What I understand about the default mode network in the brain is as follows. When you see a picture, the part of your brain that understands pictures lights up. And when you see words, the part of your brain that understands words lights up. And when you see nothing, the default mode network of your brain lights up.
This is where we daydream and marinate thoughts and ruminate. It’s when you drive somewhere you are used to going and suddenly arrive and wonder how you got there. It’s where we may regret the past which for some can be labelled as part of depression or where we worry about the future which for some can be labelled as part of anxiety.
Sometimes we end up in the default mode network when there are parts of life where we just follow the path. If you are skiing down a frozen hill and several people have gone down before you, it’s hard not to get into the grooves in the snow from the earlier skiers. Whereas when we ski on freshly fallen snow, we must form our own path. Basically, our goal in life is to try to get ourselves out of the default mode network and some things that can do that include meditation, journaling, breathing exercises, or even being mindful while making your meals or pouring a cup of tea. That awareness of the now. Continue reading
I am so impressed with the journey of Joe Gebbia. He is the co-founder of Airbnb but when I heard the story of how he got there, I couldn’t stop smiling.
I was listening to him chat with Tim Ferriss. Joe mentioned that he had convinced his buddy Brian, who he had been in contact with since leaving school at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), to move from LA to San Francisco so that they might start some kind of business together. A few days after Brian arrived at Joe’s apartment, after quitting his job, and packing his life into his Honda Civic, Joe got a letter from his landlord saying their rent would be 25% higher the following month. And neither of them had the money to cover it. Continue reading
Author and meditation teacher Dr. Jack Kornfield was a guest on The Tim Ferriss Show. He said many of us talk to ourselves in a way we would never talk to others. We are judgemental, we think we are not good enough, we tear ourselves down. It’s hard to get away from that negative self-talk so he mentioned a loving kindness meditation. Continue reading
Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, once said, “The days are long, but the years are short.” How true. Doesn’t it seem like sometimes we stop to take a breath and realize years have passed us by?
Listening to her chat with Tim Ferriss on his podcast reminded me that the most important thing at the end of the day is being happy. Continue reading
Tim Ferriss was chatting with Tim Urban, writer of Wait, But Why. When explaining how we got here and what will happen next, Tim Urban said if we think of history as a 700-page book, “So, 140,000 years, every page in this book that you’re holding is 200 years in human history. So, Page 1 through 650 of that book, hunter gathers. If you’re an alien reading this book to understand what happened on this planet, you are bored. This is really boring. Page 650, 10,000 years ago, you have the agriculture revolution. Wait. So, suddenly, people are coming together and forming cities. They’re starting to actually form larger civilizations. They have a collective intelligence that’s starting to form. They can compare notes. They can kind of create the knowledge tower that is bigger than any one of them. Continue reading
I was listening to Arianna Huffington chat with Tim Ferriss on his podcast. As a 14-year-old growing up in Greece, she saw a picture of Cambridge University in a magazine and told her parents she wanted to go there. Everyone said that would never happen because she didn’t speak English and they couldn’t afford it. Except her mother. She said, “I’m sure we can make that happen.” So, Arianna started learning English, took the entrance exams, applied for and received a scholarship, and attended Cambridge. It changed the trajectory of her life. Beyond inspiring. Continue reading
I was listening to magician David Blaine on The Tim Ferriss Show this week and he shared the back story on Cervantes, the author of Don Quixote, and it was mesmerizing.
David said, “The book that blows me away beyond anything, and it’s hard to explain it, Cervantes. Yeah, that guy, he wrote Don Quixote. His life was the most, for a writer, his life is what writers dream for. Even though it was a horrific and terrible life. Cervantes was the son of a surgeon in Spain. He died in 1616, the same year as Shakespeare. But back then, you were very poor. When he was 18 or something, he joined the military to fight for his country. He got shot and was maimed on the left side, so he was paralyzed on his left arm.
But he won the equivalent of the Purple Heart, so the King gave him a letter. On their trip back home in the boat, pirates basically took them captive. He was made into a slave for five years. While they were trying to get ransom, because he had this letter from the King, so they thought he was so important and so wealthy, which he wasn’t, they would just abuse and torture him. Continue reading
I’ve always admired U.S. Senator Cory Booker and I learned so much from listening into a chat he had with Tim Ferris on The Tim Ferriss Show. He spoke about his parents coming from poverty and getting the opportunity to go to school. Then both his parents ended up working at IBM as some of the first Black executives on that team. When they wanted to buy a home, they learned about real estate steering. Continue reading
I was listening to The Tim Ferriss Show and his guest was Ricardo Semler. He is the former CEO of Semler Partners and he grew his father’s business from making four million in 1982 to 212 million in 2003. He now has a podcast called Leadwise that challenges what we think about the way we live our lives at home and at work.
When he joined his dad’s company, at age 19, he didn’t understand why they did things they way they did. He talks about asking three whys and how by the third why, many find they aren’t really sure why it’s done that way at all. Continue reading
I was listening to The Tim Ferriss Show and I heard Dr. Philip Zimbardo. He is a past professor from Stanford University, was president of the American Psychology Association and wrote The Lucifer Effect and The Time Paradox among other books. He is well-known for his 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment, in which students took on the roles of prisoners and guards for a 24-hour-a-day experiment. It only lasted six days instead of two weeks due to the psychological trauma on the participants. Most recently, he is studying heroism by asking what makes some people turn to evil things and others act like heroes and help others? Continue reading