Hunter Maats & Katie O Brien: Hacking Your Intelligence

Video | Dave Asprey

00:00:00 > today's cool fact of the day is the ancient Egyptians were pioneers of the urine based pregnancy test after potentially pregnant women urinated on wheat and barley seeds over a period of several days if the barley grew admit that a boy was coming if the wheat group admit that a girl was coming if neither of them grew then it meant that the woman wasn't pregnant the theory was actually tested in the 1960s and it showed that seventy percent of the time urine from pregnant women actually did produce growth and the urine from women who were not pregnant did not promote growth also urine from men didn't work I'm pretty sure we need a larger sample size on this one and we finally found a use for grain welcome to bulletproof radio today we've got a couple interesting people on the show we've got hunter moths and katie o'brien were authors of this book the straight a

00:01:01 > conspiracy this is a pretty neat book I read through it it's really detailed about what you can do to get better grades Hunter's an interesting guy he's a Harvard graduate with a degree in biochemistry who became an author instead of a biochemist and he's really working on bridging the gap between what people believe about their brains and what science tells us about our brands which is totally in line with all the bulgar stuff that I keep talking about Lulu he's co-author of straight a conspiracy of students guide to ending the stress of high school and totally ruling the world and the book is actually about that in turin in a great voice for high school I wish I'd had that book when I was in high school and he did it with his business partner Katie O'Brien who you see there on the right if you're watching this on youtube versus just listening in your car katie is also a graduate of Harvard she lives in New Hampshire lived in New Hampshire and she's an actor and a teacher so the combination of someone who's studying biochemistry and how the brain works and a teacher coming together to write a

00:02:02 > book created a pretty powerful book now there's some other interesting stuff I learned about you guys and I have to tell our listeners about it so you actually lived in the same basement where the Nobel laureate dr. Watson of Watson and Crick used to live yeah I lived in the basement of his house for a year had brunch with him many times God see me bagels hi that's just so that must have rubbed off on you then his bagel eating strategy or no I mean it was it was a real I mean it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience to mean you know this is a guy who uh sure the age of genetics and I mean was there at the very beginning that's incredible and from there I guess or maybe before that you attended Eton College with Princess William and Harry or princess pearl I call the princess Harry like I've just angered all of my European followers Princes William and Harry yeah well you know I'm yeah I was there with them I

00:03:05 > didn't really know them very well um you know but you know it's uh it was certainly an interesting experience you know what I mean because we I was there when Diana died like right after that period so you know what I mean I think it was very interesting as well to see just how people dealt with that you know some people really wanted to be a part of his life and all that sort of stuff I mean personally I just wanted to give him space yeah that sounds like a very human thing to do but I can't imagine the pressure that would have been on them well now we can match that with the fact that you're the only male cheerleader in the history of Harbor to have been benched for excessive enthusiasm yes sister too yeah that is actually true the coach of the cheerleading team coach amy she was from appalachian state university and she had very clear codes of conduct what was acceptable behavior for a cheerleader when you were representing the school and all that stuff apparently that didn't include swearing at the referee

00:04:06 > so i will i'm at yeah i got pulled from the game for being a super fan kitty how do you put up with this you know every day is different what up ocean that's it look copy I love that answer no now before you got before we get into what's going on in the book and like how to increase grades okay you were also named as one of people magazine's hot bachelors and you're worth over 100 million dollars so on all the dirt bike like the pressure on you for dating must be intense like how do you cope with that well I well i'm gonna give you an exclusive here on the bulletproof no we're at many many millions of dollars when i first moved out here my roommate was at a talent agency and she was like we should like do some of that stuff like you should like go and act an audition and all that stuff and so she convinced me to get an

00:05:07 > age and that was like i don't understand what i'm doing here but he said and this was right at the sort of the dawn of reality TV and he said you went to Harvard right and I was like yeah he was like so you're really rich right and I was like yeah he was like but you could play rich right and I'm like yeah and so he basically sent me in to audition for this reality show called survival of the riches and so I went there with the pink polo pop my collar had like a pink sweater around my neck and just said the most obnoxious things possible and they were like we love you we love you it was never clear whether the producers knew that I wasn't worth a lot of money because if you keep on asking me so how much are you worth how much you work and it finally got down to the episode before their show and they're like listen we don't care we just need a member can we say you're worth twenty million dollars and I'm like yeah you could say I'm worth twenty good in public well that is an awesome story I love it I actually deal with that when I

00:06:09 > was 26 I made six million dollars and I talked about that it was it was a huge things I didn't come from a wealthy family and when I was like 28 the company went bankrupt and I was legally not allowed to sell my stock so literally I like made $69 and lost like five point eight million dollars in the course of two and a half years and was enormously stressful but people still here Oh games like this gazillionaire I'm like no seriously listen to me I work for a living you know like a drive a five-year-old card you know but you know I I understand what it's like when people sort of like oh you're made of money you know what was your native diamonds all right and you've been a Brian Collins podcast as well right yeah Brian brought me in we did the second episode of Brian Collins show and then he brought me on 4 episode 25 to talk about campaign finance and then about 15 episodes ago you brought me on to start booking guests and co hosting the show so been doing that for about 15 episodes

00:07:11 > now nice I was requesting it so that was on Bryan Callen I don't know what episode number and the next time i head down to LA I'm going to look them up again so maybe I'll run either but that's it okay let's talk about your book because I think there are a lot of people listening who have kids who like to get better grades and I think some of the stuff actually applies to college as well well the history of these kinds of books there's where there's a will there's an A which has been around like God for a long time it's kind of a perennial thing out there and who's the guy who who does all those I'm forgetting his name oh this is terrible now look work know that there's actually a filmmaker who does you know like a lot of those disruptive things like the the you know the guy he's like super overweight and he talks about politics all the tea party guys hate him there anything yet who Michael Moore Michael Moore thank you god I cannot remember son he's like the most famous guy ever right what the same is let's say about

00:08:16 > Matt Michael Ward that as soon as you say that film and ignores i'm recording this and i'm a formerly obese guy who weighed 300 pounds right so like like you know i have no idea how much damage I've done to my own psyche sorry Michael if you're listening then you know love your work but uh he wrote a book uh very very early in his career that was like how to cheat in college and it was literally like here are the strategies for cheating that I measured from all of these people at Rutgers and it was like one of those things were right looking like oh my god people are so slimy in college so that was like the evolution of where there's a will there's an a too here's what you know the college students with no ethics do and it was it was a neat continuum so fortunately in your book you're not talking about cheating you're just talking about getting more done with less time okay and less effort which is as bulletproof as it gets that's why you guys want to show like I think this is awesome and a lot of what you're talking about plugging your own plasticity applies to everyone not just people in high school well so what's the deal

00:09:17 > about believing that your brain is neuroplastic and that you know if you can walk and talk you can do quantum physics like how do you draw that line how do you conclude that well so the the you know the really big work I mean we brought together in the back of the book we have you know basically seven big fields that are set to change the way that we understand the brain right they're coming from psychology and biochemistry and you know neuroscience and all that stuff but some of the big findings are firstly you know 50 years ago we thought that the brain was pretty static you know we would hear things like oh you get no new neurons after 21 you know all of that sort of stuff that's not true the brain is incredibly plastic it's constantly able to reshape itself based on what you do and in fact i think that there's a really really great book by norman voyage called the brain that changes itself yes I am yeah it's amazing and you know I think the most telling the story that he tells in there is you know basically in the old days when somebody had a stroke you would tell them sorry you're never going to use the left side of your body again

00:10:19 > nowadays there's you know very specific physical therapy that they do and they're able to regain most of that brain function that's because they're recruiting new areas the brand to be able to do those things so that's that's the thing is the brand can really really change the thing is though is that some people are very much stuck in that old way of thinking they think that the brain can't change and that affects the actions that they take some people think that the brain can change and you know have believed that for a long time and so they're constantly looking for that improvement and constantly getting better and the biggest work there is by a woman named Carol black who's at Stanford and she basically studies people with two different mindsets there are students who believe that they have what's called fixed intelligence where I didn't get the math gene I'm not a natural rider or anything like that and so essentially they never really they don't they don't seek help from their teachers their don't deal with their mistakes they don't persist as long they avoid being challenged right they essentially take all the actions that assure that their intelligence won't grow and then there are people who have

00:11:20 > what's called a growth mindset where they believe that their intelligence can always grow and change and that with the right kind of practice you can always get better and they seek help they deal with mistakes they perch their teachers and all that stuff really what this all comes down to what the whole book is about is basically we say that being born smart is the worst idea ever and it is because that's the idea that gets in the way of you practicing a really fun resulting in fact you know I have a four-year-old miss six year old and I don't tell them they're smart boom I'm certain they are what I tell them is nice job you good yeah job working nice work because cultivating the idea that if you work at it you can do it versus oh no you're so smart you better not try it because they might fail then everyone know you're not smart that's right exactly and I wish more parents picked up on that I everywhere they they go all kids hear this from most adults oh you're so smart you're so smart because they're trying to like do the self-esteem thing and it seems like it's a total bomb you would agree with that right what it is and there's also i mean it's it's not most people's fault the

00:12:22 > people that have a fixed mindset they have that because so far you know the science that's out there has been out there for a while but it's been sort of leaking out slowly but surely to a sort of New Yorker II audience and in the malcolm gladwell leadership and and really you know in our popular mainstream culture there is no discussion of this and all we know is you know we started an early age we hear stories of mozart being born and composing masterpieces at the age of five and you know you pictured Thomas Edison or Albert Einstein having use just like ideas like light bulbs that come out of thin air and you know we start from now and then we think well it makes sense people just get genius it just shows up at some point in their lives or we don't and so if I've been waiting around for three decades and nothing is shown up yet I guess that's not my and you know kids do that same thing when they get to classrooms it translates down and so if you sit there and the kid next to you is little miss you know raise her hand for every single

00:13:24 > question at lightning speed you don't would ya welfare which was me um if that happens then you you know you assume that she just gets it and you just don't win in reality you have no idea what kind of practice is happening behind the scenes you know a lot of that learning work is invisible work so one of the claims that I make that's true on our website is that I've raised my IQ by more than 20 points blue and people oftentimes say that's not true and then they say well how many IQ points do you really have and I say a gentleman doesn't tell the assignment is mine bigger than yours like like that's just not where we want to go here it is it bigger than it was before and do you believe in IQ as a predictor of academic success and do you believe IQ is plastic for kids like what's the deal there well firstly the IQ is definitely plastic in fact globally over the last hundred years every the average IQ score has

00:14:27 > gone up it's what's called the Flynn effect right and specifically it's gone up in the area of abstract reasoning and that's really because we spend all day doing very abstract things we deal with the internet which is you know the least tangible thing the hardest thing in the world for magic holding that you can think of but we are so comfortable and so native with it that increases our abstract reason to practice a lot way i'm pretty sure that the IQ went down in that small farming town where I grew up like it didn't arise yeah probably because you that's why the average is in town no it's it's a really good research to talk about that like everyone today is smarter than they were before well yeah the other interesting thing too is you know what is the history of the IQ score right why was the IQ score invented it was actually invented by this french guy named alfred Binet and the intent was to basically be able to figure out where our students right now what areas are they strong in and

00:15:29 > what areas they need targeted specific support way what happened was is that the high sku score was been hijacked by basically the eugenics movement and hijacked by people like determine who really strongly believe that people were born with a set level of intelligence and that you know whatever your birth intelligence was that determined your success and all that sort of stuff and as a side note termined had this study that he did with his this group of kids where he selected these kids purely based on IQ scores he's like listen I'm going to predict the most successful kids in this group just by giving them IQ tests and then you'll see you just wait 20-30 years and they'll be amazing well it turns out that the people they picked out turned out to be fairly average and he missed two Supreme Court justices um so you know um the point is is that the IQ score was moved from being a measure of where you are to a measure of what you will be that is evil

00:16:32 > and I did not know that because if it's us how are you doing now signal it's totally not controlling and certainly I've in my own life it's functioned as how are you doing now and as I would learn how to get out of my own ways i learn how to optimize my metabolic function and we will fuel myself properly it's amazing my ability to think and do abstract reasoning and and other normal brain operations it goes up not down yeah what most people it's you know it serves as a cap on what's even possible what's the day-to-day typical variance and in your experience of IQ if you've come across that in your research like if I had six beers last night today I'm kind of feeling like a zombie you know in my five points lower than I was eight but tomorrow am I not is two points do you have an eye any numbers there that you could share uh anecdotally I definitely 70 points I actually that's a very interesting question I don't know if there's any research being done on like day-to-day

00:17:34 > IQ scores and how different you know metabolic conditions affect that that would actually be really interests water I've seen different numbers you know the day-to-day variances some one report don't ask me to remember which one it was was up to ten points or ten percent I wanted day-to-day variants are not necessarily from one day to the next but that it could vary that much based on really environmental conditions tiredness and things like that others say it's much smaller but we know that if you take an IQ test how well rested were you um did you have a cup of coffee before you did it even go off you can change that performance so we know the plasticity is there because we have smart drugs yeah and end on a more extreme level of course you know we know what happens when we're afraid right and we're afraid our IQ drops to about zero right you can't think it's all fight or flight right so emotional states you know all a psychology right what you've eaten have you slapped all of that stuff you know the response times for example with people who are incredibly fatigued

00:18:36 > or texting or you know cognitive load switching I mean there's there's huge huge huge variability from from from those perspectives now you talked about fear and a lot of high school students heck a lot of adults aren't really well programmed to know when they're in a state of fear you have these Club anxiety or you know we have these these things that are happening in our body you sit down to take a test and all the sudden this background signal that you're not aware of gets in the way it says oh my god you're gonna fail if you can fail no one's gonna love you like you'll be a failure you'll end up in juvenile hall and you know like to be a bad person and all those like inner messages that they constantly play and that's what gets people for you know acting problems on stage they get who know stage fright certainly my test performance I used to have problems with that like my first my first answer would be great my second dance would be seventy percent my third answer to be like ten percent and my fourth answer was like I came to read the stuff on the page and I was entirely unaware of like what was happening little cause that and

00:19:37 > it was it just internal stuff that was invisible to my conscious brain what do you recommend people do to to deal with that just to know that it's an issue I mean emotions are really the huge part of the learning process that nobody talks about you know people talk about strategies and they talk about you know ways the cleaning material and taking notes and all that stuff but at the end of the day if you are not emotionally in the right place at the start of a class then it's no surprise that you can leave an entire lecture and have gotten nothing from it and this is sort of the most primal part of the entire learning process you know but because it's not a thing people especially students tend to think motions just kind of happen to you you know I'm sitting here and I just I got afraid I couldn't do anything about it or I got angry I couldn't you know whatever it is and in reality we all have moments all the time in our everyday lives where we take charge and readjust our emotional state so you know the examples we use or if you're driving down the highway and somebody's weaving in and out of traffic in front and

00:20:38 > you're haunting you think like everybody right and then you pull up a side of it it's a man frantic because his wife is in labor in the next to see you know then you're oh my gosh I'm so you know you instantly shut off the anger because you've reassessed and you realize that that emotion is not right for the situation and we do that you know for upset if somebody bumps into us and then it's our friend or whatever it might be during the day you can absolutely do that in class but it takes recognizing that it's irrational for you to be afraid of a math test that's in one of you that test cannot eat you that test is not going to set you on fire you know at the end of the day it's just paper it's just math problems probably ones that you've done before but you know so once students get into a place and really adults everybody get into a place where you realize okay here's what's happening I'm allowing my brain to shut down exactly what I need to take this test this is not a life or death situation let me just put that away that there is an ability you sort of get

00:21:39 > better and better just like with anything else that you practice you can get better and better at turning those emotions off and putting yourself into a place where a year open to learn with my executive performance coaching clients I use this seven day intensive neurofeedback course called 40 years of Zen then has been shown to raise your IQ by 12 points and the way it does that is by really hardcore teaching you to stop getting in your own way because it's like a lie detector that tells you every time you have a fear response or some other sponsored smoother like get an immediate feedback and you have to correct it because if you don't correct it than you fail and your you know your little parable said he doesn't like that either so it's a good price but for people who aren't you know going to to be in a position to go do something like that I use this $99 sensor on the iphone it's called the inner balance sensor or I have HRV sense which is an app that works with a chest strap and you can train someone even a student heck my 4 year olds can go 15 minutes we're going to change the spacing between your heart

00:22:40 > beats which turns off the fight or flight response well then it's amazing to look at what happens when you do something like that before a test because you just short circuit that thing yeah what made me think of this though is your story about driving LuAnn I'm I'm a certified coach in this method and I've done it for years and like I can turn on calm and peace like as a skill and what happens if I monitoring myself while I Drive like someone cuts in front of you like the light turns red instead of green and I'm like you know the light on little devices signals that I just went into fight or flight or kill mode in this case right right and how man like I'm a failure so then I ok I'll turn light green and it's a two weeks of driving like in Silicon Valley traffic before I can't just let someone cut in front of me and like stay in a non fight-or-flight response so i turned off that thing but that lucky you know I'm gonna kill you buddy that sort of thing is just so wired into your nervous system and it's all like subconscious and it's all fast and you could think

00:23:42 > about it cuz like you already were like I'll kill you and then you're like oh maybe I don't want to do it but the match right yeah what do students adults or teenagers like what do they do if they're not like biohacking themselves like that like are there techniques that you recommend in the book like to chill out before you go on stage before you give a talk before you do a test what are the recommendations they're super super easy thing is self talk right and we do this all and we do this in a lot of areas right we expect students for example to manage their anger right so the point is is that if you're angry right it's not acceptable to start throwing chairs right well you unless you happen to be a member of you know employed or evil its final tab um thanks but if you you know so what you do is you talk to yourself you're like it's okay you know they probably didn't understand what was going on with me you know we all have misunderstandings regardless i'm not going to help myself by throwing the chair right even or even if you can't get to that zen of a statement just if I

00:24:45 > throw this chair I will be suspended that's not good for me you know whatever it takes yeah but but it's it's really it's just shifting your perspective is so much of it you know what I mean that's like the most powerful technique and essentially what Katie saying about awareness is that you know we're aware that we have to do that with our anger we're not aware that you know part of you know being in school is that you have to manage your fear you have to manage you know that you feel stupid right exchange that's her thing you know I mean it's and what that's one of the most most most important one for your listeners is the feeling of stupid because stupid is really a feeling and specifically it's the feeling of shame and you no shame causes you to avoid the source of your shame and so what you do is that you know you hide your mistakes and you hide the test that went poorly you scrum pull it off you put it in the bottom of your backpack and of course you know as we all know the key to getting better is dealing with your mistakes it's analyzing them seeing what went wrong so for example the feeling of stupid is really one of those things

00:25:46 > that sabotage with students for years and sabotages people for a lot for life you know that's that's something that has no place in your in your personal worldview is the idea of stupid because that will really sabotage your progress well shame also drives procrastination right over me right so no what are the what a typical students do well they procrastinate I did to my homework I something better to do and you know I was afraid of taking the test so I didn't take the Advanced Placement course I took the course so literally that unless will call it almost invisible fear that unless you really look deep inside what your wiring is doing to you you don't know this so then you end up going through life accepting second best or third best or just hoping to be normal versus like you know no charge through life and kick ass all the time and who cares if you fail like it fine I've done all sorts of things that normal people would be ashamed of like mostly recover but nothing like

00:26:48 > that that's just embarrassing and meal to know it's out during it you know that happens because people are accustomed to acquainting their results with who they are as a person as opposed to just what went wrong I mean we're really trying to create a shift between you know saying that your results are a reflection of your ability who you know this is I'm a B student I'm always going to be a B student maybe I get an A once in a while but that's not really me versus just the actions that you took and it's you know it is absolutely true that it's a really deep seated thing that's very hard to recognize for a lot of students but exactly that that action of hiding the tests away the first step to breaking it is to take back out any tests anything that didn't go the way that you want and just really looking at what went wrong here and it's been amazing so often we have students who say to us very declaratively i am not a math person or I didn't get an ear for languages as in

00:27:49 > this is never happening for me so that's final and you know we take back a quiz and we just looked through it and we say okay well here we go so seven problems went wrong of these seven what is the ash issue that actually went wrong and often on about three of them maybe it's a calculus test on three of them you just multiply it incorrectly or you didn't carry and I'm like really basic mistakes that were you know stupid mistakes like you could have fixed and then on the other three it's usually some basic thing that if you just shift one one aspect of the problem not even that you don't understand calculus but that you didn't understand how to multiply fractions or whatever it's something small but once they've gone through that process once and then twice and then three times becomes really clear oh these are not issues with my brain these are things I could have fixed I was just too freaked out mm-hmm to even don't you hear a lot so it is because you didn't try hard enough to pay attention but then how do you respond to language and thinking like yeah try it try hard like Bryan Bryan

00:28:51 > Callen actually has a great one on this you know even said you know when I was in school everybody always told me that I need to focus and I was like what do you mean focused you need me um but you know I mean that's the thing like trihard is not specifically I mean you know tamiha edits and and also it equates the idea that you know that working successfully is about being stressed out yeah nice yeah and I mean that's so much of the the myth that we see and you know we recently were up in Portland doing a segment and you know we did this talk for these people and there was this this teenage girl there and she was really really like into the idea of how many hours she worked you know so often we meet you know these kids and they measure their success by like i was up until two in the morning I three green here in icy rocks are ya okay that's not it has to go many 5-hour

00:29:52 > energy yeah yeah yeah they ended up but I mean you know and that's the main go to school and that's how they compare with each other you know it's working the hardest how much should be myself down that's also of those 24 hours that you spent on that paper how many of them were you actually working on the paper generally not very many yeah I think Yoda's said it pretty well yeah there is no try do we thought it was Bruce Lee a carry member might have been some automation of the two in my brain but uh it comes down to I really work hard on not saying try to my kids and we will try to do that that presupposes failure tific strive now don't strive like strivings bad because then you had like work really hard and fundamental laziness is a good thing because it inspires innovation like maybe I could have written that paper in an hour instead of in 10 hours and I could have used the rest of the time and I I used to do the weirdest things in in college one of the best papers I ever wrote on like environmentalism as a religious

00:30:53 > movement or something I had like five cups of coffee at 2am and it was a long paper and I was done by 8am I have no idea what I wrote just like in some bizarre zone and I handed it in and like I got you know a plus and like you know all sorts of kudos and when I read the paper will make holy crap this is really good but it was like a dr paper in five hours and I was so stunned yes to me that was a win because I did in only five hours so shaving efficiency I'm you view the world as an efficiency metric and your time and energy are your most precious assets as a student that should like change your whole perception right absolutely absolutely and so it's that's and everything that you're talking about and everything that you do with the podcast and the website and you know with the coffee is what we're talking about which is you know really like instead of just throwing time at the problem you know be intelligent about how are you practicing is there a smarter way to practice are there more fundamental issues that you're not considering what do you really believe about your intelligence I mean if you really believe you didn't get the math team is it any wonder that you just sort

00:31:55 > of like don't really do anything with the math you know because you'd never think it's gonna pay off you know that's the thing is the kids tickets who and the adults everybody who believes that they really didn't get the gene for something or that there's no hope for them in a certain subject if they if they give up on it and they're not really studying for the test that's not you know and most most people equate that with laziness you know you say you need to try harder you try harder actually that's just being rational I mean if that's not going to pay off for you then it's not a good use of your time and you should allocate your time towards something that might pay off but that comes from a misunderstanding that there is no hope in that in that particular area when in reality just digging in and giving some focus work would make a huge difference that's what that's a pretty interesting point do you guys I'm not remembering from what I read through the book do you talk about limited willpower in here and how no although we're both huge fans of the book will power which is really really great but absolutely you know what I mean willpower is a resource that has to

00:32:57 > be marshaled and all that sort of stuff and essentially you know we had to be very discerning about because we're writing for a teenage audience because to the people who really really need it I mean so much of the work up front and writing the book is deciding ok how many scientific concepts are we going to put in here and how many scientific concepts are the readers going to see right because and we talked a lot about like you know of course it makes sense why would you bother like all of that sort of stuff but we don't specifically talk about like the willpower research or anything like that it it's something that you write it may be more adult appropriate and I do know some high school aged people who probably benefit from it because you're using so much of your willpower to try and get your grades or in your career to try and do whatever you're trying to do and if you realize it every time you use your willpower like it's a finite amount for the day before you run out that changes your whole way of thinking so all of a sudden you're much more into well how can I get that done in the least amount

00:33:58 > of trying the least amount of that and for me making that change has provided just huge exponential benefits and productivity because there's some sort of it may be just like a Western thing or some sort of like weird masochism and you described it in students just right like look how much I suffered for my grade that I don't really want to suffer for anything lazy it that way in a good way like the kind of laziness that drives me to like be happy yeah exactly but seeing so much of it is yeah what this is all about is is that you know rather than pushing your way through the obstacle like make the obstacle disappear you know Tamina looking that obstacle is you know a limiting belief about your intelligence or whether that obstacle is an emotion that you're fighting against or whether that obstacle is an inefficient way of working or whatever it is like it's much much better and that so that's so much of what the the experience that people have been reading the book is read it they apply it they see that it works they apply a little bit more and over

00:35:00 > time what happens the whole process becomes very effortless and actually enjoyable so that it doesn't require the you know that huge exertion of willpower it becomes easy and natural to do well yeah another thing is that the more you do it the faster you get out of just with anything and you know when you're starting out there are people around you all the time who seem to do things with no effort it takes them one hour to do what takes you six hours right if the slipping am I gonna tonight but um you know but you don't see how that person got to that point but it just it is true that is the goal is to do the best work possible most efficiently and really what takes up all the extra time for everyone are the emotions are the beliefs that you know you work a little bit and then you spin for for about 30 minutes about how it's not going well or I you don't know what to say next or whatever is the thing and that's you know all of that time feels like work because it was horrible and stressful right nothing was actually happening but when I was younger and maybe angrier

00:36:02 > yeah no no maybe about it like I i I've done a lot of work on upgrading my fight-or-flight response but I used to I went from a really good high school to really bad I school like one of the top ranked ones in the country it was a public school but a really good one so my last year's high school I'm like oh my god this is such a joke so I would intentionally like finish extra fast and get a lower grade to finish extra fast so I could slam my pencils out of wrinkle my papers and cause anxiety and all the people around me they be like oh my god I'm so stupid so they're great to go down and then my grade would go up because it was over in retrospect that was mean and I'm sorry everyone that I did that I was doing it to just be a jerk but well he had Michael Moore book replays oh no yeah it was kind of goons but no um things like that like totally do happen so people are like comparing themselves to others but I'm sure known in the class knew that they're like oh my god he must be just be smarter than me and like oh my goodness you know let's try and beat him up later on the playground whatever but I think those

00:37:03 > things happen in high school and so if you're sitting there even in collagen sort of comparing yourself to all the other people honestly it's not about them it's about you right well yeah and that's yeah okay so so then one of the things that the quote smart people do is this 10,000 hours of practice and you guys do talk about the 10,000 our thing and I use it a lot what is the 10,000 hour thing how does it applied to high school students and people in their careers can just sort of walk us through that yeah well yeah so so the 10,000 hour rule you know that's one of the things that has sort of made its way into the mainstream a lot of people just know that it's a really high number but not necessarily exactly what it means but what the researchers have found is that the one thing that all genius level people all experts have in common is 10,000 hours of practice it took them ten thousand hours to get where they are but it's not just any kind of practice it's definitely not the kind of practice that we're talking about you know those high schoolers who say that they slaved away all night writing a paper it's a deliberate

00:38:06 > practice what we in the book call fix it focused practice so this is about really being willing to dig in and get down to the nitty-gritty of what's not going right a new process right and so the I think when the easier ways to understand is with musicians or athletes right you'd see somebody you know a classical violinist rehearsing a piece they don't just play from start to finish all the way through and then play all the way through again if they get to a place that's a little rocky they stop they played just those two measures over and over until the fingering is just right whatever it takes and then you know when they go back through that section is now easy because they've made it automatic in their brains and the same thing you know it's easy to see with like a soccer player right you can watch a soccer player in practice shoot the same corner kick over and over and over again into the goal curving like beckham style beautifully right and then if that happens in the game you don't see that person to go my gosh she's a wizard you just say oh I saw him practice that I know he can do it every time but the tricky part is that that's not it's not

00:39:08 > always clear how that translates to everyday things but you know with everything you do you're somewhere on that gradient of getting to expert level and so that doesn't mean that as a high schooler you need to put 10,000 hours into algebra but it just means that that kind of practice is how you're going to make things automatic in your brain the most quickly so that you're always working toward the next level up and to know that that's how people get good at things I mean it's just a hugely liberating idea for a lot of people to know that nobody came out of the womb naturally amazing at soccer or violin or any of that stuff you know it's just just to even know we're all starting from pretty much the same spot so you know if I'm practicing the right way I might be progressing more quickly than other people you know so efficient practice makes sense all right it there's one of the things that I do is not even I'll do it with military just figure this out there looking at the 10,000 repetition rule versus 10,000 hours sort of saying all

00:40:10 > right if you do something 10,000 times if it's a small thing you can get better at it and they figured out that if you run a small electrical current over your brain a little using something called tDCS they can cut the training time in half for teaching someone to be a drone pilot which is you have to form new synapses and you have to milan ate them so you just have better automatic vision processing than you normally would that's one of the ways of potentially cheating I'm on this learning are you guys coming across high school students who you listen to mind-altering like binaural beats or use electrical things like that to try and like push themselves without resorting to other less savory methods of learning like is this is this happening because I have concerns about it but I'm wondering it are they unfounded or kids doing this now uh they're kids I mean you know there's a fairly active market in ADHD medication I was going to ask about that next X around a draw like it's well-known that kids are doing this and

00:41:11 > you know what what's your take on that the interesting thing is there was actually a book published called boys adrift which is basically about you know girls are doing very well in school and boys are not really living up to their potential and the question is why and he goes through a whole series of reasonings the interesting thing was the NIH approved this study where they gave ADHD medication to kids who have been diagnosed with ADHD and which in attention and focus and all that's her stuff and the improvement was fairly Kabul so the point is is that you know it's it seems fairly clear from that study that ADHD medication will make anybody focus better so you know is that something that I would want for myself is that something I would want for my children and now um I think that's the thing is that you know mmm you never want to be the first people to be using a technology mean

00:42:15 > well I might maybe sometimes be the first person doing a technology but I'm also a guinea pig right yeah i would encourage people adults or teenagers but especially teenagers in until you're 23 the frontal part of your brain that controls your your integration of the different parts of the brain your prefrontal cortex it's not done being formed so don't use adderall yes you know some doctor says there's no other choice for you in which case I would honestly say you need to try finding some other doctors who are a little bit more enlightened as to the other technologies that work and even modafinil which is another performance-enhancing drug that I'm actually big fan of don't mess with your brain before it's done gelling like it's a bad idea the electrical stuff I have no idea if that's good or bad in your teenager I don't think anyone does yeah but there's a third way of kind of cheating and that's food in the next buzz yeah keeping yourself basically healthy I didn't understand that when i was a teenager in fact i think I reveled

00:43:16 > in you know french fries and you know sort of eating taco bell cuz look I eat three tacos for a dollar or whatever the deal was but like in addition to being obese and having bad skin which kind of affect your dating life and all it messes with your focus and I have just like the bulletproof sites become really popular like a million people a month of quarter million people each week I hear one of the podcasts and the number of people who've just people i don't know written and said oh my goodness when I like cleaned up my diet my ability to pay attention went through the roof I could not pay attention no matter how much effort I put into it it just didn't work until I figured out that I was doing things every day that were like kryptonite so if you're one of those people whether an adult or a teenager who's trying to pay attention and it's not working like there's a good chance that all that msg you had in the fast food at lunch just completely screwed up the test you were taking it to in the afternoon and biologically you are not equipped to do that even if you knew what you were talking about even if you

00:44:17 > dealt with your fear response like your brain shut and yeah it's like that is all over the place and it's such a low hanging fruit and it's not harmful to do that whereas taking adderall or you know zapping your brain before it's done forming I maybe those aren't really the first first pathways of packing yourself and there's actually a lot of the research that has been done on things like adderall is is that you know it really affects it does affect long-term motivation it affects all sorts of I mean there are it may cause you to focus but it may also destroy your motivation which obviously you know that you can focus without being able to form long-term goals well one that was the point in focusing then um John John Brady who's awesome and a great great author um he's an MD and a PhD but he he wrote a book called spark yeah it's great all it's a great great book and it's all basically about the power of exercise to improve cognition to improve thinking and all that stuff and you know there are there's a you

00:45:18 > know a school there are school districts that are now instituting at 0 period what they do is they have the kids go running before they start to start learning because the point is is that you know that gets your mind going it gets the blood flow going it stimulates bdnf which is you know it's nerve neuron growth and all this or so so I mean you know the exercise diet you know sleep like these are the very very very simple things that you can really do too and it's just such a it's you feel much better regardless you know so have you tried some of the the nutritional things like bulletproof coffee or the brain octane things that directly fuel the brain either you guys played with that we have not tried bulletproof coffee yes but anyone you would not have to work very hard it is just that that there's a bucket idea nice I actually have an IRB approved study of executive function we took 54 people and ran them through a

00:46:19 > test actually two tests a day looking at seven to nine different measures of cognitive function and we tested a mass-market coffee that you can find on many street corners versus my beans not even counting the brain octane it as an additional additive and there was on seven of nine measures a market difference in cognitive function because of the processing of the coffee and the funny thing is both of them raised most raised most of these things a little bit but there's a massive difference from clean coffee versus others but we know coffee is a smart drug and if you're a high school student the odds are you're already drinking coffee Thank You starbucks for making that happen at a young grade um so like I would say play around with a coffee thing I'm gonna get you guys some to give it a try the other question have either of you tried neurofeedback as a way to increase your ability to focus and pay attention uh not particularly next time i'm at in new york i was it last week i'm bringing my

00:47:20 > neurofeedback here and we're gonna wire you well why are you both up at the same time but uh it's pretty neat because those little things that your brain does to tell you like you know you're not doing well enough you know your failure those little fear things that jump in when you're focusing the neurofeedback machine tells you when that's happening and it does the brain when it's happening even if you're not that aware of it so the brain itself is like that's not very useful and it starts like readjusting those rules for me it's been one of in fact it's been be the largest technology that's made a difference in my ability to perform and to perform at a sustained high level cognitively not physically so I I have great hopes that over time will be moving that into high schools just show kids you know instead of just like working really hard or whatever like you want to work smart like this computer will show your brain when it's doing things that aren't serving you well then you'll learn to not do that anymore and then you'll be done what you're doing like it's so little yeah I mean the other thing that the sort of other part of this that i would also really say is you know facial

00:48:23 > expressions you know facial expressions you know they are really a fairly good measure of what your internal emotional state is and so if you start to be cognizant of what are the muscles in your face doing that's actually quite a good way to get some of that bio feedback as well and recognize oh I'm tending my eyebrows that means I'm you know stress I'm anxious or whatever and then to be able to deliberately regulate that down and be able to you know I mean it's like put a smile on your face yeah that's the stuff excellent you yeah so we're about out of time but I just have to show you this toy battle thing right here well not and someone just sent it to me I'm still figuring out how all of it works but one of the things that does it looks at muscle tension on your forehead and it shows it to you on your computer so you literally wear it like you know Princess Leia or someone right there and I just turned it on last night and like it's kind of cool like it's gonna tell you I'm scrunching my brow and give me a little red flashing light stops crunching so tomorrow I'll have like a perfectly smooth forehead you know I

00:49:25 > won't even do that is Botox that works right on that lovely note there's a question because we're running out of time that I asked everyone on the show at the end of the show of your entire life not just you know the straight a conspiracy at your book but from everything you've learned what are the top three things that are most important for people to know when they want to perform better just want to kick more ass so from your entire life no one discipline required here um i would say number one what you believe matters yeah whether that's what you believe about your intelligence whether you believe the subject is hard whether you believe that you know any of that sort of stuff your belief actually matters right and you know we tend to think of beliefs as being sort of you know very fuzzy and all that sort of stuff but there's you know just such a huge body of research that has come down from many many many many fields it says that belief matters

00:50:26 > right and number two I would say you can only control you right and so if everything you're doing is what you're just never going to be happy if you put too much stock in your circumstances what school you got what you know what what cards you're dealt it's really just always in in terms of progress comparing yourself to others it's always got to be just where am I today where do I want to be what can I do to me to make that better then I guess the pressure is on Ben for me anxiety don't be male cheerleader no no no no um do we really need to wow yeah I'm entertaining oh I I would say and I I would say the biggest thing of all is is that it's okay go for it do

00:51:27 > you have one I have one but I don't know that can we give you four because there's good yeah okay i would say for me that people spend their time trying to learn information right and what you should really be learning or the big ideas that organize that information right so it's understanding the really big concepts like you know the scientific method you know the ideas and say Guns Germs and Steel or anything like that it's really understanding like what are the patterns that will make sense of that data rather than and then it becomes easy to put the data into place he's great let's go ahead and then I would say that I think the key to happiness is staying curious through your entire life so that you never sort of settle for even even just for learning more about the things that you already know but i think the happiest and most interesting people that I always meet are the people who are are constantly curious and don't just stop at surface level but want to find out more about all the things they do

00:52:29 > whether it's you know just meeting someone on the street for one minute and asking them a lot about their job and what they do and what that's like or if it means reading books you know choosing books and areas that you haven't read before whatever it is but I think curiosity is the number one quality those are pretty amazing I I always and I always learn things it's great I talked all these interesting people on the podcast and I always get different answers I kind of had at the beginning I'd always here like the same top 10 but it's so cool to do that so thank you for sharing those that's really neat would you tell our listeners where they can find more about you will include all this on your on our podcast notes on the transcript and all that but just give us your URL or Twitter handles other things that you want people know that they can find you a call for sure yeah well our book is available on Amazon kobo nuk I to Kindle the whole suite of e-readers and we're also now available in barnes noble and as of just recently and and our website is the

00:53:32 > straight a conspiracy you calm and that has links to every way that you can get the book and also has a free chapter that's available for download our chapter on critical reading and so that gives you a kind of sense of how we get into you know through cartoons and jokes and all the other stuff can get into the meat of school because let's do it that's the amazing thing so many kids don't even know how to read like there's an art to reading and they don't know how to do it so yeah um and I'm facebook we're on facebook my twitter handle is at under mots with 2 a's ma 80s my twitter handle is this is katie 00 guess Katie O'Brien was taken up million video but this is the real awesome thanks again for being on the show this was really fun interviewing you guys and for all of our listeners if you are in high school awesome if you have kids or nieces or nephews or someone you know Christmas and all is coming up and you know I don't recommend every book I read

I wish I'd actually had something like this when I was in school it was really been a beneficial thing to have it's also written in a tone that I think is really appropriate for high school students to read you know it doesn't talk down to them but it's a little bit humorous compared to you know the more serious literary works that older people like to read so I think you guys hit the nail on the head it's well done in just for listeners seriously you can upgrade a kid's life if they understand the stuff in here so it's worth doing thanks again we'll talk again hopefully I'll have you back on the show another six months or so it'd be great that'll be awesome thank you so much thanks right I lack you you