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3 Steps to Being Fearless, Epic & Free In 2017

3 Steps to Being Fearless, Epic & Free In 2017

At 32 years old, I feared everything – most of all fear itself. However, with some simple mindset and action-oriented changes I was able to turn my life around. These aren’t even huge changes. Most of them are annoyingly small changes that you barely notice until you look back and think, ‘can it be that simple?’ I want to pass these steps on to you so, come 2017, you can start living a fearless, epic and free life too!

Step One: Stop Listening to Yourself – You’re Too Smart

Ever noticed how often successful people; the ones that achieve just what they want in the face of insurmountable odds are…stupid? How many times have you thought to yourself, ‘if they can do it, anyone can – right?’

The thing is, they may be awesome because of their idiotness, and not in spite of it. Think about it –

Smart people weigh up the pros and cons, take intelligent risks and proceed with wise and measured caution, benchmarking their decisions against the wisdom and experience of others.

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Dumb people just do it.

Smart people listen to those who are smarter than themselves to fully understand a scenario and are realistic about their chances.

Morons couldn’t care less – they just start and allow momentum to carry them.

Smart people often don’t even start; dumb people use reckless abandon as a tool.

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Stop trying to be smart – smart sucks. Just find what you want, even if it’s crazy, and then go after it like an animal. The energy you create will gain its own momentum and then weird things start happening. Opportunities will come to you and before you know it, boom, awesome life!

Step Two: Be Selfish

The world is filled with selfless people. They’re so committed to helping others at the expense of themselves that sometimes they manage to help neither. To be useful to others you need resources, and to gather said resources, you need to be focused on your own success first, and other people’s second. The airline safety drill says, ‘Always attach your own mask before helping others.’ Why? Because you can’t help them when you’re choking for life.

Feel uncomfortable? Good – because change feels strange, but if what you’re already doing isn’t working, you need to fight through that feeling and get to the other – epic – side.

Step Three: Stop Setting Goals—Visualize It into Being

I know you’ve heard it before, but why aren’t you doing it? That’s what a coach said to me after I said that I understood visualization and the importance of it.

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Visualization is not seeing realistic goals already being achieved, (well it can be), but that’s not the best possible version. Instead of being afraid, map out a path and visualize the end result.

Visualize something that gives you a feeling of raw energy inside. Create a mental scenario that makes your blood boil with excitement, so much so that it’s all you can think about. Feel it. Taste it. Experience it, not as if it’s coming, but as though it’s already here, right now.

Want a new car? Drive it, smell and feel the interior, see the paint.

Want to live a freelance life? You’ll see things like cheap hotels, awesome technology, amazing views, skateboards attached to backpacks and new food being tasted in large crowds. You’ll see grateful clients, pride from your loved ones and other people reaching out for advice.

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2017 is coming up and is yours for the taking. But when that smart person tells you it can’t be done, remember – you’re way too stupid to listen to them.

At least, I hope so.

Featured photo credit: Rhys Knight via knighttime.com.au

More by this author

Rhys Knight

Head of Content at www.knight.global

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Last Updated on June 6, 2019

Science Says Silence Is Much More Important To Our Brains Than We Think

Science Says Silence Is Much More Important To Our Brains Than We Think

In 2011, the Finnish Tourist Board ran a campaign that used silence as a marketing ‘product’. They sought to entice people to visit Finland and experience the beauty of this silent land. They released a series of photographs of single figures in the nature and used the slogan “Silence, Please”. A tag line was added by Simon Anholt, an international country branding consultant, “No talking, but action.”

Eva Kiviranta the manager of the social media for VisitFinland.com said: “We decided, instead of saying that it’s really empty and really quiet and nobody is talking about anything here, let’s embrace it and make it a good thing”.

Finland may be on to something very big. You could be seeing the very beginnings of using silence as a selling point as silence may be becoming more and more attractive. As the world around becomes increasingly loud and cluttered you may find yourself seeking out the reprieve that silent places and silence have to offer. This may be a wise move as studies are showing that silence is much more important to your brains than you might think.

Regenerated brain cells may be just a matter of silence.

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     A 2013 study on mice published in the journal Brain, Structure and Function used differed types of noise and silence and monitored the effect the sound and silence had on the brains of the mice.[1] The silence was intended to be the control in the study but what they found was surprising. The scientists discovered that when the mice were exposed to two hours of silence per day they developed new cells in the hippocampus. The hippocampus is a region of the brain associated with memory, emotion and learning.

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    The growth of new cells in the brain does not necessarily translate to tangible health benefits. However, in this instance, researcher Imke Kirste says that the cells appeared to become functioning neurons.

    “We saw that silence is really helping the new generated cells to differentiate into neurons, and integrate into the system.”

    In this sense silence can quite literally grow your brain.

    The brain is actively internalizing and evaluating information during silence

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      A 2001 study defined a “default mode” of brain function that showed that even when the brain was “resting” it was perpetually active internalizing and evaluating information.

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      Follow-up research found that the default mode is also used during the process of self-reflection. In 2013, in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, Joseph Moran et al. wrote, the brain’s default mode network “is observed most closely during the psychological task of reflecting on one’s personalities and characteristics (self-reflection), rather than during self-recognition, thinking of the self-concept, or thinking about self-esteem, for example.

      “When the brain rests it is able to integrate internal and external information into “a conscious workspace,” said Moran and colleagues.

      When you are not distracted by noise or goal-orientated tasks, there appears to be a quiet time that allows your conscious workspace to process things. During these periods of silence, your brain has the freedom it needs to discover its place in your internal and external world.

      The default mode helps you think about profound things in an imaginative way.

      As Herman Melville once wrote,[2]

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      “All profound things and emotions of things are preceded and attended by silence.”

      Silence relieves stress and tension.

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        It has been found that noise can have a pronounced physical effect on our brains resulting in elevated levels of stress hormones. The sound waves reach the brain as electrical signals via the ear. The body reacts to these signals even if it is sleeping. It is thought that the amygdalae (located in the temporal lobes of the brain) which is associated with memory formation and emotion is activated and this causes a release of stress hormones. If you live in a consistently noisy environment that you are likely to experience chronically elevated levels of stress hormones.

        A study that was published in 2002 in Psychological Science (Vol. 13, No. 9) examined the effects that the relocation of Munich’s airport had on children’s health and cognition. Gary W. Evans, a professor of human ecology at Cornell University notes that children who are exposed to noise develop a stress response that causes them to ignore the noise. What is of interest is that these children not only ignored harmful stimuli they also ignored stimuli that they should be paying attention to such as speech. 

        “This study is among the strongest, probably the most definitive proof that noise – even at levels that do not produce any hearing damage – causes stress and is harmful to humans,” Evans says.[3]

        Silence seems to have the opposite effect of the brain to noise. While noise may cause stress and tension silence releases tension in the brain and body. A study published in the journal Heart discovered that two minutes of silence can prove to be even more relaxing than listening to “relaxing” music. They based these findings of changes they noticed in blood pressure and blood circulation in the brain.[4]

        Silence replenishes our cognitive resources.

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          The effect that noise pollution can have on cognitive task performance has been extensively studied. It has been found that noise harms task performance at work and school. It can also be the cause of decreased motivation and an increase in error making.  The cognitive functions most strongly affected by noise are reading attention, memory and problem solving.

          Studies have also concluded that children exposed to households or classrooms near airplane flight paths, railways or highways have lower reading scores and are slower in their development of cognitive and language skills.

          But it is not all bad news. It is possible for the brain to restore its finite cognitive resources. According to the attention restoration theory when you are in an environment with lower levels of sensory input the brain can ‘recover’ some of its cognitive abilities. In silence the brain is able to let down its sensory guard and restore some of what has been ‘lost’ through excess noise.[5]

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          Summation

          Traveling to Finland may just well be on your list of things to do. There you may find the silence you need to help your brain. Or, if Finland is a bit out of reach for now, you could simply take a quiet walk in a peaceful place in your neighborhood. This might prove to do you and your brain a world of good.

          Featured photo credit: Angelina Litvin via unsplash.com

          Reference

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