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Mental Perfomance

Let Go: How and Why To Make Space in Your Life

By | Health Insights, Life 101, Lifestyle, Mental Perfomance, Productivity | No Comments

Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or how. The moment you know how, you begin to die a little. The artist never entirely knows. We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark… ― Agnes De Mille It may be my selection bias or maybe it’s just because I live in New York, but I believe we’ve become OBSESSED with productivity and control. I myself have spent countless hours (and probably dollars) acquiring, learning and implementing elaborate systems for getting things done. Or creating “optimal” structures that oftentimes lead to nowhere. Yet for all my explorations, experiments & shenanigans, here is the ONE THING I’ve found that consistently works: Creating Space. Last night over dinner I was talking with a friend. We spoke about taking action when action is required. I mentioned creating space for our outcomes to…






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The Power of the Pause: Why you must slow down in “critical situations”

By | Human Performance, Life 101, Lifestyle, Mental Perfomance, Zen | No Comments

This is a topic I’ve been wanting to tackle for a long time. It’s so freaking simple that I debated whether or not it even warrants a post. But last night as I sat down to dinner with a friend, we began talking about this feeling of “inner urgency.” And that wasn’t the first time. Almost every friend I’ve spoken to recently has expressed this same feeling. Some are launching startups while others are working steady jobs. But what came up consistently was an insatiable feeling of rushing toward accomplishment or producing some result. I know I’ve felt this way many times before. And often we’re quick to attribute the feeling to external causes such as deadlines or demands. But is that really the case? The more we talked about it and the more I thought it through, the closer I came to the conclusion that this feeling is internal…






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Ben Ahrens on Uplifting Vitality, Self-Optimization & Sustainable High-Performance

By | Explorations, Food for thought, Health Insights, Human Performance, Life 101, Lifestyle, Medicine, Mental Perfomance, Mind-Body, Physical Performance, Podcast, Positive Thinking, Self Improvement | No Comments

In a recent interview, I had the pleasure of joining Alex Charfen of CHARFEN and identifier of the Entrepreneurial Personality Type (EPT). In this interview, we discuss the role of vitality in healing, recovery and life at large. Vitality, as I’ve come to define it as “the capacity to create”, is the most valuable and at the same time underappreciated resource most entrepreneurs possess. My aim is to fix that. Check out this fun interview: EP.25: Ben Ahrens Shifted the Paradigm of Medicine and Health with One Deep Breath0 Sep 24, 2015 – show notes: Ben Ahrens began his entrepreneurial journey working with athletes and post-rehab patients as a corrective-exercise and performance-enhancement specialist. Suddenly, in 2008 Ben was diagnosed with late-stage Neurological Lyme Disease and suffered crippling symptoms. The doctors and support groups told him he was broken and that his identity as an athlete would be forever lost. Undeterred,…






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The Art of Equanimity: Finding Calm In Chaos

By | Habit Design, Life 101, Lifestyle, Mental Perfomance, Zen | 5 Comments

 e·qua·nim·i·ty ˌēkwəˈnimitē,ˌekwə-/ noun mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, especially in a difficult situation. This word continues to take on new meaning for me. It first entered my lexicon in the fall of 2007 when I attended an intro to meditation class at the Tibet House on west 15th street. Everyone was going on about the virtue of equanimity and ways it could be practiced, and I didn’t know what the hell they were talking about. Years later, I’d begin to understand…  Some time, but not long ago, I found myself in a frenzy of turmoil, as the compounding losses of a relationship, a friendships and the lives of two people close to me, all coincided within a matter of weeks. From one day to the next, it seemed, all joy was lost. Excitement, extinguished. For the months that followed, I remember feeling challenged to find my center, and how even the…






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The Automated Morning Routine: Making the Most of Your Least Productive Times

By | Experiments, Habit Design, Mental Perfomance, Productivity | 6 Comments

Let’s get one thing straight here… I am NOT a morning person. If left to my own lack of devices, I would lay in bed for several hours before frittering away the rest of the morning while trying to decide how to best begin the day. It’s nothing to do with laziness, I profess to myself – my brain simply runs on Pacific Standard Time, despite having lived in New York for most my life. So what can a guy do to transform what can only be seen as a massive black hole of wasted time, into something more useful, maybe even productive? What guys do best… try and control as many discomforting variables as possible and follow 3 steps: 1) Design a structure that prohibits wasteful procrastination (not all procrastination is useless, see my article on How to Use Procrastination to Foster Productivity) 2) Install a program complete with rewards to accomplish…






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The Power of “NO”

By | Human Performance, Lifestyle, Mental Perfomance, Zen | 3 Comments

  “NO” – Perhaps the most powerful scene in any movie I can think of to date is that ending of the first Matrix: Keanu Reeves’ iconic character, Neo, has been gradually coming to terms with his own power, performing, literally, otherworldly feats of strength throughout the film. Then finally, while a swarm of bullets is streamlining toward his head, in a single act of total Self-realization (Self with a capital S) he extends, his arm out in front of him and says: “NO” –  And there goes the neighborhood; bullets freeze in mid air, the walls begin to flex as he takes a deep breath, and Reality for Neo, will never be the same… Why is this so significant? Because we all have this ability. Yes, each and every person, through radical Self-realization, is granted the gift of discernment (e.g. the ability to choose how we see the world;…






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How to Use Procrastination to Foster Productivity

By | Experiments, Habit Design, Lifestyle, Mental Perfomance, Self Improvement, Sleep | One Comment

Six months ago I made a fascinating discovery – I’m a procrastinator… but that’s not all. The fascinating part was that, if properly structured, my innate procrastinating tendencies could be redirected and applied to: 1) Fixing my sleep, and 2) Increasing productivity 5x We’ll get to how in a second, but first a bit of back-story – I’d been a poor sleeper my entire life. For as long as I can remember I’d suffered form “onset insomnia” (difficulty falling asleep) – It took some doing but resolved itself with some basic sleep highgene techniques (cutting out caffeine, sleeping in a cool pitch black room, no LCDs two hours prior to sleep, etc.), combined with pillow conditioning – a form of behavioral or Pavlovian conditioning aimed at helping to develop a physiological association between the body’s location (being in bed) and the proper cascade of hormones and neurotransmitters required by our…






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THE EXTREME MIND-BODY CONNECTION – PART III: Extreme Healing and The Absurd Reality of Spontaneous Recovery

By | Experiments, Explorations, Mental Perfomance, Mind-Body, Physical Performance | 3 Comments

The medical world has been taken by storm in the last decade with this concept of neuroplasticity. It says that the brain is not a static structure, as previously conceived, but is rather pliable – like plastic; capable of adapting both functional (synaptic) and structural (dendritic) changes, as visibly seen on PET scans and FMRIs. In truth, it is not just our brains that are plastic, but as you are learning – it is our entire reality… Continued from THE EXTREME MIND-BODY CONNECTION – Part II: How to Increase Your Strength by 22% Without Moving A Muscle! and THE EXTREME MIND-BODY CONNECTION – PART I: How to Change Your Life, by Changing Your Mind (The Neuroscience of How Thinking Makes It So) – this final installment in my trilogy of mind-bending phenomenon is sure to change the game insofar as the how we think of medicine, sickness, treatment, and healing….






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THE EXTREME MIND-BODY CONNECTION – Part II: How to Increase Your Strength by 22% Without Moving A Muscle!

By | Exercise, Experiments, Mental Perfomance, Mind-Body, Physical Performance | One Comment

Continued from previous post.  Mind Over Muscle As Dr. Norman Doidge, author of the New York Times best seller, The Brain That Changes Itself, recounts: “from a neuroscientific point of view, imagining an act and doing it are not as different as they sound.” – This ties in nicely with a favorite quote of mine from Maxwell Maltz who says that,“the human body cannot tell the difference between something real and that which is vividly imagined.” We know from PET scans and studies using FMRI (Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) that a gymnast will activate the same neurons whether she is visualizing her routine or physically executing it. Furthermore, it’s been clearly demonstrated that she can fortify neural networks and make marked improvements to her physical routine by mental run-through alone. One of the most unbelievable demonstrations of how thinking makes it so, has to be an experiment carried out by…






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THE EXTREME MIND-BODY CONNECTION – PART I: How to Change Your Life, by Changing Your Mind (The Neuroscience of How Thinking Makes It So)

By | Experiments, Explorations, Habit Design, Health Insights, Mental Perfomance, Mind-Body, Physical Performance, Self Improvement | 4 Comments

What follows in this three-part-post is a collection of examples, the implications of which not only open new doors for achieving potential, but completely negate the concept of Cartesian Dualism once and for all. Some of these stories might seem bizarre, others, down right impossible. But I’ve done the research and you can check it out too. The data is real. What you choose to do with this knowledge is up to you. At the very least, my intention with these posts is to get you thinking of the possibilities…  What if you could: – Increase physical strength without moving a muscle!? – Improve your athletic performance using only your mind? – Dramatically reduce pain without a single pain killer? – Speed up healing and recovery by virtue of what you think? – Eliminate depression, fear, anxiety, or even seasonal allergies! – no drugs, just results? That’s just for starters….






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