Train Your Brain

Alright, so as my mailing list members know, I have decided to start to post weekly to my blog, with new post guaranteed to come every Monday. Just wanting to see some consistency in my blog posting. Today I’m gonna talk about training your brain to make it more capable of surviving the demands becoming awesome requires from it and discuss stuff like brain chemistry, which I quite frankly don’t understand anything of. So should be entertaining at the very least!

Is Your Mind in a Haze?

Most people don’t have very clear thinking. I know cause I’ve personally experienced both the clearer thinking and the so-called “haze”. Most people simply have completely wrong state of mind to even think clearly. Their thinking is results-oriented and not process-oriented, which makes them look for shortcuts to get the result instead of fully embracing the process that it requires to get the result?

You still with me on this? No? Well let’s move on anyway. There’s another type of haze (though they often go hand in hand) as well, and that has to do with a lot of things I don’t understand much of, that relate to brain chemistry. With a combination of poor nutrition and other habits, people have messed up brain chemistry that makes their thinking fuzzy, unfocused, and essentially makes them completely lazy. Lack of self-discipline stems from here.

This is the complete opposite of awesomeness. I can’t explain you scientifically what this is based because I’ve not read much about brain chemistry, I just know that that’s the reason it stems from and I have experienced the effects.

My Experience in Hazy Thinking

I was on the top of my life last November. I had just finished a hard work stretch, working more than ever to finish my first ever Kindle book, Healthy Eating. After I finished, perhaps a sense of satisfaction creeped in, and I started to lose the focus that I had. I became lazier and because Christmas time approached, I started eating much more bad foods. I binged on stuff like chocolate and other sweets. Then I got FIFA13 as Christmas present. I was already on a downward spiral, and now even games entered the picture.

All these vices affected to my brain chemistry. As I said, I don’t exactly understand the mechanics, I only understand what I experienced. It has something to do with junk food, games and my other vices affecting my dopamine, which is the hormone in brains that makes sure you do stuff.

So I ended up becoming laziest I’ve ever been. I simply couldn’t fathom pulling myself back to working. I simply wanted to play more FIFA, or binge on junk food. My mind was loose. I was having hard time sitting down and even focusing on writing for a while, let alone for three hours like I do today. The slow process of pulling myself out of it started.

Pulling Out of the Defocused Mind

Like I said, lot comes down to your brain chemistry so things like nutrition help a lot. People who go vegan often cite that they experience much clearer thinking as a result. From what I gather its because of the added greens (veggies = brain food). I’ve not personally experienced this because frankly I don’t load up on greens as much as I even preached in my book. Needless to say, nutrition is a big piece of the puzzle to get your mind focused.

The other part is simply starting to take the right actions to get your brain working for you. My whole Spiral of Awesomeness™ challenge is based around this idea. I want to avoid the things that make my brains fry with instant gratification, such as masturbation and junk food, thus messing up my dopamine levels and probably much other stuff in my brain chemistry, while adding things that build my self-discipline and willpower.

Hard to understand stuff aside, the key distinction here is delayed gratification vs. instant gratification. You need to learn to love delayed gratification and avoid instant gratification. That’s not to say you should cut all instant gratification out of your life, but significantly decrease it. Ultimately learning to go for delayed gratification is better for you.

That’s why I’m strongly opposed to places like Facebook. Essentially Facebook is just this big machine that has millions of people plugged into it to receive small surges of instant gratification, making them inefficient to do much more work as a result.

The way I pulled out of my fucked up mode was to go completely cold turkey on FIFA and improving my nutrition. I found myself starting to write more. Even when I played games with my friend Niko, which we do a lot, I didn’t let my mind get dragged into that results-oriented haze. I focused on the process. Fully immersed myself in it.

This games thing is definitely something I need to look more into in the future, cause I believe that gaming is seriously impairing some of ours ability to work hard. But that’s for another post.

In a nutshell, to get your brain functioning better you need to load up on greens, cut processed shit out of your food intake, and after that just work on your mind. Best ways to train your brain is focused work on some big project, do meditation, and whatever you can do, fully immersed in the process. To get good at focus only way is to practice focus. Focus is essentially the key to training your loose brain into something that’s capable of big feats.

So I hope that made sense, of course let me know in the comments if it did. Speaking of lack of focus, for some reason I always feel my blog posts are haphazard and defocused. Maybe that will get better now that I settle into the weekly posting schedule. See you people next week. I’ll head to my three hours of daily writing again.


2 Responses to “Train Your Brain”

  1. Sergio Felix July 22, 2013 at 10:00 pm #

    Hey Jarkko, there are a few real gems here man, I didn’t know dopamine is the hormone involved in getting things done for example and I also didn’t know that greens are food for the brain.

    Something I will have in mind for sure next time I don’t feel like eating a salad!

    I loved what you said about “delayed gratification” vs “instant gratification” and I think you’re right.

    What’s funny is that I just installed a chrome extension called “StayFocusd” which I believe will help me limit the use of social media sites and email as well since I consider all of these platforms to be time wasters more than anything else.

    You really sound like you are being very serious about improving your life altogether so all I can say is, GO FOR IT man!

    Thanks for the great Monday message.


    • Jarkko Helenius August 1, 2013 at 7:28 am #

      I’m glad you enjoyed it Sergio – however take anything I say with a grain of salt, I’m not a specialist in brain chemistry! However I have to say I’ve experienced the effects of these processes I don’t quite understand in my body.


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