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How to Piggyback Geniuses (Without Lugging Around a Backpack Full of Books)

How to Piggyback Geniuses (Without Lugging Around a Backpack Full of Books)

Many from Napoleon Hill to Eben Pagan have talked about the power of participating in Mastermind groups. In fact, Napoleon Hill, author of the famous Think & Grow Rich has been attributed with inventing the concept back in the 1930s.

Hill’s Mastermind groups are based on the “two or more heads are better than one” principle. His idea was that when you put two or more minds together, a collective mind emerges that serves the interests of the entire group.

But you can’t just have any old heads. They’ve got to be heads with something valuable to contribute. The people in your Mastermind need to offer critical feedback, inspiration and above all, keep you accountable. You don’t want any non-hackers in your group, no whiners, complainers, or underachievers. You want people who will ensure that your success is inevitable.

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It makes sense. Imagine what the world would be like if Shakespeare had surrounded himself with self-pitying actors who couldn’t be bothered with memorizing his plays. Imagine the music Frank Zappa would have made if he had hung around with half-interested high school band teachers instead of world-class musicians. The examples go on and on, but the fact remains that most successful people surround themselves with other successful people.

But What If I Don’t Know Any Successful People?

This is where Napoleon Hill was an absolute genius. He knew that not everyone has access to the best people operating in their field. And let’s face it. Not everyone feels social enough to go to meetups or even show up at a cafe for brainstorming over bran muffins. Being communal and capable of greatness do not always go together.

What Napoleon Hill suggested is that if you can’t do the real thing, you can always compile the perfect Mastermind group in your head. No matter who you are or what you do, you can probably think of the top ten people working in your field. The next step is to simply gather them together, offer them a creative problem, and ask them to tell you what they would do.

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Love him or hate him, if you’re in business, then you know that you cannot trump Donald Trump when it comes to skill, experience and confidence.

If you’re a writer, why shouldn’t Stephen King sit at your table? If reading one of his novels doesn’t start a fire under your career, his book On Writing certainly will.

If you’re a musician, you have the best of all worlds, because the best of the lot tend to be both writers and business professionals (like Frank Zappa).

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No matter whether you are an auto-mechanic or a dentist, you will be aware of powerhouses who can counsel you. The best part is that, once you’ve established your ideal group, you can take them with you wherever you go.

No whiners, Complainers or Underachievers

The best part about compiling a Mastermind group in your head is that every member will always show up on time. Each member will be as active or as passive as you need him or her to be. There will be no squabbles over management or leadership. No one needs to be appointed president.

This doesn’t mean that there isn’t organizational work that needs to be done, however. As the sole organizer of your mastermind group, you will need to choose when and how to leverage the group. It may seem a little silly, but if you were a writer, you would definitely want to create an agenda for the questions you want to ask Stephen King, Cormac McCarthy, and Margaret Atwood at your next meeting. The more prepared you are, the better they’ll be able to respond. Yes, even if their responses are imaginary.

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The fact of the matter is that when you know enough about a successful person, you can make an educated guess about how they would respond to difficult, creative, or strategic problems. The trick is to go beyond the NLP idea of modeling just one person and gather an entire crew around you. Go beyond modeling and enjoy the multiple angles you’ll receive from Masterminding with geniuses.

The downfall here is that you cannot directly contribute back to the members of your mental Mastermind group. However, when you start to achieve success with the help of their insights, you’ll find yourself contributing not just to a small group, but also to the world.

Featured photo credit:  boy playing chess close up via Shutterstock

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Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

There are many reasons why people might scream – they’re angry, scared, or in pain (or maybe they’re in a metal band!). Some might say that screaming is bad, but here’s why science says it’s good for you.

“For the first time in the history of psychology there is a way to access feelings, hidden away, in a safe way and thus to reduce human suffering. It is, in essence, the first science of psychotherapy.” — Dr. Arthur Janov

Primal Therapy

Dr. Arthur Janov invented Primal Therapy in the late 1960’s. It is a practice that allows the patient to face their repressed emotions from past trauma head on and let those emotions go. This treatment is intended to cure any mental illness the patient may have that surfaced from this past trauma. In most cases, Primal Therapy has lead Dr. Janov’s patients to scream towards the end of their session, though it was not part of the original procedure. During a group therapy session that was at a standstill, Dr. Janov says that one of his patients, a student he called Danny, told a story that inspired him to implement a technique that he never would have thought of on his own.

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How it Started

“During a lull in our group therapy session, he told us a story about a man named Ortiz who was currently doing an act on the London stage in which he paraded around in diapers drinking bottles of milk. Throughout his number, Ortiz is shouting, ‘Mommy! Daddy! Mommy! Daddy!’ at the top of his lungs. At the end of his act he vomits. Plastic bags are passed out, and the audience is requested to follow suit.”

It doesn’t end there, though. Dr. Janov said that his patient was quite fascinated with that story, and that alone moved him to suggest something even he believed to be a little elementary.

“I asked him to call out, ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ Danny refused, saying that he couldn’t see the sense in such a childish act, and frankly, neither could I. But I persisted, and finally, he gave in. As he began, he became noticeably upset. Suddenly he was writhing on the floor in agony. His breathing was rapid, spasmodic. ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ came out of his mouth almost involuntarily in loud screeches. He appeared to be in a coma or hypnotic state. The writhing gave way to small convulsions, and finally, he released a piercing, deathlike scream that rattled the walls of my office. The entire episode lasted only a few minutes, and neither Danny nor I had any idea what had happened. All he could say afterward was: ‘I made it! I don’t know what, but I can feel.’”

Delving deeper

Dr. Janov says he was baffled for months, but then he decided to experiment with another patient with the same method, which lead to a similar result as before. The patient started out calling “Mommy! Daddy!” then experienced convulsions, heavy breathing, and then eventually screamed. After the session, Dr. Janov says his patient was transformed and became “virtually another human being. He became alert… he seemed to understand himself.”

Although the initial intention of this particular practice wasn’t to get the patient to scream, more than once did his Primal Therapy sessions end with the patient screaming and feeling lighter, revived, and relieved of stresses that were holding them down in life.

Some Methods To Practice Screaming

If you want to try it out for yourself, keep reading!

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  • Step 1: Be Alone — Be alone. If you live in a place that you can’t be alone, it might be a good idea to talk to your family or roommates and explain to them what you’re about to do and make sure they’re okay with it. If you’re good to go, move on to step 2.
  • Step 2: Lie Down — Lie down on a yoga mat on your back and place a pillow underneath your head. If you don’t own a yoga mat, you can use a rug or even a soft blanket.
  • Step 3: Think — Think of things that have hurt you or made you angry. It can be anything from your childhood or even something that happened recently to make yourself cry, if you’re not already crying or upset. You could even scream “Mommy! Daddy!” just like Dr. Janov’s patients did to get yourself started.
  • Step 4: Scream — Don’t hold anything back; cry and scream as loud as you can. You can also pound your fists on the ground, or just lie there and scream at the top of your lungs.

After this, you should return your breathing to a normal and steady pace. You should feel lighter, like a weight has been lifted off of you. If not, you can also try these other methods.

Scream Sing

Scream singing” is referring to what a lot of lead singers in metal or screamo bands will do. I’ve tried it and although I wasn’t very good at it, it was fun and definitely relieved me of any stress I was feeling from before. It usually ends up sounding like a really loud grunt, but nonetheless, it’s considered screaming.

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  • Step 1 — Bear down and make a grunting sound.
  • Step 2 — Hiss like a snake and make sure to do this from your diaphragm (your stomach) for as long as you can.
  • Step 3 — Breathe and push your stomach out for more air when you are belting notes, kind of like you would if you were singing.
  • Step 4 — Try different ways to let out air to control how long the note will last, just make sure not to let out too much air.
  • Step 5 — Distort your voice by pushing air out from your throat, just be careful not to strain yourself.
  • Step 6 — Play around with the pitch of your screams and how wide your mouth is open – the wider your mouth is open, the higher the screams will sound. The narrower or rounder your mouth is (and most likely shaped like an “o”), the lower the screams will sound.
  • Step 7 — Start screaming to metal music. If you’re not a huge metal fan, it’s okay. You don’t have to use this method if you don’t want to.

If you want a more thorough walkthrough of how to scream sing, here’s a good video tutorial. If this method is too strenuous on your vocal chords, stop. Also, make sure to stay hydrated when scream singing and drink lots of water.

Scream into a pillow

Grab a pillow and scream into it. This method is probably the fastest and easiest way to practice screaming. Just make sure to come up for air.

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Always remember to make sure that you’re not going to disturb anyone while practicing any of these methods of screaming. And with that, happy screaming!

Featured photo credit: Sharon Mollerus via flickr.com

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