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Wednesday, November 21, 2012


I've been reading a phlethora of books on the brain.  My current favorite is by David Eagleman,Incognito:  The Secret Lives of the Brain.  In his book, Eagleman talks about the different lives inside our brains.  The one that I got a kick out of is the inner zombie - you know - that part of your brain that gets you to your destination and once you arrive you wonder, "Wow, I don't even remember driving here!  How did that happen?!"  According to the latest neuroscience, what got you there was the "automaton" or zombie part of you.  Your brain is a pattern making machine and you can get it to become an automaton and go all zombie on yourself when it comes to doing a lot of things, especially the things you want to change.  Yay!

For example, how can you train your brain to help you eat less pumpkin pie?         
Put that pie in front of yourself and then push it away while saying "No, thanks!"  The first time you do it, according to Eagleman, you won't really register a higher level of dissuading ability.  But after you do it 3-4 times, your ability to say "No", goes on autopilot and as it becomes a routinized pattern, it just gets easier.  Just like in real life, practice makes perfect for that zombieizing of self.  The more you practice saying no to the things you don't want, the easier it gets. Conversely, the more you say YES to the things you do want, the more you will get them!

Achieving your goals is simply a combination of training your brain to focus on what you want, while taking routine steps towards accomplishing your goals.  That's why picturing your dreams, both inwardly and outwardly, works!  It trains the zombie in you to "Bring me that which I want!"

Don't believe me or Eagleman? Test it yourself!  Before you press the "power up" computer button, sit down in a chair, grab a piece of paper and pen, shut your eyes and ask yourself, "What's one thing I want more of in my life?"  Then, QUICK, write down the first thing that comes to you.  After you have a few words, let yourself fantasize about it a little, build out a picture.  Draw some symbols to see what else will be present in that new world of you.  

Finally, pretend that it has already happened and interview yourself about what it's like to be you in that new experience. Pretend to be the interviewer and ask yourself some questions like, "In the past, you were known for ____, and now you have become so ______!  What is the biggest tip you can give our audience about what you did?" or "What is the most exciting part about your _________ today?"  Then everyday, so back and revisit that super fun new you!  Watch how quickly you step into it.  #believeit.

Have fun!  And be sure to share some of your cool ideas with me so I can pass them to the rest of our readers. Go ahead and get zombified over Thanksgiving!

Let me add how thankful I am for each of you. It has been a magnificent year thanks to you.  You inspire me and thanks for being here.


I had a fantastic time with Vicki St. Clair.  She does a weekly talk show on KKNW 1150AM and is so gracious and smart!  If you missed our interview, you can catch it here.  My part starts at about 1215 on the podcast player.


Talk about game changers.  What I loved about being able to record this conference was the great ideas that came from this breakout session discussing social media in higher ed.  Check out their  CONFERENCE and find out what they are up to.


This January I am donating my time to this fantastic Harlem school,The Children's Storefront and flying in to show these students Visual Goal Setting.  If you want to get in on this project, I am looking for someone to donate 20 copies of my book,Drawing Solutions to the teachers to use in their classrooms. Contact me if you are interested in helping.
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