Science & Psychology

This Is What the Latest Science Says About Empathy

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Total Reading Time: 3 minutes.

Being Empathetic is More Than Just Putting Ourselves in Another’s Shoes

There were some really interesting findings recently published in the journal of cognitive enhancement about empathy. Now empathy, of course, is the ability to understand someone else’s world. To feel and understand why they feel the way they feel. To take our feet and put them in their shoes. To put ourselves in their body, in their mind, and understand how they feel — right?
Well, you would assume the way to do that is to just get really good at cultivating the skill of placing ourselves in someone else’s personal situation. To better understand who they are and why they suffer and why they have these shortcomings.
Well, that’s not exactly the case…

Here Are The Results

Something very counter-intuitive happened in this latest study. These 161 participants aged 20 to 55 were put through a process of self-awareness. They were asked to take a look at the various parts of their mind.
Now as you may know we have various parts of our mind like the inner child or the conscious mind, but also the subconscious and the unconscious parts of our mind.
The more these participants were able to unravel and look beyond just the conscious parts of their mind and better understand why they do what they do, who they are, why they develop the habits that they did, the deeper they went into self-awareness and self-knowledge.
The deeper that they went was directly correlated to how much they could empathize with other people’s life situation.

Why is That?

What is empathy, really?
It’s the ability to say if I was that person, if I had that life, if I had those parents, if I went through that situation, all the positive and negative combined together create a person’s life. This results in the decisions and the things that they do in their life.
If we could better understand that, we would realize that we would do the exact same thing if we had that life. If we had those parents, if we had that upbringing we would do the exact same thing.
In a nutshell, that’s empathy.
I think this is a beautiful study and a beautiful understanding because by being able to simply take time to understand ourselves, we can make the world a better place by empathizing and understanding other people — and it’s not that hard to do.
So why not get started? Here’s a great example of how empathy can change your life.

empathy
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What Made Us Human May Actually Cause Our Extinction

Total Reading Time: 2.5 minutes.

What Makes Us Human?

Is it our capacity to love, to laugh, to cry… to be self-aware? Some would say it’s the fact that we manage to put on clothes every day (and as you know many solopreneurs don’t even do that every day).
Others would say it’s our amazing brain or our ability to speak using the larynx (the voice box).
While all of these are true, we wouldn’t still be here today were it not for our innate desire to connect, collaborate, and be an accepted member of society. This amazing human trait is what allowed a small civilization to evolve into a machine with a population of over 7 billion people in just a few thousand years.
Do you ever notice how groups of friends dress, talk, and think alike?

At some level, we all do this because we’re hardwired to need human connection.
We have spent our entire lives trying to fit in and to live by the boundaries set by society — by ads, our parents, and our schools.
Well meaning people over multiple generations have created this structure — not to manipulate — but to provide a roadmap that reaffirms the system that helps us evolve. But, ultimately, what helped us thrive and flourish may lead to our demise.

But What Got Us Here Won’t Get Us There

The world is evolving at an exponential rate and technology is taking over most of what we do, which leads to fun (or scary, depending on who you’re asking) questions like, are we leading toward an era of transhumanism?
Here’s my current belief: individuality is what will save us. Being just like everyone else will result in stagnation. Do you want to make a real impact? Do you want to be remembered? Or perhaps you simply want to live a better life?
To do this we have to stop being afraid of being different. Identify your individuality. Step into what makes you unique, embrace who you are, and remember to have some fun with it.
Not only will this create a better world for all of us, but it will help you live a more fulfilled lifeOne of the greatest philosophers to ever live, Lao Tzu, once said:

When I let go of who I am, I become who I might be.

Let go. Step onto the ledge of your world of knowledge and gaze into the unknown. Listen to the stillness. Stay there and just listen.
Eventually, you may feel a pull and with that, you’ll have your compass. You don’t need a precise road map, you just need some direction and you simply need to keep moving forward.
More of the path reveals itself with each step you take — and it always starts with one tiny step. Only when you take this first step will the second one show up. This is the beauty of life.
And this is why only the bold get what they want in life. You don’t need to solve hunger, end poverty, or stop a war…
Do you know what the world really needs? For you to become who you really are, and be completely unapologetic about it.

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The Real Reason Why You Should Wake Up Early

Total Reading Time: 2 minutes.

It’s Not What You Think

The real reason you should wake up early has absolutely nothing to do with the conventional wisdom around the benefits of early rising.
It has nothing to do with getting more done, or getting to the gym at an early hour, or having time for your morning ritual, or even making a green juice smoothie to be healthier.
It has nothing to do with any of the attributes you might attach to waking up early and its benefits.
The actual core, underlying root reason that a human being should wake up early is because there is a deep wisdom and science to this habit.
 

What’s the Science?

The physical act of waking up early triggers a response in the language of the individual that confirms that action.
By affirming and acknowledging this action, a person’s language reconstructs itself to mirror the fact that they are someone who rises early, in order to get more out of life and enjoy each moment to rise with the sun in order to fully dive into all of waking life’s pleasures.
After all, this entire experience — life itself — goes by in the blink of an eye. Eventually, our language begins to shape our thought constructs about this action.
When this trifecta or triumvirate takes place, we essentially have the three pillars of consciousness – love, happiness, and truth — working in tandem with each other to affirm a new identity.
In this case, the identity would be that of someone who enjoys and relishes every second of life and needs to rise early with or before the sun rises in order to maximize their pleasure and enjoyment of the experience they are receiving.
This signals to the brain an intense level of enjoyment and fulfillment that is deeper than fleeting moments of happiness.
It’s 24/7, 365.
 

Final Thoughts

By building this ritual or habit we are effectively reshaping and remodeling our experience of the world. We are confirming that existence in life itself is precious, sweet, beautiful, unique.
It’s everything that ever is and everything that ever will be.
This isn’t about early rising. This is about fully loving life itself.
Note: I just finished a 21 Day Early Rising Challenge and woke up at 4:47 every day (except two days, where I woke up and pretty much went back to bed).
 

Resources

  1. Pillars of Consciousness: Buddha – Zen – Tao – Tantra – Osho is renowned not only for his wisdom, but his skill as a guide to a deeper understanding of complex philosophical concepts using humor and the art of storytelling paves the way for readers to as Buddha said be a light unto yourself.
  2. The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8 AM)  – What’s being widely regarded as “one of the most life changing books ever written” may be the simplest approach to achieving everything you’ve ever wanted, and faster than you ever thought possible.

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Nobel Prize-Winner Richard Feynman on Learning Anything Using His Personal Formula

 
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Total Reading Time: 3 minutes.

If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.
~Albert Einstein

Today there is more information being created and shared than ever before. We are all trying to learn more, do more, be more and grow our minds.
Yet, ironically, it has actually become more difficult to truly gain and implement knowledge. It’s become more difficult to become masters of something while also being able to retain it.
In school we were taught to retain knowledge for a short period of time, just to recite it with rote memory. We were not taught how to deeply ingrain the knowledge presented to us.
Richard Feynman — a theoretical physicist and bonafide genius — created a three-step process he personally used anytime he was learning something new. This is something you can use today in any area of your life.
One thing to understand here is that Richard was a Nobel Prize-winning physicist. He was a genius who was able to take complex ideas and distil them down to simple stories and information.
Many of the greatest leaders and teachers of our time have this same ability and learning this process allows you to do the exact same thing.
 

Step 1: Teach It to a Child

Take that information and knowledge and literally write it down as if you were teaching it to a child. If you struggle in particular areas, that’s a good thing!
The struggle is your clue on the exact areas you have gaps in your knowledge.
 

Step 2: Review

Go back to the source material. Review and re-learn it until you can explain it in basic terms.
 

Step 3: Organize and Simplify Your New Knowledge

Take that new knowledge and write it down again. Organize it into a new story that flows.
Simplify it. Read it out loud and make sure that it comes out as simple and easy to understand for even an 8-year-old. Once you have done this, you are truly on your way.
Once you have done this, you are truly on your way. If you really want to lock this in, follow step four, which is optional.
 

Step 4: Transmit

Take that knowledge and transmit it. Find that 8-year-old in your life and teach this new knowledge to them. If you can’t find an 8-year-old to share your new knowledge with, identify someone who has zero knowledge about the topic and try with them instead.
 

The True Test

The true test is your ability and capacity to convey this new knowledge to another person. If after sharing with them they are able to say they completely understand and recite it back to you, then you have done your job.
The real second-level of the test is to see if they can go and teach the concept to someone else.
If you are able to do this, then you can truly learn anything.
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Dale Carnegie on How to Stop Worrying and Start Living in 5 Minutes

 
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Total Reading Time:  5 minutes.
This is a quote by the great author Dale Carnegie, and the quote itself is from the book How To Stop Worrying and Start Living.
I want to share the key lessons that I took out of this read. First of all, I think that the concept of worry is absolutely fascinating. I have another video on how to reduce your stress and stop being so busy. However, what Dale Carnegie talks about in this book in general is that stress, worry, anxiety are actual killers.
It had been proven, and this was written in the 1930s, that there was scientific evidence linking stress and worry to early death, to disease, to illness. Even the word dis-ease tells you all you need to know.
You’re not at ease.
There’s a certain anxiety and worry within that person.
 

Here’s the Deal:

I’ve never really been one to want to read a book like this, that is until I started working for myself and going into this path of a self-directed life. When I was at Google and had a corporate job with a guaranteed income, there was really nothing to worry about.
I wasn’t really challenging myself in that way. A lot of people out there begin to feel worry for different reasons. My reason for feeling worry was uncertainty. I found myself worrying about things that were not happening right now, that were not at all relevant in the present moment. In his book, he basically talks about how to remedy that. The first thing that he talks about is:

Tweet: The worried person must lose himself in action.

What does that mean?
If you are busy and constantly doing something, you actually cannot worry. Those two things cannot live together. If you’re busy, you don’t have the time to worry.
As he says in the book, the cheapest medicine in all of the world is to get busy.
It sounds very basic. It sounds very pragmatic, but I absolutely found that the only times I was worried was when I was sitting around in my head wondering.
This is especially for you introverted types out there. Or anybody that really spends any time at all in their mind thinking, planning for the future, or futuristic types.
You’re generally going to create these illusions of the future for yourself that cause worry, because we begin to play out the scenario as if it’s already here, right?
This is also what Eckhart Tolle talks about in The Power of Now. You begin to play into this illusion of what doesn’t exist. It’s in the future, it’s not here yet, so what is the point of that? Why not live in the present?
 

What If You Can’t Help But Worry?

The second big key that I took out of Carnegie’s book is: how do you actually cope in the moments when you do begin to worry?
Okay sure you need to stay busy, that’s fine, and lose yourself in action.
What about when I just can’t help it?
What about when I start to think about the future?
There’s a very simple remedy for that, too. He talks about compartmentalizing your day. Essentially, what that means is everything that you’re working on in that day, and everything you’re spending your time thinking about needs to be compartmentalized into one single day.
If you’re working on a project and you’re thinking about something that’s going to happen next week, or next year, or a goal you have for yourself, you have to force yourself to zoom back in and focus on a more granular, micro-level.
That day only.
 

How Can You Actually Use This?

You might say to me, “Well, Arman, I have a job interview next week that I need to be thinking about.”
Well, sure. You do need to be thinking about it, but what you should do is schedule time to think about it.
Schedule time to prepare for it. Schedule time to review your notes. Schedule time to study the company. But you should schedule that.
You need to say, “Oh, that’s something I’ve been thinking about. I just need to take that, decide when the action needs to happen, how much time I need to prepare for that meeting,” or whatever that event might be in the future, and say, “All right, the meeting’s on Thursday I’m going to prepare on Wednesday night, Tuesday night, and Monday night prior.”
You put that in your calendar. And when you get there that’s when you start actually thinking about that idea. You know it’s scheduled and it’s that day.
That’s how you compartmentalize your day.
I’m bringing this up because I know so many people from all walks of life worry, especially my solopreneur and entrepreneurs friends out there.
It’s very natural. I was able to experiment with these couple things. Even if you just take these two things you’ll get great results out of it.
 

Summary

Remember…lose yourself in action.
Stay busy, do the work, and don’t start worrying about the possible scenarios. Just do what you need to do. Stay busy. Don’t lie around wondering or daydreaming about these different possibilities that lead to worry.
Secondary, compartmentalize everything you’re doing into that day. If you’re thinking about something next week or next year, that’s probably going to lead to anxiety.
That’s it. Enjoy the process and let me know what you think.
 
Photo credit: Live LifeCC license

3 Levels of Human Evolution: How to Get More by Trying Less

 
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Total Reading Time:  5 minutes.
I want to talk about one of the foundational lessons that I’ve learned and concepts I’ve really experimented with when it comes to getting more of what we want out of life.
It could be money, fame, achievement, success, whatever it is we want. It all happens in these three levels of consciousness of evolution — levels of your own personal development.
We can break these down into three levels.
If we understand what these three levels are, how to move from one level to another, and what the actions are that are necessary in each stage — we can get way more of what we want.
It’s been one of the coolest concepts I’ve ever learned.
 

Where Did This Come From?

I initially learned this from a man by the name of Eben Pagan, who’s an incredible entrepreneur and an even better teacher. I learned about this through one of his programs called Self Made Wealth.
The way I would describe the first stage of our own personal human evolution is the take, take, take stage. In the take, take, take stage, that’s where we’re born. That’s the way we live as a child, as an infant. We’re always looking out for ourselves. We’re making sure that our basic needs, wants, and desires are taken care of.
Now, that’s totally normally for a human being to be in that stage.
It’s what we’re born into, but ultimately, it’s important to move out of that stage and into these other two stages.
The reason for that is that when we’re in stage one, if we’re constantly living for ourselves, and we’re not thinking about others, we’re kind of coming at the whole game of life. We’re coming at the game from a — there’s not enough to go around for everybody — type of mindset. That’s generally what you continue to get.
 

Expectations

At level two, you have a one-for-one sort of stage or level, where everything you do is an exchange.
Every dollar that you give somebody or spend on somebody is an exchange. If I buy you a burrito, you buy me a burrito. If I pick you up from the airport, you owe me a favor.
That type of mentality leads to a lot of internal pain in the person who’s waiting, because what’s happening at level two is that there’s an expectation, right?
Pretty basic. You’re doing a favor for somebody, and you’re saying, “Well, I gave you one, you give me one.”
And there’s an expectation.
The problem with that is we can’t control everybody. We can’t make sure that every single person gives us a favor back. So next thing you know, you’re finding yourself doing two favors, three favors, four favors, for somebody, and you’re like, “Wait a second. This person just doesn’t get it. What’s going on? They’re not doing anything for me.”
That causes a lot of internal pain, suffering, and we try to control that other person, or we get mad at them for not reading our minds and knowing that they should be doing the same thing.
And you know what?
Some people are just never going to know to give back. But even if they were, even it was a one-for-one exchange all the time, that still is not a state where we’re getting what we really want in life.
 

The Power of Giving

Where we get what we really want is level three.
Level three is when we give, give, give, and we give without expectation.
We give purely for the sake of giving. It’s not as easy to just give, because our brain wants to immediately take us back to either level two or level one.
The way I do it, is I turn it into a game. I think about how I could do something for someone that would excite them, that would surprise them, make it fun.
Things that are just unexpected.
The beautiful thing about level three is that when you start playing at level three, you start to attract level three people. Keep in mind, you may start giving, but that’s going to get annoying after a while if that person still doesn’t get it, right?
But when you start to act that way and be that kind of person, you start to attract those type of people. Your peer group changes. Your friends change. Your environment changes. You start to be able to play the game of life with people that just get it.
What happens is actually really incredible. You’re surrounded by a group of people where their only focus is on creating and giving more to the environment around them, to create more fun, more whatever, for everyone around them.
Now I don’t like using use the word (because it’s a bit of a platitude), but this is an abundant mindset, right? The idea is simple, that there’s more than enough to go around. That’s the state that we’re operating from. It is truly an abundant, plentiful, mindset.
 

Why Does This Matter?

Giving without expectation, and knowing that life has a way of bringing it back to us. For some reason, our brains are conditioned to protect us, right?
That’s just what they do, so we’re thinking, “If I give, am I going to have enough to take care of myself?”
But that comes from a fight or flight perspective. That’s just your amygdala firing off and taking care of you, and protecting you, and there’s fear involved with just giving, going, “Where am I going to be able to … Am I going to” …
Especially when it comes to money for people, if they give too much and wondering if they’re going to get their investment back.

Tweet: The most beautiful thing is when we just give without expectation.

It leads to so many incredible situations and experiences in life.
Try it out. See what you think.
As always, let me know how it goes.
 
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