If you want to sharpen your brain (spoiler alert, you do) then you can forget all those fancy brain training apps.
They’re fun games and, in a way, all games are good for your brain.
But there’s ‘good’ for your brain… and actually training your brain to perform better.
So says Dr Michael Merzenich, expert on brain health and neuroplasticity.
His advice is gonna sound awfully similar to mine:
If you want greater clarity, memory, focus and creativity – now and as you age – engage your brain in ways it’s meant to be engaged.
There are no ‘brain training games’ in nature.
But there’s plenty of other engaging things, like:
It’s a shame the lockdowns banned most of those, huh?
But that’s okay – I’m sure you can figure out how to squeeze these into your day.
Especially that last one.
But when I say “go for a walk”, I don’t mean taking a stroll around the park. Sure, that’ll do you a lot of good. The fresh air, the sunshine, the exercise, the change of scenery and seeing other folks will do wonders for your health.
There’s a way of walking that’s much, much better for your brain than that. It trains your brain the way those cutesy apps claim to, only this actually works.
It’s easy to do – so easy, you sometime do it by accident.
I describe what it takes on pages 17-18 of Phronesis Accelerator:
“Two people bump into each other on a sidewalk. And it’s nobody’s fault, just a complete accident. One person instinctively says, “I’m sorry.” And the other says, “watch it!” Okay? You’re the apologiser. And for no good reason – because you’re a woman who occupies space on this planet?”
– Eli Gold, The Good Wife
Apologising puts you in a state of weakness.
That’s why plenty of folks cast themselves as the victim – ironically, the only way they feel powerful is when someone apologises to them. If you’ve ever worked in retail or in any other customer service role, you know what I mean.
The phrase “can you forgive me” puts you at the mercy of the other person. It’s up to them whether they forgive you or not.
They might, out of the grace of their heart.
Or they might not – and then what do you do?
Saying “I’m sorry” carries the same energy as that, even though it’s not a question. It puts you as the one who’s wrong, unworthy and needing redemption from the other person.
It’s never a strong move.
It’s like a mating call for insecure people… but they don’t tend to mate all that often.
So… what’s the alternative, then?
Never own up to your mistakes? Ignore anyone who demands you take responsibility?
I don’t recommend that – that’s another flavour of weakness, masquerading as strength.
So what do you do instead, then?
I lay it all out on pages 12-14 of Phronesis Accelerator’s first issue – including how Kickstarter could have gotten roasted for a member’s bad behaviour but, instead, they took responsibility the smart way.
And people liked their reaction better than yet-another generic corporate apology.
Pick it up by subscribing before the deadline here:
In scrolling through a social media feed – a terrible use of my time, I know – I came across this meme:
“I’ve got 99 problems and they’re all caused by the white heteronormative patriarchy.”
This person is so lucky.
Imagine being able to solve all your problems by moving to a country with a black heteronormative patriarchy. Phew, 99 problems solved!
Yeah, yeah – it’s just a joke.
Except it’s a joke with a really sad punchline, and here it is:
Even if it were that simple, they still wouldn’t move – not for all the tea in India.
Lots of folks love being the victim.
I don’t say that to patronise or exaggerate. They literally love it. If they stop feeling like a victim too long, they actively seek out reasons to be anything but the hero.
I used to be like that. Sometimes, in my weakest moments, I slip back into these old habits. I don’t ask anyone to be perfect – merely well-equipped and willing to improve. Because whenever I feel myself slipping into these old patterns, I immediately do something about it.
That becomes my top priority until it’s resolved.
Folks seem to like being the victim because it’s comforting… like being swaddled. You abdicate all responsibility to the problem. You don’t have to do anything, feel responsible for your situation or even think for yourself.
Ah, freedom… or is that a form of imprisonment?
Funny how people get those mixed up…
Because as indulgent as that is, it doesn’t change anything.
A victim can’t change their circumstances – only a hero can. Bad things happen to both heroes and victims, the only difference is what they do about it.
Here’s how to be a hero:
Let’s not monkey around. I promised you goodies, so let’s get you some goodies.
I want to reward you for referring folks to Phronesis Accelerator. And I want to reward them for being referred.
So here’s how it works: every month, I write an extra, short newsletter – most are only a few pages long. In it contains one or two ideas that build on the core newsletter, taking it in strange new ways.
Sometimes these ideas are too quirky for the newsletter.
Other times, they are too practical and would distract from the rest of the principles.
It’s always something amazing.
As of right now, there’s only one way to earn this bonus:
If you refer someone to me, then both you and them will receive the next bonus newsletter.
To sweeten the pot… when someone you refer subscribes, I’ll give you something for free. That ‘something’ can be any of my stand-alone digital products, no matter the price.
Or you can sign up to one of my coaching programs instead and I’ll discount AU$110 from it per new subscriber you bring, to a minimum of $0. That means one referral becoming a subscriber can get you a Neural Reset session with me, for free.
Now, time with me is subject to availability – as you’d assume.
And it only applies if you’re a subscriber too.
Even so, having one person sign up to Phronesis Accelerator is a great way to score a Neural Reset at no cost.
Or any of my programs at a discount.
Anyway, here’s where you can sign up and learn more details about how this works:
“It’s as close to true freedom as I have come. Not freedom of, but freedom from; freedom from the debris of life that piles up and forces us to dig and dig for our original self, who we were once upon a time, innocent and wonderfully naïve, as authentically pure as a human can be.” – Dan Groat
If you’re quick to feel helpless, you’ll never be free.
You might not literally be enchained…
But when you choose to feel powerless, you outsource all your power to anyone and everyone else.
Some of those people will be wise, strong and caring. Wonderful things can happen when you open up and trust them.
Others will be well-meaning but unqualified. Never give control of your mind to someone who can’t manage their own.
Others still would take full advantage of your trust for their own ends.
The point is that, like every instinct, emotion and habit, helplessness serves a purpose.
When the firefighter kicks down the door and takes you into their arms, you don’t say, “no thanks, I’ve got this”. You hold on tight and let them carry you from the flames.
Then, once you’re in the cool, fresh air, you can stand on your feet again.
It takes tremendous wisdom to know the difference between a firefighter and a snake oil salesperson. You’d think their gear would give them away, but it’s usually not so simple.
When someone tells you to be afraid and to trust them, are they warning you of a real danger, well-meaning but confused, or using a sales tactic?
There’s no checklist for this – no set of rules that’ll separate these folks out.
You don’t need one.
Your inner mind has all the wisdom it needs to tell when someone is honest, competent and trustworthy.
Unless, of course… you’re stuck in your own helplessness.
Many people default to helplessness, even in situations where they could take control.
It’s no mystery as to why. Everyone spends a decade in the school system – and, while modern schooling as many advantages, there are a few serious problems with it.
The biggest one, in my accurate opinion?
The full and utter relinquishment of truth and merit.
Think about it:
A student completes an exam or an assignment.
Then it’s up to the teacher, the grader or the administrator who designed the assignment schema… what is accurate and what is nonsense.
Even if these authorities were always correct – they’re not, but roll with me – it teaches young people the wrong lesson:
Your authorities hold all the answers. They know what’s right and wrong. Your success in society (and your value as a person) depends on appeasing the authorities.
No no no No NO!
This is the 21st Century. We shouldn’t submit young people at their most suggestible to year after year of this nonsense. It teaches everyone the wrong lesson.
The entrepreneurs, innovators, revolutionaries and mavericks that drive society forward?
They are that way despite the school system, not thanks to it.
The fact that many of them were home-schooled or had unconventional upbringings shouldn’t raise any eyebrows. No sir, nothing to see here…
Their spirit somehow survived a system that crushes all independence and self-reliance.
So if your instinct is to turn to someone else for approval – whether that’s your boss, your parents, your teachers, your government, your self-help gurus…
… that instinct has you imprisoned.
It’s part of your Shadow – your deepest, darkest part of your unconscious mind, that holds you back out of fear, anxiety and the need to belong.
There’s nothing wrong with appeasing your elders and respecting authority.
But when you’re taught it’s the only way to succeed in life, it’s a collar around your throat.
There’s no use blaming society or schools for making you like this – even if it’s true.
You’re an adult and a human. That means you can change anything about yourself.
Allow me to show you the way. I know a simple technique, proven by decades of experience and research, for unravelling the chains from your past that bind you.
I’ll show you how to use it, as easily as closing your eyes.
You have to subscribe to Phronesis Accelerator before the deadline though:
I like to reward folks who refer people to me. If you have an active subscription to Phronesis Accelerator and encourage others to get one too, I’d like to thank you for it.
Part of the reward is credit towards my goods and services. It wouldn’t take many people for you to get even my expensive programs at no cost.
While valuable, that’s also kinda boring.
That’s why I offer extra content to you – and anyone you refer – with each issue of Phronesis Accelerator. This stuff is simple, juicy and practical.
One of the tips this month is how a quirk of language in China shows how folks expect you to think. And right now, here in the West, everyone expects you to be afraid.
Once you see how that works, you can protect yourself and others from chronic fear.
The other tip?
That’s my ‘anti’ ‘bullying’ campaign.
I put both words in quotes because it’s only sort of bullying… and it’s only sort of against it.
This is an ancient technique. Jesus used it superbly to build a following and spread his message of peace and love.
The best parents use this with their children. It doesn’t just correct behaviour – it corrects personality.
All without punishments, bribes or anything even vaguely unethical.
It’s awesome stuff that I know my phronies are gonna love.
The only way to get it is to refer or be referred.
The instructions on how to do that are in the Welcome Letter you receive when you subscribe:
That’s what people will look back on 2020 as. Folks won’t remember the virus, except for how it made so many people roll over.
It started off with a pandemic that would supposedly kill tens of millions of people within months. All you had to do to help was quarantine yourself for a couple of weeks to “Flatten the Curve”.
Then those weeks became months.
Many folks spent 2020 cowering in their homes, wearing a mask 24/7, lathering their hands in low-grade toxins, abandoning their health, friends and hobbies out of fear of getting sick…
Many of you watched as the government tore your life to pieces, shredded your freedoms, businesses and coping mechanisms, then blamed you for not being enough of a ‘team player…’
The lockdowns failed to stop the spread.
The government also failed to protect folks from the knock-on effects of the lockdown – financial struggles, increased domestic abuse, cancelled weddings and funerals…
Some of you shook your fist at the sky, cursing cruel fate and everything bad that happened in 2020.
And some of you shook your first at the government, cursing them for selling you out in the name of fear, control and profit.
You know what all too few people did?
Do anything other than play the victim.
Don’t mistake me – you have perfectly good reasons to complain.
And yet being the victim never helped anyone.
In 2019, the world was full of people griping about how unfair life was – a convenient crutch that stopped them having to do anything difficult.
2020 only made it worse.
You want to know the best and only way to survive viruses, fires, rioting, government tyranny and economic collapse?
Take responsibility and take action.
Stop blaming other people, the year or fate itself for your problems.
Even if they caused it, the world won’t fix it, no matter how angry you get.
Consider this your Devictimisation Training – and consider it well overdue.
The inaugural issue of Phronesis Accelerator is your way out of the muck. This is your chance to begin a process that’ll give you back control over what’s in your power.
Here’s what the issue empowers you to do:
And if you refer someone to me and they subscribe before the issue goes out, you learn:
Be sure to read the instructions in the Welcome Letter to learn how the referral program works.
Subscribe now while the subscribing’s good:
Imagine you’re an elephant in hunter-gatherer times.
In the vast plains, you come across a small band of humans. They’re tiny things – weak, unarmoured, with no claws, fangs or spines.
You’re too close for each other’s comfort, having somehow surprised each other. Don’t ask me how, just roll with it.
What do you do?
It doesn’t matter if you’ve never seen a human this close before. You’ve learned from your own clan – maybe even on a genetic level – to fear these squishy things.
The biggest reason to run, though?
They’re strutting around like they own the place.
They’re alert and watching you, ready for any movement… but they’re not afraid. They know they’ll beat you, whether in this fight or the next one.
There’s huge value in feeling like you belong and you (or your kin) will overcome any challenge.
It’s not arrogance. People come across as arrogant when they force this, out of a desire to compensate or dominate.
Pretending to feel this way won’t fool anyone.
You start to feel like this – to elevate yourself and everyone around you – when you’re in tune with yourself.
And that starts will learning how to relax.
I don’t mean putting your feet up and napping. I’m talking about when you stay relaxed and focused under more situations – especially ones that challenge others.
Any of my sessions will help you experience that more – especially my Neural Reset:
Macbeth, but in 2021:
Lady Macbeth’s hands won’t get clean. She scrubs and she scrubs, but they still carry the stains.
So she goes online to ask for advice.
One forum talks about a new super cleaning fluid that’ll bleach and strip back the outer layer of your skin. If you want to get clean, this will get you clean!
A YouTube channel talks about how that stuff is artificial, toxic nonsense. If you want to clean your hands, there’s this all natural, essential oil-based concoction that’ll do the job and leave you smelling great.
The first forum mentions that YouTube video – hand wash? More like hogwash!
Back and forth it goes.
Lady Macbeth now has more knowledge about how to clean her hands.
But she isn’t any wiser for the experience…
I’m not qualified to help her – she needs expert care from medical professionals. I assume you’re not hallucinating the blood of your victims, though.
If you need medical intervention, seek it.
If your challenges are less ‘total psychological collapse’ in nature…
There’s a difference between getting knowledge that you want and insights that you need. No matter what you want – whether to shed an old problem, perform better or enjoy life more, or all of the above – there’s one thing common to them.
When you deeply relax for a moment and let your mind run on quiet mode, it all becomes much easier.
That’s why the Neural Reset helps just about anything.
In an hour, you can experience a comforting mental state that’s, in some ways, deeper than sleep.
You can sign up for a session here:
Let’s say you want to show that someone is turning their life around. They used to be a sedentary office drone – then they start jogging every day.
That’s easy. You simply point to them and say, “hey, look, that person is jogging!”
Now let’s say you’re a movie director and you want to do that. Again, all you need is a line of dialogue:
“Boy, running every day sure is different from not doing that, like I used to do!”
Mwah. Pure elegance.
If you’re directing a Looney Tunes short, you can superimpose a calendar over the running and have the months literally fly off it.
Now let’s say you’re a good director and you can’t resort to cartoon conventions.
Why, then you use a montage.
It’s easy to show someone jogging. Have the camera aim in their general direction as they do it. Then you show the passage of time by having the environment change.
They jog on a sunny day… then through the rain… then at night…
They jog past a Christmas tree in a store window… then a florist advertising Valentine’s Day roses… then giant chocolate eggs wrapped in bright foil…
It implies that months have gone by without having anyone say it. To coin a phrase – you show, don’t tell.
Wait a minute…
They started selling hot cross buns over a week ago. That means someone could have jogged past a Christmas tree and an Easter display in ten minutes.
If Halloween starts in September, Christmas starts in October and Easter starts in December, is this why time feels like it goes so fast for you?
Honestly, no – but it’s probably not helping.
Your brain doesn’t feel the flow of time by measuring seconds, but by measuring events. When you have ‘just another day at the office’, the events are you wake up, go to work, come home and go to bed. No matter how slow that feels in the moment, it seems fast when you look back on it.
That’s why summers seemed to last forever when you were a kid. Everything was new, so everything that happened was its own event. Every few minutes, something happened that your mind latched onto.
When holiday seasons resemble the weather’s seasons in length, it muddies your sense of time a little.
But not as much as trudging through each day, bored, stressed and unstimulated.
It’s a strange paradox of modern life, where a day can drag on forever and a month can evaporate like that.
It’s even stranger that having a regular Neural Reset helps with both.
When you’re more present, and you relax and focus, time has a way of settling down.
Here’s how you get yourself a session: