Hacking Happiness


The Bulletproof Life


Lesson Info

Hacking Happiness

All right, how do you use sound in train mint to make yourself happy or just to make happy? Can you turn it on? Turns out, we've known how to do this for a little while. There's monaural beats this is a single sound. In fact, yeah, drumming chamonix drumming is one of the earliest known ways of inducing an altered state of consciousness and there's certain native cultures who practiced that now, and you basically banging on a drum at a certain speed, and it induces an altered state of consciousness, which can include happiness, in fact, experience. What happens at a rave right way still use montero beats it's, called the drummer, is part of what makes you happy, and there are studies about music and happiness. So it's a technology but it's, a very old one, there's by neural beads we've had by neural beats for a little while. Tibetan singing bowls tuning forks play wimbledon this year in one bowl in this year, and they go warm, warm, warm while that's what your brain hears of binaural b...

eat sounds like, although if your brain's not interpreting it by neural beat what it actually is is one tone in this year in a slightly different tone in this year and the difference between those two tones. Is where your brain goes is that this one? Is it this one? Is that this one? Is it this one as your brain goes back and forth trying to sort out the sound, your brain enters an altered state? So if the spacing between those two sounds is a brain state that correlates with happiness, you can actually induce altered states now apparently the tibetans and a few other cultures knew about this a while back and you'll hear it ringing bells on this year versus this year. But it was in the late seventies early eighties guy named robert monroe who's a sound engineer accidentally discovered or rediscovered this kind of technology for altering mental state there's a sound engineer working and he played a tone in this year in a tone in this year and had a spontaneous out of body scary experience and wanted to figure out what the heck just happened and found out with e e g machines that you really could use sounds to induce states and ended up running a very early institute that was dedicated to helping people change their brain states using in his case sound. So this kind of technology for by narrow beats has been around ever since then in fact there's iphone, absolute do it for free or nearly free there's also something called an esso chronic sound these sounds are stronger at affecting your brain and one of the new iphone apse that I'm working on uses these beats specifically in conjunction with some other techniques in order to induce very specific brain states and this is probably the cutting edge of sound entrainment when you mix all of these techniques. So if you want say that ten hertz state that we heard about from dr bill from some impulse the ten hard state that was correlated with healing you might want to put a ten hertz alfa brain state into your brain and you could use a combination of my neural by neural and ice or chronic sounds there's also white noise just listening to perfect white noise, which is like the sound of a waterfall or russian waves but a very constant white noise can cause you to enter an alfa state in your brain. So there's a good reason to listen to meditation tapes that have just kind of a white sound a white noise to block out sound especially if you're in the city there's a low city hum that's always there if you're going to sleep or maybe we're just when you're going to sleep, you might consider turning on sounds that include white noise because an alfa state is pretty good for sleep and then if you have the sleep cycle app, you can see if the white noise improved the quality of your sleep or it didn't if it did keep doing it. If it doesn't, then don't do it. Your mileage may vary, so these air some of the ways of altering the state of your brain and thus altering your happiness and overall your performance, because at the end of the day, I really do believe that people who perform at the level they'd like to perform are happier because if you're constantly struggling to do the things that you want to do, you see the world is a place where you have to really struggle all the time. Whereas if you make your life a little bit easier by using better technologies by using better techniques, then you generally changed the way you framed the world. And you are happier because you perceive the world as a place where, when you put effort in you get results back and it's, good to live in a world where you can actually change things, including the state of your own brain or of your own body. Here's some more happiness hacks one of the most powerful techniques of all I really perfected at the forty years of zen training, one were you can raise your I q by twelve points and do the equivalent of forty years of meditation from a brain state perspective the gratitude list. Something where you sit down and you say, what am I thankful for today? Just this simple practice of doing it before bed or in the morning will teach you over time to be thankful for things, but just being grateful helps and gratitude is actually measurable in an e e g as a specific brain state, but forgiveness actually starts with gratitude, and it sounds a little bit weird, but if you really want to perform at the very, very highest levels, you have to perfect the art of forgiveness. The reason for that is that that automated meet protection system from your nervous system is there to keep you alive. It gets programmed to look at things as that's an enemy that's, a threat and it's a very good threat detection system because it's fast it's also a very bad threat detection system because it doesn't understand context at all, so it gets his simple as if someone swats a mosquito on your shoulder. Your threat detection system may very well from then on say ok, whatever that situation was, that was a situation that got you hit on the shoulder because it's too dumb to understand there's a mosquito fortunately, it's easy to forgive the guy who smacked you on the shoulder and killed the mosquito that was going to bite you, but there are other types of forgiveness work that are necessary if something has genuinely harmed you in a more serious way or even if you don't really understand what all the mechanisms are that are causing a certain thing the short answer is if you're walking around carrying a grudge, that grudge is costing you enormous enormous amounts of personal performance and happiness so the very first step to forgiving someone and by the way for giving someone doesn't mean walking up and saying, you know, I forgive you you don't have to do anything it doesn't have anything to do with the other person has to do with how you see the world and that's all forgiveness is so if there's something that bothered you the first step to letting go of the thing that bothers you is gratitude so let's say something really bad happened to you like you got in a car accident because a drunk driver hit your car that's not a very fun thing now the first step is what are you grateful for about that and you must learn to find the good in every situation because it's always there, for instance yeah, you might have lost your leg in that cracks in, but you've got a new car be grateful for the new car no joke it's that serious because if you can learn to look at every situation and always find the thing to be grateful for no matter how crappy the situation is, it is very difficult for that situation to get burned into your nervous system as yet another rule that you have to follow all the time to keep yourself from dying. So gratitude leads to forgiveness, which leads to reprogramming of the parts of your nervous system that hold grudges and make you do things that you don't even want to do. That's why? Before bad sitting down and I do this with my kids at least most nights is I sit down and I say, what are three things you're grateful for? And I'm pretty sure my four year old get scrat itude. Certainly my six year old does and sometimes is I'm grateful for toys and that's fine, be grateful for something because it's better to go to sleep, grateful for toys than it is to go to sleep without gratitude, and it doesn't cost anything if you have a journal in practice, there's actually journal called the five minute journal that has slots for if things you're grateful for, just write down three things when your gratitude list that happened today you grateful for? And then if there's something that you're really pissed off about, write down something you're grateful for about that at a minimum, you can always be grateful that I learned I won't do that again that's a perfectly acceptable thing sounds like a simple thing gratitude is one of the hardest things to learn almost as hard as forgiveness what I learned in the course of doing neurofeedback was that there were lots of times when I would really convince myself that I had forgiven someone for something that really, really made me angry and but the the neuro feedback the e e g machine would literally show may know you didn't do it like no I'm sure I've done it I know you didn't do it it's a lie detector for yourself when you use it in that specific way so to have a lie detector on like I could forgive you I forgive that yeah okay, I'm I'm not going to care that I'm not mad at that guy anymore and then like a weight well when you finally get it there's actually a tangible feeling in your body when you forgive especially something that's big something you've been mad about for a while you could actually feel it right here it's measurable it's quantifiable and it's hard to achieve without some work and the work starts with being grateful and moving on from gratitude to forgiveness. Another way of producing happiness is just having social connection with people and we all know the way to get social connection is to have a least a thousand followers on twitter, facebook no it comes down to what we're doing here meeting in real time face to face, this is why, even though I have young kids and my life has become really, really busy, I still make time to meet with people, to go to events in person, to speak in person like this, because to have social connection with people gives you more power, it gives you more energy, it makes your happier, and when you're happier, it makes you more free to do whatever it is that you came here to do, whatever it is that you decide you want to do, because the worst thing you could really do is do stuff that you didn't decide to do, because then you probably don't know what it is you're doing, so be conscious about the decisions you make about what to do, and if you're not conscious about something and you recognize that you weren't conscious, and when your behaviors be grateful that you noticed you didn't do something conscious, and then practice forgiveness on that, you can forgive yourself for not being very conscious and being a total jerk, and then move on. And if you do that, this little loop of social connection, especially with friends, will tell you, when you're being a jerk is its own feedback loop that's particularly valuable same thing goes for family if your family will give you honest feedback, which oftentimes they don't and finally, if you want to get real introspective, you khun sit down sometime with a sheet of paper and you can list the things that are positive influences in your life and you could miss the things they're negative influences in your life. The act of writing those things down could actually make you more happy because it gets him out of here and gets him into a physical form, and when they're in a physical form, you might actually decide to make some changes and you can definitely change things like that. Ah hack that's not up here but one of the more impactful ones that I've come across I learned from a professor stew friedman at the wharton business school of all places professor friedman was one of the top hundred executives at ford motor company a while back responsible for the culture of ford, which is a pretty hard thing to do because the company culture the drink company like that is is pretty strange thing. What he learned over time was that you could map out the domains of your life into things like health, social social connections with friends, family relationships, career satisfaction and even giving back like a charitable endeavor. And this goes beyond just a list of positive and negative forces in your life, but what stew did in his book is actually called total leadership it's a cool book he created some worksheets so you could do this but then he asked this key question that goes right to the heart of the quantified self the question was how much energy not time but how much energy are you spending on each of these things? That was the first data point the second data point was how much return are you getting? How satisfied with you are this and the glaring thing that you'll find if you have the courage to do this in fact, I'd recommend buying total leadership is you'll find there are some areas of your life where you spent eighty percent of your energy and you get twenty percent of your return it should be the other way around part of being a bio hacker is inherent glorified laziness, which means you want to get the most return for the least amount of invested time and energy and I guarantee you if you're alive that you are spending some of your time in a way that is not giving you the return you want. So that means if it's if it's on a family relationship you spent eighty percent your time with your family and doesn't even make you happy then obviously need to upgrade your family get him some bulletproof coffee but what you can do though is you can look and you could say I'm gonna spend less time on that because it doesn't give me anything and you might also say, well, I'm told, and half of my career, I'm going to make a change there, but just knowing that this amount of effort equals this amount of return will completely transform the way you look at what you do with your time and with your life. If you don't measure the return, you get on the investment of your energy, you, khun spend an enormous amount of time pouring all of your energy into things that just eat it up and get nothing back. A lot of the things you've learned in the class over the last couple of days about howto have out, I have more energy howto realize you're wasting energy on your nervous system, doing things to you that you didn't like, and then taking that energy back so you can use it for something useful. But what if you go to all that hard work bio hacking yourself, you get the energy back, and then you put the energy into something that doesn't do anything for you or for your community, or for your friends, or for your family or for the world at all. You just wasted. So now that you've been given the skills to kind of turn up the amount of energy that you have in your body and in your nervous system and really in your life, you have to figure out we're going to apply that energy to do something useful for you or for whatever it is that's important to you and the core of making that decision the right way is to measure just like almost every other technique we talked about here what goes in what comes out are they related you khun get mohr efficiency from this last hint that I just gave then you would get from many of the other bio hacks earlier in the week because you have all the energy in the world and it goes nowhere you didn't win and this is at the end of the day about winning without a few people brought up some family issues because you could you quite rightly here say that family is something that creates happiness but a lot of people find that that's a very negative force in their life and ramona is saying she's somebody's had a mom and a sister had a grudge on me she's very close to her family but they are holding a grudge on me because I cannot help them with various things and it's killing her inside I think family as seeing is a positive does create some negatives in people's lives it's a very valid point if you're spending most of your energy and time on your family and you're getting no return on that then number one work on the gratitude it's your mom like there's no getting around that so you could be grateful for that at the same time you can say you know what? Whatever it is that's causing family grudge it's not okay I don't agree with it but I am going to and you say this to yourself not to whatever family member you have a problem with you say I'm going to forgive it and then you do the work whatever forgiveness practice you follow in my case I do it with electrodes on my head because it's the fastest I know and the most thorough but whatever forgiveness practice you want to do and you khun google on wikipedia how to do forgiveness there established steps to forgiveness now think and it's much easier to have those but what you do then as you said all right I'm going to drop it and at that point you have a relationship inside your family or outside that's not working you stop playing the role you're playing in that and when you take that step your family probably won't like it but that's ok they don't have to think about what you're gonna do with your time now what your family's going to tell you to do with your time that makes perfect sense and when you started to talk about this and happiness and I thought about the I've heard about how buddhist monks are some of the happiest people in the world when they have studies have been done on the brain in terms of the amount of time in meditation. Is that something that you couldn't comment on or e? I believe that you're familiar with that study. I am familiar with the study, and one of the coolest things about the dalai lama right now is that he hangs out neuroscientists all the time like he puts the others conferences for neuroscientists, and if you've heard of the, uh, evelyn mosques, space six and the x prize, these are things where they put up a five or ten million dollar prize for doing something that's never been done before. Well, the dalai lama has an equivalent of that that's backed by whatever financial resources he has, and if you continue, if you can give him a technology that will help him reach a gamma state in less than four hours. There's a prize with atleast six figures on it now, that's way cool he's going to the bio hacking community, he's going to essentially citizen science and neuroscientists, and maybe neuroscience students in college and he's saying, hey, yeah, it takes me four hours of very difficult meditation to reach the state and it's a state where I can do a lot of useful things when I'm meditating, so help me out, guys, get me there in twenty minutes. I'll make it worth your while and that's way cool I have spent some time with buddhist monks in the monasteries in tibet and nepal in and these guys are they're cut from a different cloth when they grow up they're one of the things they'll do that's very dramatic as part of the practice, they'll sit in little groups and they'll take like the youngest one and then put in the middle of the group and they'll have these debates. Of course I have no idea if they're talking about it's in tibetan, but the guys will sit down in the middle and there's like five guys standing around him and the five guys who are like making these points and they'll say whatever it is they say and they'll make their point they go like, right in the guy's face literally like they do this motion like they're like see, I told you so and the guys sits there in the middle and hears it all and it's his job to return a proper argument without emotional response even though there's like lots of things watching this is really interesting, but you see the guy in the middle there all having a blast even though they're basically like pushing on each other's buttons to find if there's any holes in the buns any unlabeled buttons, so if the guys sitting there arguing feels something weird will be like wait a minute I found something and then you can you can put it out so I do believe at the end of the day especially because of the neuro feedback in the brain training I've done uh that happiness is a skill it is a teachable skill and I think that the research where people go out and they theorize that there's a happiness set point and some people are just going to be miserable is some of the most uninformed research and some of the saddest, most disabling research out there and I fundamentally don't believe it because there was a time in my life when I certainly wasn't very happy very often and I've learned to be happy the vast majority of the time which is pretty cool spending time in nature around plants and stuff and happiness nature deficiency disorder there is definite research about spending time in nature and I'm a little concerned a last couple weeks I was talking about bulletproof with a group of senior executives in china and korea yeah, the only nature that I think I saw it was there was like three trees in the middle of beijing and I heard like two locusts buzzing in them other than that like it was cement and glass and you can't hear the birds in shanghai there are no birds in shanghai as far as I can tell it was it was actually kind of scary because I live now, not even in silicon valley, and I live on an island. My hiking lab has five old growth cedars all around it, and I can tell you there's, more kinds of bugs on my walk to my office. Then I ever saw just on any one day than they ever would have seen when I was in palo alto, because it's, almost sterile. So nature deficiency is an ongoing problem. And as a society, we want to be happy. I think we'd better invest more in parks. So it's an interesting point.

Class Description

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