The Hyperfocused Entrepreneur
February 18, 2023
Read time: 5 minutes
I spent the past week in Antarctica playing patty-cake with penguins and watching whales like a peeping-Tom.
We landed a few hours ago and I’m currently writing this from the basement of a Chilean hotel mere hours before it’s scheduled to go out to ya’ll.
As a result, this week’s letter will be shorter than usual…
But, some of the most powerful lessons are the simplest, and this is no exception.
Today, we’re gonna unpack:
- How We Learn
- The Word You Must Never Say
- The Most Powerful Word in the World
Now here’s the really dumbed down tl;dr version of this:
Your thoughts dictate your actions.
I know… not exactly a revelatory concept.
But here it is in its most eloquent form:
“Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny.” – Gandhi
And YET, most of us are sabotaging ourselves on a daily basis with the words we use when we speak to ourselves.
There is one word in particular that’s beating us before we even begin. A combination of four letters holding us back from achieving our full potential.
It’s a word that weakens us…absolves us of responsibility…and robs us of the honest need to try.
And there’s another word… a word that empowers and encourages us to pursue and ultimately achieve our fullest potential…
But before we talk about either of those words, let’s talk about something way sexier…
Your Brain. (ooh, baby)
Specifically, let’s talk about how your brain learns.
(Trust me, this is important.)
How We Learn
You’ve got a whole bucketful of cells in your brain called neurons.
These little buggers are responsible for all the thoughts occurring within your skull-space.
On their own, an individual neuron isn’t much more than a blinking light.
But, something interesting happens when one neuron forms a connection with another, which in turn signals another neuron, and another, and another…
That interesting thing?
You have a thought.
Now, the first time you ever think a thought, a little neuron blinks on-and-off somewhere in your gray matter.
That poor little fella sends out an electrical impulse in an attempt to sync-up with a certain buddy hiding elsewhere in your brain.
Eventually they’ll find one another, but it’s a slow, cumbersome process the first time.
Have you ever tried learning a foreign language?
Remember how hard it was memorizing each and every word?
To remember the word for “table”, for example, probably took significant mental exertion.
It’s through this focused concentration that the initial neuronal pathway is forged.
Thankfully, the process gets easier each time you retrieve the word for “table”, and we call this muscle memory.
That is, the more you think a thing… the easier it becomes to think that thing in the future.
But how is this possible? Why should it be that a thought becomes easier to have the more often you have it? What’s the mechanism at play?
Your brain is a marvel of evolutionary efficiency and one of its primary goals is to figure out how to do things with as little energy as possible.
This makes sense if you stop to consider the fact that your brain is consuming most of your body’s energy. If it were always running at full-capacity, you’d be constantly drained and have no energy for anything else.
Think about how you feel after a really long, mentally taxing study session. Now imagine always feeling brain-drained.
From a living in the wild survival perspective, you’d be easy pickins for pretty much all sorts of existential threats.
So your brain developed a way to retrieve important thoughts with a fraction of the energy and in way less time…
It’s called Myelin Sheath, baby, and it’s like fiber optics for the brain.
This substance is the reason massive animals like whales and elephants are even able to exist.
Without myelin, it would take a hot-minute for thoughts to travel from one part of the body to another.
It’d be like your brain is running on dial-up internet.
Thanks to myelin, however, you’ve got full-blown fiber optic potential in your thinking noodle.
Here’s how it works:
Myelin coats your neuronal pathway, creating an insulated tunnel (aka: sheath) through which electrical impulses can travel. The thicker the coating, the more quickly thoughts travel.
When we talk about muscle memory, what we’re really saying is:
You’ve thought a thought so often, it’s become deeply coated in myelin.
Which can be a great thing… or a horrible thing… depending on the thought.
Practice doesn’t make perfect… it makes permanent.
Myelin doesn’t care which thoughts or actions you’re reinforcing. It’s an equal opportunity reinforcer.
Think happy, positive thoughts?
Great! Those thoughts will become easier and easier to retrieve.
Think sad, depressing thoughts?
Bummer. Those thoughts will become easier and easier to retrieve.
Are you starting to understand just how important positive self-talk really is?
The Word You Must Never Say
Remember that mysterious 4 letter word we discussed earlier?
The one that’s holding you back and murdering your full-potential?
Well, now that you understand the neurochemistry underlying the need to remove it from your language, it’s time to learn the word itself:
This single word has stopped more people from succeeding in life than any other. It stops us from even trying.
It absolves us of responsibility because if we believe we can’t do a thing, then why bother? It would be a waste of time and energy to even try.
“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t… you’re right.” – Henry Ford
The problem is, most people reflexively say “I can’t” without objectively examining the truth behind the statement.
They’ve hardwired the thought so deeply in their brain that it becomes their default.
For those pursuing their potential, you can’t afford a word like can’t.
You must adopt words that positively reinforce neuronal pathways that’ll help, rather than hurt, you.
To that end, there is ONE word more powerful than all the rest.
The Most Powerful Word in the World
When faced with a difficult task (let’s say to quit smoking), you could have one of two responses.
“I’ve tried hundreds of times before, and I just can’t make it stick.”
“I’ve tried hundreds of times before, but I just haven’t gotten it to stick yet.”
One of these statements is full of weakness and self-defeat.
The other is full of strength and optimism.
The power of yet is profound, because it simultaneously acknowledges the difficulty before us, and the challenges we’ve faced in the past (to not do so would be outright self-delusion and that’s not helping anybody), but it also leaves the door open for success.
Yet is a statement of future intent.
A belief that you can and will find the solution because you are fully committed to pursuing the goal for as long as it takes to ultimately find success.
When you hardwire yet into your brain, then the entire world opens up before you.
Obstacles are less daunting, because you enter challenging situations with an open, growth mindset.
An underlying belief that anything is possible.
“The ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.” – Steve Jobs
So, if you want to change the world, or simply want to change YOUR world, start by changing the words you use when you speak to yourself.
It’s a small shift with the potential to change everything.
Until next week, my friends,
From The Podcast This Week:
Want more? Here are some ways to go even deeper:
1. Unleash your hyperfocused mind to dominate life, business, and everything in between? Here’s how:
→ The Hyperfocused Masterclass: the exact system I used to overcome ADHD, write a bunch of books, build some successful businesses, and acquire a whole lot of real estate. Join now!
2. Learn to passively invest in commercial real estate with better returns, less risk, and zeo hassle.
3. Want more like this? Check out these 3 popular articles from the vault:
- My Simple 3-Step Framework For Making More Money
- These 6 Skills Will Make You Millions
- It Never Gets Easier, You Just Get Better
4. The Amplified Impact Podcast: A daily podcast for those in relentless pursuit of Less, but Better: