Foundational mind training

Many people wonder if there are any side effects, consequences or negative reactions to hypnosis and meditation. Some people, including younger versions of me, would tell you absolutely not.

Your mind only gives you what you’re able to deal with, I would have said.

Now, there’s some truth to that.

But if that were always the case, why would we see people respond badly to it?

Because of mind training, you might become tired, lethargic and unmotivated.

Or you become anxious, stressed or jittery.

You could trigger hallucinations, chronic pain or headaches.

Some people even have psychotic breaks. I’m not being cute with my language here – I mean full on episodes where they lose touch with reality.

And you might never recover from these.

Because mind training is like training your body. You can go from being perfectly healthy to crippling yourself by working out too hard, with bad technique or with unreasonable expectations.

Delving into your unconscious strains your mind – sometimes in a healthy way, sometimes not.

But like physical exercise, the answer isn’t to avoid it.

It’s to be smart.

Learn proper form, understand your limits and build up slowly.

Stick with it, be disciplined and be sensible.

Your mind is like any muscle. You can snap it… or you can develop it. You can leave it stronger and more flexible than it’s ever been.

Mental exercise is just as addictive as the physical flavour. Maybe even more so.

And the payoffs are even greater. What does lifting weights get you – better posture, more energy, a nicer physique? Mind training can get you all of that (yes, even the leaner bod) plus a few extra bonuses.

Like a sharp, analytical mind that retains everything.

Or creativity overflowing from you onto your screen, canvas or sketchpad.

Or simply happiness.

If that appeals to you, I recommend looking into hypnosis. It can do wonderful things with your mind. Some are surface-level, like tidying up bad habits. Others run deeper, like reorganising how you think about yourself and the world.

But you might not be ready for that.

You might need a taste of self-improvement first, like dipping your toes in the waters of your own potential.

Don’t underestimate what even a taste can do for you.

Any improvement ripples through your life, making everything a little easier – including your next step up.

Three-Score Navike has 60 easy, simple and proven ways to enhance your life.

With that many, a few will work for you. Probably more. And just what will that do for you, once you begin to experience change in so many new ways?

https://guided-thought.com/navike

The part of you that’s like a puppy

The way some folk approach self-improvement is… well, bizarre.

Let’s say you want to get in shape. You know the best way is to eat better and exercise more.

So what do you do?

Your tell yourself what to do.

“Skip dessert tonight.”

“Wake up early and exercise.”

And then you’re shocked to find it didn’t work…

Or maybe it works for a while, then it all comes apart on you.

Even if you “feel motivated”. Because it takes more than self-improvement and motivation for success.

It’s like walking up to an untrained puppy, saying “roll over” and expecting them to budge.

It ain’t happening because you ain’t speaking the dog’s language.

That’s how you should think about self-improvement – like the part of you responsible for your habits is an untrained animal.

Something separate from yourself.

And something that’s your responsibility to train.

You can’t be “reasonable” with it because it doesn’t know what you mean by that.

You can’t be cruel either – not if you want real results.

What does it take? Maybe patience, maybe compassion…

And above all, it takes a plan.

Try to train a puppy or your own habits by winging it… well, good luck to you. You’ll praise and punish randomly, leading to random behaviour.

If you want a dog that rolls over on command…

Or a mind with better habits than it has now…

Then it takes intelligent work on your part.

Fortunately, the smarter you apply yourself, the easier it becomes. And the smartest ways lie in Three-Score Navike, which overflows with 60 simple ways to sharpen your mind.

Any other approach keeps you where you are, wondering where the puddles on the carpet keep coming from.

If you’ve had enough of that, check this out:

https://guided-thought.com/navike

If this isn’t phronesis, I don’t know what is

I talk a lot about brain training.

I’m not alone. Whenever I go into the app store, it’s always recommending cutesy brain training apps to me. I’ve never installed one, so it’s not like it’s a case of offering me what I’ve shown I want.

I’m sure I have the profile of a brain-trainer.

Stanford debunked brain-training games – hard. Although I don’t use the apps, I do sometimes browse brain-training games online.

Some have taken Stanford’s helpful suggestions to heart.

Most haven’t. They tend to slap a label on there, saying it’s unproven in small print, even after their copy says it is.

The main problem – which so few of these games address – is the games are too removed from reality. Gardening is better brain training because it gets you outside, using your senses and your body.

There’s a better form of it still.

See, there’s a way of thinking that uses the brain for what it evolved for. I don’t mean building tools, outsmarting our prey or hunting as a pack. Those are side effects of the phenomenal piece of hardware between your ears – as is art, religion, philosophy and technology.

You didn’t just evolve to think.

You evolved to be a genius – to be a G-D supercomputer cloaked in meat, doing things that are unheard of in science and nature.

Use your brain like this and it lights up.

Neglect it and it atrophies.

But it goes deeper than that.

An almost spiritual bliss comes from using your brain in this way. By changing how you think, you rapidly become smarter, happier and wiser.

If that’s not phronesis , then I don’t know what is.

Training like this infuses the pages of the Phronesis Accelerator Collection. On most of its hundreds of pages are habits, tips, strategies and exercises that best use your brain.

Get your hands on it here:

https://guided-thought.com/downloads/phronesis-accelerator-collection/

My arbitrary 8% mark-up

Recently, I released Phronesis Accelerator Collection.

Background:

Phronesis Accelerator is a monthly subscription I offered. If you care about continuous growth more than learning isolated skills, it was perfect for you.

I released the core material plus the first four issues as a bundle – this Collection, if you will.

If you do the maths on it, your brow might wrinkle. The collection is over 8% more expensive than if you’d subscribed to it.

What sort of game am I playing here? Shouldn’t there be a bulk discount or something, rather than a mark-up?

Nah, see, you’re thinking about this all wrong.

Don’t be mad that I’m selling it to you at a slightly higher price.

Be grateful I’m selling it at all. If you missed the chance to subscribe, here’s your chance to grab it now.

I’m not going to reward slowness and laziness with a cheaper price.

And don’t expect that 8% to do anything but rise again…

Anyway, it still works out to be absurdly affordable. It’s something like $1.50 per page or less than $2 a day if you rush through it. Since each page has things that might help you see the world differently and endure it better, finding deeper and better ways to be, I’d call that a win.

Grab it here:

https://guided-thought.com/downloads/phronesis-accelerator-collection/

5% as long as all of Harry Potter

My latest offering for you is a juicy one:

It’s 5% the size of the entire Harry Potter series. All seven books, laid out in a row, make for a lot of pages.

It varies depending on country and edition, so the exact numbers vary.

But if you’ve read the entire series through once…

… then you can read all of this with no problems.

Like Harry Potter, Phronesis Accelerator Collection has seven parts.

Three evergreen resources, the first four newsletters.

Unlike Harry Potter, this is incredibly valuable stuff. There’s no fluff and no filler – just useful tips and tactics for living your life on each page.

What kind of things?

Have a read of the sales page, which in itself is practically a novel. You’ll find something for you, no matter who you are, here:

Phronesis Accelerator Collection

Still a better life story than twilight

I love the metaphor of twilight.

The time of day, not the books and movies. Is there even a metaphor in those?

Twilight straddles the threshold of night and day. It has bits of both but isn’t quite either. It doesn’t take much to change the system, taking the harsh and exposing day and transforming it to the cool, protective night.

You can live a better life, right now, no matter how you define ‘better’, with this metaphor.

Because the point of the threshold isn’t to linger there. You’re not some troll living under a bridge, briefly hassling the protagonist before fading from the story. You walk the roads, you enter the caves and you cross the thresholds – back and forth.

… or do you?

Many folks ride the threshold a little too tightly. It doesn’t play out or work out well for them.

For example:

How many of you are tired all day… then struggle to sleep well at night?

Of course you do. Rather than moving between high peaks of energy and deep, restful lows, you exist within a narrow band of perpetual stimulation. You never really burn with energy – I mean really, fully glow from the inside – unless something unusual happens.

Most folks live in an energetic twilight – not quite either day or night, not quite vibrant or restful. If you think of a wild animal, like a wolf or lion, you see how it can be different. How see how they rest so deeply, then explode with energy.

They have fewer obligations than you do, it’s true.

They can afford to nap like it’s a sport.

But if you have more to do and less time to do it… doesn’t that make your energy even more essential?

I could tell you how to experience a peak of energy – something I alluded towards yesterday. That wasn’t a peak, but it was more energy than I was used to… and it was almost a transcendent experience.

If I’d had the chance to isolate myself and focus, I would have ridden that energy even higher.

But that’s harder than going the other way.

Moving either direction takes you out of twilight, so why not rest and relax? Take a deep breath and enjoy a Neural Reset – you’ll surprise yourself with how much more energy you feel and how much better you rest after.

Sign up for a session:

https://guided-thought.com/appointment

But the third state of energy was just right…

You know what it’s like.

It’s like the day before you come down with a really bad cold – you’re not showing any symptoms, but you just feel exhausted.

That’s how I felt one recent morning. I knew I was perfectly healthy, but I just felt drained and tired. It was hard to focus on anything beyond my urge to nap.

Napping wasn’t an option.

So I tried some stuff, tried a few simple exercises and then I felt better.

Cool story, right?

That’s not where it ends. That’s where it begins.

Because then I began to feel really good, like the amount of energy pulsing through my body was more than what is normally there.

I found it difficult to sit still, found it difficult to focus.

I had the strong urge to run, to sing, to have long and rapid-fire conversations with people. Just the urge to just go out there, and just throw myself around.

Then it got to the point where I felt like it was just too much pulsing through me. My head even started to hurt a little. It’s like when you have too much caffeine, and there’s just too much energy for you to process all at once.

So, obviously it wasn’t the ideal outcome. Going from tired to twitchy might be more fun but it’s still not useful.

I tried some other stuff to get my energy back under control, which worked. From there, I could simply breathe, relax and get on with it.

But what a quality problem to have, right? To go from exhausted to being so energized – and not like the fake chemical energy of having too much sugar or caffeine. This was all coming from me. There was no crash and it was not drawing on my reserves. It was just taking the energy that I had and using it better.

It’s a handy thing to know how to do.

It’s also a handy thing to know how to step back from, when you take it too far.

That’s why after a session with the Neural Reset, you might find yourself feeling both strangely calm and deeply energized, all at once.

For some of you, feeling energised without needing coffee would be a dream.

Honestly, it’s the least interesting benefit of a Neural Reset.

Experience them all here:

https://guided-thought.com/appointment

That’s not a quirk, it’s a character flaw

Overheard recently – heavily paraphrased:

“Yeah, I get nervous speaking in front of crowds… no, I don’t want to fix that. When will people learn that introversion isn’t a flaw that needs fixing?”

How wrong can someone be with a couple of sentences?

Let’s assume introversion even exists. I’ve written about this before – I was a classic, by-the-books (so to speak) introvert… until I cleaned up the worst of my social anxiety. Now, being around folks doesn’t drain me anymore. In fact, it energises me.

So did I convert from introversion? Am I transversional? Or when you pull back the mask of the introvert like you’re in the Scooby Gang, do you see it’s been social anxiety the entire time?

I don’t know. Maybe I’m an odd duck.

(Maybe…? Ha!)

So let’s assume introversion exists, but not as a low-level form of social anxiety.

Back to how wrong they are:

An introvert can, in fact, speak in front of crowds. They can do it with poise, charisma, gusto and oomph. From the audience, you can’t tell if the person on stage is an introvert or extravert.

It’s what happens next that defines them.

The introvert will recharge by being alone – meditation, reading a good book, listening to music…

The extravert will recharge by being with people – partying, dinner with friends, board game night…

Let me say it again: an extravert can be a woeful public  speaker. An introvert can be a genius at it. There’s no correlation in performance – or if there is, it’s too loose to bother yourself over.

The wrongness only continues.

A character flaw is anytime someone self-imposes limits on their choices.

It’s useful to speak to crowds sometimes. If someone can’t do it well, they impose sharp boundaries on their experiences and capabilities.

If speaking in front of a crowd can give you something you want – a job, a lover, a fun adrenaline boost – but you can’t do it, hide behind whatever labels you want. It’s still a glaring character flaw.

The world didn’t defeat you. You defeated yourself.

I’m not picking on introverts here, by the way. It goes both ways. The stereotypical extravert who can’t be alone with their own thoughts has a character flaw too. Introspection, solitude and downtime would give them what they want (insight, deep relaxation, self-reliance) but they stop themselves from getting it.

Here’s an idea:

No one says you have to be perfect.

It’s wise to see the strengths in your so-called weaknesses.

But if you celebrate your failures and limitations because “that’s just the way I’m wired, hyuck hyuck,” then good luck to you. You’re lying to yourself to your detriment – let me know how that works for you.

Want to know why the Neural Reset is so wickedly awesome? This is one of them.

You can lie to yourself with your conscious mind.

Pull that back and let your unconscious come to the surface, and the distortions melt away. That’s why some folks – not all, but some – have profound insights even from the first session.

The more sessions you have, the more and better insights you unearth.

That’s why I offer bulk discounts on your hypnotic revelations.

Sign up for a session or three here:

https://guided-thought.com/appointment

Why bingeing YouTube depletes your mind

If your days don’t have much going on – work, TV, sleep – but you still feel tired, here’s a possible cause.

It’s one of many, I’m sure you realise.

Because here’s something else you may have noticed:

Watching, say, six videos on YouTube is strangely tiring. Whether or not it takes a long time, it can leave you drained.

I know, I know, I can already hear the snarky comments. “I ran 10km this morning – but, yeah, that sounds tough too.”

Who says anything about it being tough? It takes a surprising amount of energy, is all – especially for just sitting there on your rear for half an hour or so.

Watching videos isn’t quite relaxing and isn’t quite stimulating. It’s a quirky mix of the two – a twilight netherverse of mental effort without mental engagement.

But what makes a solid YouTube session so much worse?

You might think it’s the frequent change of context. When you jump from one video to another, your brain has to shift gears and reorient to the new context.

That’s probably part of it.

The bigger thing, though, is deciding on those six videos.

YouTube’s homepage and sidebars crawl with recommendations. Each one you see, you run a quick mental check against.

Is it worth watching at all?

Is it worth watching right now?

And so on.

Making a decision is easy. You do it every day. It still depletes your mental energy a little. When you make so many decisions in such a short period, it can add up and take it out of you.

This isn’t the full story. I doubt it’s even close.

But it’s probably a key factor.

Is there a lesson in this – a tactic to help you live a better life?

Sure – the most solid one is stop watching YouTube videos. Get off the other apps where you do this too – dating apps, TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and the rest are nothing but a series of meaningless (but still costly) decisions.

You know that’s the right move anyway.

Something else you can do is to refresh and reset your mind.

Hmm, if only there was something called a Neural Reset, which was like flushing out all the psychological gunk in your brain, giving it a chance to rest before restoring it to a bright and shiny state of mind.

Ahh, that’s right, I created exactly that.

If you want to see how much energy you can free up and enjoy, book in a session now:

https://guided-thought.com/appointment/

Dumbo’s magic cigarette

People smoke for excellent reasons.

It varies from person to person, but smokers are always after something wonderful.

For some, they do it to relax or to focus.

Some do it to fit in.

Others gain confidence or it helps them be smooth in social situations.

(Never underestimate the value of a few seconds of thinking time.)

I don’t know what your reason is. It’s something worthwhile, though – worth the cost (financial and otherwise) of your smoking habit.

The problem is it’s nonsense.

It’s a little like Dumbo’s magic feather. There’s no magic in the cigarette – whatever it gives you, you already have inside you.

There’s no chemical in cigarettes or otherwise that make you confident. If there were, Big Pharma would sell pills of it for a thousand bucks a hit.

And no chemical makes you smooth in social situations – again, where’s the product on our shelves? These companies don’t leave money on the table like that.

Cigarettes don’t help you relax – that’s chemically impossible. They don’t help you focus. They can buy you a few seconds of time in a conversation – but so can a thousand other things.

Many people who smoke struggle to quit because they think they’ll lose their confidence or whatever.

The confidence doesn’t come from cigarettes.

The magic was inside of you all along.

Once you find better ways to access the magic, quitting is easy. Once you’re meeting your needs, even withdrawals are easy to ignore.

Maybe you know all this consciously. Maybe you don’t believe it yet.

All you need is the right system. Have that and everything slots into place.

With this, you’ll naturally find healthier ways to create whatever you need. If cigarettes have been your only way to be smooth in conversations, this will train your mind to find another way.

As quickly and easily as listening to some audios and doing some simple exercises.

Because if you’ve been spending your time, money and health to find the magic inside you…

What would you be willing to do to create a better way?

Anyway, that’s just a thought.

Speaking of thoughts…

If you want to change your thinking around smoking – so that quitting becomes easier than smoking – sign up for my Freedom from Smoking program.

For many of you, it’ll pay for itself in a month or so. I guarantee my results, too, so what excuses do you think you still have?

Check it out:

https://guided-thought.com/appointment/

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