My brain used to be mush soup thanks to alcohol and no sleep.
What if your brain could make you unstoppable, though? Would you give your mind everything it needed to thrive if you knew it could unlock the best time of your life?
We abuse our brains. We load it up with sugar or numb it with alcohol. Or we pump our mind full of so many tv shows that it writes over the top of all the information that could change our life.
As I write this article, I feel on fire. My mind has helped me discover powerful possibilities in the last few weeks. Last years’ version of what was possible has been replaced by my mind with a new idea: “You’re just getting started.”
There is so much opportunity we are blind to. Your brain helps shine the light on these opportunities. You have to enable your brain to see opportunity. How? Enable your brain for high performance with these simple hacks.
Rewire Your Brain
To enable your brain for high-performance, you first need to understand that your brain can radically change. How you view the world isn’t fixed.
I went from having extreme mental illness and a mind that destroyed my goals to the complete opposite, believing anything is possible. You can too. How?
I went to a live event that introduced me to the simple concept of Neuroplasticity. Your brain can rewire itself and completely transform.
Medical explanation of Neuroplasticity: “It refers to the physiological changes in the brain that happen as the result of our interactions with our environment. From the time the brain begins to develop in utero [the womb]until the day we die, the connections among the cells in our brains reorganize in response to our changing needs. This dynamic process allows us to learn from and adapt to different experiences.”
Whatever you thought last year can be overwritten.
New connections in your brain can be formed that say your old view of the world was wrong, and it’s completely okay.
Your brain can change itself whether you like it or not. Why not make your brain change to support your goals instead? The way you think and the connections in your mind become stronger or weaker based on what parts of your brain are being used.
Neuroplasticity is the ‘muscle building’ part of the brain — Brainworks
How to do it: Open your mind. Consider new ideas. Gain new experiences that the old you would have rejected — experiences like the ones that scare the crap out of you. Your brain will rewire itself in the process of having the new experience.
Find Brain Stimulating Work
If I gave you tomorrow off and said you could do whatever work you want and I was going to pay you $20,000 regardless of the output, what work would you choose? That’s the work that stimulates you.
For me, writing stimulates my brain. The key to stimulate your brain is to aim for between 1%–5% increase in performance. In writing, this translates to me going from 2000 words in a story to perhaps 2100 words. The subtle shift in output challenges your prior results. Your brain is ever-so-slightly stimulated to push the prior boundaries.
Stretching your brain with small increases in effort allows the work you love to push you further.
Many people have a regular job that they hate.
You shift your mind’s performance when you seek out work you enjoy doing, that challenges you.
How to do it: Shifting to a new type of work is not something you can always do straight away. But you can make a start in your spare time. Pick a type of work that you can do for an hour a week and build upon.
Get Your Mind a Job in Content Creation
Content creation is a great way to challenge your mind. Content creation forces you to unlock your creativity and find ways to be helpful to others. The process unlocks a lot of your invisible potential you may have been ignoring.
As you begin to create content for an audience you rewire your brain to focus on others, rather than always focusing on yourself. The reason to wake up and begin your work changes.
How to do it: post videos, writing, audio, or images on the internet 1–2 times a week. Let your mind wander and discover new ways to be helpful. Helpfulness leads to high-performance in any field.
A wandering mind leads to new and creative ideas — Melissa Burkley Ph.D.
Empty Your Brain Before Bed
Let your brain take a dump.
Writer, Barry Davret, reports he became a sound sleeper after a lifetime of sleeping poorly. His clever little life-hack was to write his thoughts down before bed. That way he could pick up where he left off in the morning and sleep worry-free.
How to do it: create a page in the notes app of your phone and write down all your thoughts. Write down the never-ending to-do lists and people who upset you today, somewhere safe — their importance will be reduced tomorrow when you wake up with fresh thinking.
Automate your Brain’s Work
The world is automating jobs, so why not automate your brain?
AKA flow states. Flow is automation for your brain. It allows you to get so lost in a task that the concept of time seems to disappear and you end up doing the best work of your life. Flow is a drug to automate your brain.
Flow is addictive but it’s not bad for you. You can never get enough flow so don’t worry.
Once you find deep levels of flow you’ll never forget it for the rest of your life.
Experience euphoria from concert videos
I have used the feeling of euphoria to enable my brain for high-performance. When my brain is feeling incredible levels of happiness, it performs differently. I have used the man-made invention of Youtube to achieve euphoria. How?
I watch moments from music concerts that transform my mind to another place. I watch artists feel the joy of moving large numbers of people with their words and music. My favorite hack is to look for a musician that is overwhelmed by emotion.
How to do it: warm-up with euphoric Youtube videos. Play binaural beats in a pair of wireless headphones, remove all distractions (like phones) and find a creative task you enjoy. Your brain will take care of the work and you won’t even realize it.
Give Your Brain Plenty of Rest
Scientific research from Sleep Foundation shows 7–9 hours is optimal for an adult to recover from the days’ battlefield of activities and distractions.
Your brain can’t function properly when it’s tired. Sleep is the most basic hack for better thinking, yet many people neglect it.
Add naps for extra brain performance
Naps have helped me squeeze out more juice from life. I nap once a day after lunch for 15–20 minutes. I feel fresh right after and it gives me what runners describe as a “second wind.”
A second wind is a phenomenon in long-distance running where a runner is out of breath and too tired to go on, and in a moment, finds a boost of energy that allows them to complete the race at an even higher level of performance.
The US Naval Institute goes a step further and says:
“Naps have been shown to decrease impulsivity and supply a greater tolerance for frustration. They can lift productivity and mood, lower stress, and improve memory and learning.”
“In fact, brain activity stays high throughout the day with a nap; without one, it declines as the day wears on. A nap can have the same magnitude of benefits as a full night of sleep.”
How to do it: find a chair at work, or use your bed if you’re working from home, to take a short nap in the afternoon. Set the timer on your phone for your desired nap length. Wake up fresh and ready again for high performance.
Feed Your Brain Its Favorite Food
Energy is life. Give your brain energy by giving it the food it was made for. Research from Harvard University Medical School says to eat the following brain foods:
- Green, leafy vegetables
- Avocados full of brain-loving omega-3
Love your brain with food.
Give Your Brain What It’s Made Of
75% of your brain is made of water. Give your brain more water throughout the day because that’s what it’s made of. Simple.
Consume Coffee to Kickstart Your Brain
Those bright sparks at Harvard also found that tea or coffee allows for better mental function. Coffee also helps solidify memories according to an experiment by John Hopkins University.
Fire your brain up with coffee and let it help bring on flow states.
Analyze Your Thoughts in 10-Minutes
I used to use the Calm App to meditate and then fell off the wagon. The global health crisis changed my routine and I lost my habit of meditating on the train on the way to work.
In the last week I have rediscovered meditation by practicing it for 10-minutes a day in the morning.
The point of meditation is for you to understand how bat shit crazy your mind is — Ayodeji Awosika
According to psychology writer, Thomas Oppong, “meditation can permanently rewire your brain to raise levels of happiness.” Meditation can also reduce stress, improve your concentration, boost working memory, reduce rumination, result in less emotional reactivity, and give you more cognitive flexibility.”
You could argue mindfulness is the ultimate cliche way to improve your brain’s performance. It’s recommended to death because it works.
Get Your Brain off a Junk Food Diet
Endless binge-watching of back-to-back seasons of a tv show is junk food for your brain. Healthier food for your brain is learning in the form of reading.
Read your life away.
Watch your thoughts, writing and verbal communication improve. People overcomplicate reading and make it sound like an extreme sport for navy seals. Reading is just learning. It’s healthy fuel for your brain.
Choose a Bizarre Topic to Go Deep On
Learning for your mind is exercise. When your brain learns, it gets stronger.
You workout your brain using daily learning. The way you get over the resistance to get started learning each day is to pick a topic you’re curious about. I like childhood topics.
When I was a kid I learned about the Titanic and listened to a band called the Beastie Boys. I used these triggers recently to go deep on these two topics and see where they would lead.
I was taken back to childhood and then thrust forward into the present moment again. I learned that much of what I studied during childhood was false or incomplete. That realization happens with topics I’ve learned as an adult too.
Use your curiosity to find a topic you can learn about to give your mind a workout and make it stronger — to make you unstoppable.
Your potential is found in your mind. Unlock these cheat codes for your mind and you’ll think your way to higher performance in life. It requires you to re-engineer the stuff you already know about work and life, and go on a journey into an exploration of creativity, brain energy, and peace and quiet.
Think life-changing thoughts by enabling your brain for high performance. You can be better than last years’ thinking.