributed to a bunch of other people and organizations.

According to the fact-checking site quoteinvesigator.com, here is the list of other misattributions:

Al-Anon, Narcotics Anonymous, Max Nordau, George Bernard Shaw, Samuel Beckett, George A. Kelly, Rita Mae Brown, John Larroquette, Jessie Potter, Werner Erhard

Every time I’ve seen this quote over the years, it has bothered me like a bad song I can’t shake.

In fact, whenever someone mentions this quote, I tend to stop listening to the rest of what they are saying. It’s not that I’m consciously ignoring the person, just that something about this seems so wrong that my mind has a kind of allergy to the idea and shuts off. …


And explode your potential

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Photo by Kévin Hikari on Unsplash

The desire to improve is human. Whether it’s an evolutionary drive, or a spiritual impulse, or some combination of both, the process of improvement is one that cannot be escaped.

Indeed improvement is a skill for survival. But just surviving isn’t living your best life. We all want to thrive, find that space where our passions and drives intersect, offer something to the world that defines both ourselves, and give a better definition to those that are the recipients.

It’s no wonder we struggle to get it right with improvement, such an essential part of life.

I’m certainly not going to claim that I’ve cracked the code on improvement, far from it. But I’ve found several thought disciplines that have brought significant advancement to my life personally, and I’d like to offer some of them with you. …


Encouragement is the ultimate humaneness

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Photo by Free To Use Sounds on Unsplash

Over the last ten years, we’ve had many cantankerous customers. These are the kind that will send multiple emails in a short amount of time, demanding a refund, or pointing out some small error on your website. They are generally nit-picky and might say things that hurt your feelings.

On multiple occasions, we’ve had customers that email or leave a voicemail with words that cut deep, probably not aware that there is a team of human beings on the other side of the screen or message.

If you’ve launched a business that sells directly to the public, there’s a good chance that someone, someday will be critical of your hard work in a way that hits a nerve.


You can’t scale until you know where to look

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Photo by John Jackson on Unsplash

Our small company had been on the market for only about six months, yet we were doing business with large companies and already shipping to a few foreign markets.

We decided to visit with a business consultant that had expertise in the area of scaling small businesses. We wanted to know what she thought would be the next steps to ensure that we grew the right way. If there was anything we could do, in the early stages, to make sure that we didn’t make any mistakes and got the right infrastructure in place.

This concept was something that my business partner was keen to talk about in the beginning. He wanted to make sure we were building the right foundation to ensure that we could handle the surging demand. …


Please don’t buy into failure-ism. Train for strikes not gutter balls.

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Photo by Jorik Kleen on Unsplash

If you’ve read anything on business in the last two decades, there’s a good chance you’ve heard that failure is significant, something to be proud of, a badge of entrepreneurial prowess.

Ostensibly, the more you fail, you are somehow more successful.

This approach is undoubtedly accurate to a point.

I agree that failure is a needed part of the process of success, only that we may have emphasized the wrong thing.

Now, I’m certainly all for reframing our mistakes as something else, especially when this helps us move forward more productively, gaining resilience and flexibility.

This thought process is one of the core ideas behind CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy. And the reason is that it works.

About

Nate Rutan

Entrepreneur // Software Engineer // Great Dane Enthusiast // Graduate of Fuller Seminary // Speed Reader Of Slow Speed // Tinkerer // Mediocre Skier

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