I often said I’m not so much a fan of The Simpsons as its disciple. It was the #1 show when I was growing up – in the world and in my mind. It was clever, quotable and utterly addictive.
I haven’t seen an episode in years, probably. Even so, I like to think I know it well.
So how can I claim Homer Simpson is a genius at anything?
Let alone something as unusual and esoteric as self-hypnosis?
It’s pretty obvious if you think about it.
… what would you do?
There’s that saying – learn like you’ll live forever, live as though you’ll die tomorrow. Well, I can’t offer immortality. But I can offer the ability to learn anything quicker and easier than ever.
And what would that do for you? I’m making up a number when I say six months. Maybe it’s more, maybe it’s less. Let’s say, though, you could master two new skills each year.
(That’s conservative, by the way.)
How does your five-year plan look?
How might it change if you could master ten fields in that time?
It won’t be easy, of course.
That’ll take discipline, focus and dedication – the sort that comes from having a clear vision and a burning need to change something.
But even if you have those, how can you master ten things so quickly?
Think about it this way:
Consider something you are naturally skilled and passionate about. It was easy to learn and become great at this. If you studied and practiced the right way, mastering it in six months doesn’t seem too crazy.
Now, what if you could learn everything that way?
What if you could grab hold of the way you learn naturally and focus it on anything you want?
If everything came easier to you, what couldn’t you master?
Now, I’m not promising miracles.
But it might seem that way when suddenly the penny drops. Your mind draws connections between things and it all makes sense.
Without having to bully your brain into concentrating or memorising anything.
It’s easier than it sounds to shift your brain into an ideal learning state.
All you need to do is focus and listen.
On the material, yes – but before you do that, focus and listen to this:
It’s pretty hard to learn a new state of mind. Let’s say you want more mental and physical resilience. You could head over to a search engine, punch in ‘how to be tougher’ and wade through a billion pages to find the gold in the garbage.
Then you actually have to do the exercises.
What’s even harder is when you know something is missing but you don’t know what it is. It’s like… well, charisma isn’t the right words, it’s more of a… presence, I guess?
When you can’t even think of the word for it, you can’t Google it.
So, what do you do?
Buy a thesaurus?
You should always be highly suspicious of anything that makes contradictory claims. There are no shoes that make you both taller and shorter. There’s no energy drink that calms you down, too.
How can one treatment, say, both raise and lower blood pressure? That’s not how medicine works.
At least, that’s what I used to believe.
But I know one thing that both energises and calms you. And it increases your blood pressure if it’s low, but lowers it if it’s high.
Scratch that – I know of several.
What causes a Golden Age? What historical and cultural factors come together to make a people great?
Is it when a society becomes bold and free with its ideas?
Is it like that Asimov short story where humans are experimented on by aliens, like we’re bacteria in a petri dish?
I don’t know.
I’m hungry for the answer, though.
Because I know what it feels like to enter my own ‘golden age’. Suddenly my life accelerates forward, no matter how you measure it.
I become healthier and more disciplined.
Wealthier and more fun.
More ambitious and more grounded.
Creative, spontaneous and productive.
Oozing charisma, wisdom and everything else I dream of.
These golden ages happened before I learned self-hypnosis, it’s true, so you don’t need to master it to experience your life locked into amazing mode.
But these fantastic periods come more often and more intensely than ever before.
If I were perfect, I’d be in a permanent golden age. I’m only human, though. I have my ups and downs.
And this is great – if I were flawless, I’d be unable to teach you. The gap of understanding between a mortal and a deity it too great.
Fortunately, I’m as squishy and fallible as the rest of us. That makes it all the more easy to learn.
If you’re ready for a revolution that enhances every corner of your mind, then here’s your guide to it:
Every now and then, the owners of a plantation stop maintaining it. Maybe they go out of business and no one takes over. Maybe the government buys it off them to turn it into a forest.
Then again, maybe the owner wants to return the land to nature.
The plantation is a monoculture, all lined up in rows and columns.
Ordered and efficient.
But as soon as human hands stop interfering…
Whenever I log into WordPress, I see a shiny, glistening button labelled ‘Earn’. Earning is good – the more money my site brings in, the more I can focus on creating new content for it.
But it’s WordPress. It’s not like the earn button is going to ask me to do odd jobs or whatever. Like they have a yard that needs sweeping or something.
No, you earn money by running ads on your site.
Darn. That’s tempting and all, but I’m not about to run ads on Guided Thought.
I could say because I don’t want people selling to you and manipulating you. It’s even true. But let me put on my best parental persona and tell you how it is.
Sherlock Holmes is one of the most powerful characters in fiction. His talents are almost wasted solving crime. I guess that’s why, in the BBC version especially, Mycroft kept trying to strong-arm into being a spy for the crown.
And one of his greatest strengths (again, in the BBC version) is his mind palace. For regular folk, it’s an effective memory technique. You probably know how it works – probably better than I do.
Sherlock takes it further than that, though.
He uses it to control his body, staving off shock after taking a bullet.
And he uses it to slow time, letting him solve a Victorian-era crime – months of work – in minutes.
No matter what version of Sherlock you follow, he’s capable of incredible mental feats.
The fascinating thing is the epitome of logic and deduction can’t do this with logic alone.
A while back, I filed away a news story about the lengths rich people go to sleep on planes. If you can afford it, you can buy a private plane with a bed and other features I forget about.
It makes sense. Time is money. So if you have cash to burn, you buy back time.
And if you’re flying back and forth a lot, you may as well use that time to rest.
It’s funny, though. It reminds me of NASA needing writing implements for their astronauts. They invented a million-dollar space pen that can write upside down. The Soviet solution, of course, was to use a pencil instead.
(Which ignores what tiny wood and graphite fragments can do to eyeballs, lungs and electronics in zero gravity. But whatever.)
It’s strange how at home we tend to be in forests. Not all of us, of course, and most of us wouldn’t last long if we lived there. But visiting a forest – or a park, or the bush, anywhere with trees – feels like visiting home.
On the one hand, this isn’t surprising. Trees are in our blood. Before they roamed the plains of Africa, humanity’s ancestors lived in the forests.
Then, after we left Africa as superintelligent hunter-gatherers, many of us returned to the forests of Eurasia and elsewhere.
That’s where all the food was, after all.
And our food’s food as well, too. From Roman times until recently, farmers would let their pigs and sheep loose in the forests. They’d eat better there than munching the scrappy grass on the plains.
For millions of years, our food, shelter, medicine and tools came from forests.
So did we evolve the ability to hear them screaming?