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Lesson 5 of 155

Transform Your Mind in 12 Minutes a Day with Dr. Amishi Jha

Chase Jarvis

The Chase Jarvis LIVE Show

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Lesson Info

5. Transform Your Mind in 12 Minutes a Day with Dr. Amishi Jha


Class Trailer
1 Ego, Disrupted. How Buddhist Wisdom Meets Western Therapy with Dr. Mark Epstein 1:11:55 2 Words Can Take You Anywhere with Arianna Davis 53:00 3 Master Your Inner Voice with Dr. Ethan Kross 1:06:21 4 Accelerating 10,000 Hours to Mastery with James Altucher 1:09:49 5 Transform Your Mind in 12 Minutes a Day with Dr. Amishi Jha 1:15:57 6 Powerful Habits to Ease Anxiety and Boost Productivity with Mel Robbins 1:15:17 7 The Art of Self-Reinvention with Malcolm Gladwell 1:00:45 8 Creative Acts of Curious People with Sarah Stein Greenberg 1:10:01
9 Self-Discovery, Activism, and Rock & Roll with Stevie Van Zandt 57:56 10 Why Design Matters with Debbie Millman 1:07:04 11 Discover Work that Makes You Come Alive with Jonathan Fields 1:15:34 12 Releasing Trauma and Mastering Your Emotions with Jason Wilson 1:05:35 13 Food Saved Me with Danielle Walker 47:16 14 Changing Our Relationship with Rest with Chelsea Jackson Roberts 49:11 15 Retracing Passion to Build Lasting Career Success with Chris Bosh 54:27 16 Old School Photography + Other Musings with Kai Wong 41:52 17 Escalate and Evolve: A Blueprint for Career and Life with Ben Uyeda 1:08:44 18 The Stories That Hold Us Back with Jon Acuff 1:07:22 19 Poetry, Vulnerability and Finding Your Voice with Jericho Brown 1:13:40 20 What Does it Take to be Backable with Suneel Gupta 1:05:38 21 Unlocking Creativity, Courage and Success with Rebecca Minkoff 53:00 22 How To Heal From Your Past with Dr. Nicole LePera 1:13:54 23 That Will Never Work with Marc Randolph 1:12:06 24 The Real Cost of Your Dream Life with Rachel Rodgers 1:02:44 25 Your Network is Your Insurance Policy with Jordan Harbinger 1:24:15 26 Dream First, Details Later with Ellen Bennett 1:14:45 27 We're Never Going Back with Harley Finkelstein 1:01:47 28 How to Shatter Limitations and Achieve Your Dreams with Steven Kotler 1:08:10 29 The Creative Art of Attention with Julia Cameron 1:05:23 30 The Path Back to True Self with Martha Beck 59:45 31 Upgrade Your Brain and Learn Anything Quickly with Jim Kwik 1:21:22 32 The Urgent Need for Stoicism with Ryan Holiday 1:11:30 33 Delicious Food Doesn't Have to be Complicated with Julia Turshen 1:14:35 34 Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention with Erin Meyer 56:27 35 Stop Living On Autopilot with Antonio Neves 1:07:38 36 How to Tackle Fear and Live Boldly with Luvvie Ajayi Jones 59:42 37 Go from Underestimated to Unstoppable with Jamie Kern Lima 1:05:03 38 Hard Work + The Evolution of Self with Priyanka Chopra Jonas 36:36 39 The Power of Idealism with Samantha Power 1:34:35 40 Pushing the Limits with Extreme Explorer Mike Horn 1:22:54 41 Fast This Way with Dave Asprey 1:15:34 42 Uncomfortable Conversations with Emmanuel Acho 45:59 43 Why Conversation Matters with Rich Roll 1:24:17 44 Elevating Humanity Through Business with John Mackey 1:15:14 45 When Preparation Meets Opportunity with Paul Ninson 1:04:14 46 The Art of Practice with Christoph Niemann 1:12:18 47 Matthew McConaughey: Embracing Resistance & Catching Greenlights 1:19:38 48 Starve the Ego, Feed the Soul with Justin Boreta 1:25:32 49 Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results with James Clear 1:20:55 50 Badass Habits and Making Them Stick with Jen Sincero 1:06:12 51 Break Free from Self-Limiting Beliefs with Dr. Benjamin Hardy 1:09:18 52 Imposter Syndrome, Getting Unstuck and The Practice with Seth Godin 1:13:19 53 The Art of Curiosity and Lifelong Wisdom with Chip Conley 58:47 54 The Lost Art of Breath with James Nestor 1:03:15 55 The Art of Reinvention with Sophia Amoruso 1:03:59 56 Harness Kindness as Your Hidden Super Power with Adrienne Bankert 1:08:26 57 Heal the Soul, Restore the Calm with Stephan Moccio 1:28:19 58 Finding Resilience & Possibility with Guy Raz 1:08:47 59 Truth, Fear, and How to do Better with Luvvie Ajayi Jones 1:18:22 60 The Future is Faster Than You Think with Peter Diamandis 57:56 61 Music, Writing, and Time For Change with Nabil Ayers 1:20:38 62 Freedom to Express Who We Are with Shantell Martin 1:10:34 63 So You Want to Talk about Race with Ijeoma Oluo 1:10:47 64 Photographing History with Pete Souza 1:16:35 65 Maybe You Should Talk to Someone with Lori Gottlieb 58:51 66 Never Settle with Mario Armstrong 1:38:11 67 The Science of Making Work Not Suck with Adam Grant 1:15:36 68 Street Photography + Capturing Truth with Steve John Irby 1:10:54 69 Life, Writing, and Real Talk with Roxane Gay 1:05:57 70 Steve Aoki: Creativity, Community and No Days Off 50:57 71 The Power of Passion and Perseverance with Angela Duckworth 1:08:25 72 Know What Drives You with Michael Gervais 1:05:20 73 The Code of the Extraordinary Mind with Vishen Lakhiani 59:07 74 Risk, Fear, and the Art of Chill with Jimmy Chin 1:13:51 75 Personal Growth and Understanding with Citizen Cope 1:16:21 76 Living Life on Purpose with Jay Shetty 1:20:06 77 Get Out of Your Own Way with Dave Hollis 1:08:10 78 Hope in A Sea of Endless Calamity with Mark Manson 1:15:12 79 How to Find Yourself with Glennon Doyle 1:10:16 80 Make It Til You Make It with Owen Smith 1:20:50 81 Surf, Survival, and Life on the Road with Ben Moon 1:08:01 82 Create the Change You Seek with Jonah Berger 1:00:22 83 Workplace Revolution with Amy Nelson 1:05:16 84 Rethink Impossible with Colin O'Brady 1:29:31 85 Good Enough is Never Good Enough with Corey Rich 1:25:24 86 Say Yes To What You Want with Chris Burkard 1:22:54 87 Finding Stillness In A Fast Paced World with Ryan Holiday 1:08:00 88 Everything is Figureoutable with Marie Forleo 43:50 89 The Art of Being Yourself with Elizabeth Gilbert 53:41 90 Creativity, Comedy, and Never Settling with Nate Bargatze 1:37:12 91 Personal + Career Reinvention with Jasmine Star 1:01:18 92 Stay Creative, Focused and True to Yourself with Austin Kleon 1:12:25 93 Ramit Sethi 'I Will Teach You To Be Rich' book launch with Chase Jarvis 1:07:17 94 You Don't Need to Be Rich to Live Rich with David Bach 1:09:51 95 Harnessing Your Human Nature for Success with Robert Greene 1:04:28 96 Addiction, Reinvention, and Finding Ultra with Endurance Athlete Rich Roll 1:07:41 97 Disruption, Reinvention, and Reimagining Silicon Valley with Arlan Hamilton 1:12:31 98 The Intersection of Art and Service with Rainn Wilson 1:03:25 99 Your Mind Can Transform Your Life with Tom Bilyeu 1:30:19 100 Do Something Different with Jason Mesnick 1:02:38 101 Less Phone, More Human with Dan Schawbel 1:07:40 102 Startup to $15 Billion: Finding Your Life's Work with Shopify's Harley Finkelstein 1:12:42 103 It Doesn't Have to be Crazy at Work with Jason Fried 1:49:02 104 Love, Service, and Living Your Truth with Danielle LaPorte 1:11:05 105 How to Do Work That Matters for People Who Care with Seth Godin 1:10:56 106 Happiness Through Gratitude with AJ Jacobs 1:12:54 107 You Are Your Habits with Julien Smith 1:03:40 108 Maximizing Creativity + Navigating the Messy Middle with Scott Belsky 1:09:10 109 The Most Important Conversation About Life… Death with Michael Hebb 1:13:38 110 Redemption and a Thirst for Change with Scott Harrison 54:58 111 Imagination and The Power of Change with Beth Comstock 1:12:29 112 Success, Community, and his cameo in Parks & Recreation with NBA All Star Detlef Schrempf 1:02:02 113 1,000 Paths to Success with Jack Conte 1:07:32 114 Unconventional Ways to Win with Rand Fishkin 1:37:49 115 How to Sell Without Selling Out with Ryan Carson 1:05:45 116 Be the Artist You Want to Work With with Nigel Barker 47:12 117 Your Story Is Your Power with Elle Luna 1:33:53 118 Celebrating Your Weirdness with Thomas Middleditch 1:14:04 119 Persevering Through Failure with Melissa Arnot Reid 1:33:23 120 Go Against the Grain with David Heinemeier Hansson 1:18:07 121 Stamina, Tenacity and Craft with Eugene Mirman 1:17:15 122 Create Work That Lasts with Todd Henry 1:06:50 123 Make Fear Your Friend 08:08 124 Tame Your Distracted Mind with Adam Gazzaley 1:12:08 125 Why Grit, Persistence, and Hard Work Matter with Daymond John 1:05:15 126 How to Launch Your Next Project with Product Hunts with Ryan Hoover 1:11:15 127 Lessons in Business and Life with Richard Branson 45:05 128 Embracing Your Messy Beautiful Life with Glennon Doyle 1:27:29 129 How to Create Work That Lasts with Ryan Holiday 1:20:25 130 5 Seconds to Change Your Life with Mel Robbins 1:14:53 131 Break Through Anxiety and Stress Through Play with Charlie Hoehn 1:08:10 132 The Quest For True Belonging with Brene Brown 1:29:41 133 Real Artists Don't Starve with Jeff Goins 1:19:16 134 Habits for Ultra-Productivity with Jessica Hische 56:18 135 Using Constraints to Fuel Your Best Work Ever with Scott Belsky 1:21:07 136 The Intersection of Art and Business with AirBnB's Joe Gebbia 1:19:56 137 Build a World-Changing Business with Reid Hoffman 1:19:31 138 How Design Drives The World's Best Companies with Robert Brunner 1:05:33 139 Why Creativity Is The Key To Leadership with Sen. Cory Booker 53:06 140 How To Change The Lives Of Millions with Scott Harrison 1:16:14 141 How To Build A Media Juggernaut with Piera Gelardi 1:21:04 142 Transform Your Consciousness with Jason Silva 1:08:02 143 The Formula For Peak Performance with Steven Kotler 1:01:40 144 How What You Buy Can Change The World with Leila Janah 1:04:10 145 Overcoming Fear & Self-Doubt with W. Kamau Bell 47:44 146 The Unfiltered Truth About Entrepreneurship with Adam Braun 1:21:36 147 Build + Sustain A Career Doing What You Love with James Mercer of The Shins 51:58 148 How Design Can Supercharge Your Business with Yves Béhar 33:40 149 Conquer Fear & Self-Doubt with Amanda Crew 1:29:39 150 Become A Master Communicator with Vanessa Van Edwards 1:19:52 151 How iJustine Built Her Digital Empire with iJustine 1:08:05 152 How To Be A World-Class Creative Pro with Joe McNally 1:05:19 153 How To Stop Waiting And Start Doing with Roman Mars 43:43 154 Gut, Head + Heart Alignment with Scott Dadich 38:17 155 If Not Now, When? with Debbie Millman 55:31

Lesson Info

Transform Your Mind in 12 Minutes a Day with Dr. Amishi Jha

Hey buddy, what's up? It's Chase Welcome to another episode of the Chase Jarvis live show here on Creative Live. This is the show where I sit down with the world's top experts and unpack their brain with the goal of helping you live your dreams in career, hobby and in life. My guest today is the one and only dr um Ecija doctor um Ecija is a neuroscientist who focuses on meditation, mindfulness and awareness. Now if you know anything about the show or me personally a huge fan of this field of thought and I would I would remind everyone that of the hundreds of guests that I've had on this show. The most common trait of high performers is that they have some sort of an awareness meditation or a mindfulness practice, even if it's short and in this episode Dr amy she's got a new book called Peak Mind and she has reduced this scientific compression of this down to you can do this if you can find minutes in a day, your life will be remarkably demonstrably scientifically better. Also if you w...

ant to do things like tap into peak performance meditation awareness of some sort is required. If you want the uh to combat monkey mind just your mind racing and not necessarily helping you. This book will help dr emissions episode will help if you want to develop a mental armor against things like anxiety destruction and bias then this episode is for you, I'm going to get out of the way and let you enjoy the brilliant thinking and insight Dr Amie she job from the University of Miami where she's the professor of psychology, enjoy the show. We love you doctor a message. A welcome to the show. Thanks so much for being here. It's great to be here with you. Uh All right, this has well, first of all, congratulations on your book, peak mind find your focus on your attention, invest 12 minutes a day. We're going to get to that. We're going to spend some time focusing specifically on the book. But I want to zoom way out and first declare personally that this is I have been super fired up since we got you scheduled for the show because this area of meditation, mindfulness attention is a personal passion of mine. I'm gonna put all my stuff on the table here for a second. My wife is a meditation mindfulness attention teacher um and I have been a part of her journey. I've had my own journey and I find it to be one of the most powerful and transformative things in my life. So qualifiers abound. Um I'm if I'm a little bit too intense or excited on this show, it's because I'm I'm like very excited to have you here and you I know approach this from um a neuroscientist perspective rather than from a clinician and so we'll keep that in mind as we talk, but for those who are unfamiliar with your work, I'm hoping you can pretend that no one who's listening knows you and just give a little bit of an intro who you are a little bit of background and then I will dive in awesome. So thanks for the well wishes on the book. And I've heard your show and you're always intense. So thanks. So it makes it fun. It's great to be here. And yes, so my you've already mentioned my name. I'm a I'm a professor at the University of Miami and I am a what's called cognitive neuroscientist, which means that my broadest interest is in how cognitive functions in particular attention is in stan she hated within the brain. How does it take shape? What brain circuits, networks, processes allow it to happen. So we use any of you want to come visit us at the lab, we use functional MRI we use brainwave recordings and then simple tasks that people can do, sort of like video games to test out and understand how attention works. But probably over the last yeah, 15 years or so, my interest started broadening beyond just understanding how attention works to wanting to know more about what happens that makes it fail. Because unfortunately many of us are experiencing that sort of crisis experience. And and a lot of that came from frankly my personal crisis where I became this sort of paradox where I studied this, this topic of attention yet I somehow can't hold my own, this was at a time in my life when my it was my first child very very, he was very young, not even three years old. My husband was in grad school, we bought an old fixer upper in Philly and I just started a faculty position, my very first lab and it was sort of the culmination of all these great things, but all at once stressed me out and I could not keep my focus on anything yet. Here I was studying it in my lab, so my research expanded to include a little bit more about not just the power of attention in terms of its capacity to transform the way the brain functions, but its vulnerabilities and what we found is that there are many vulnerabilities of attention, things that will happen to us in our life experience sort of like the moment that I was describing a moment ago, that's going to make it hard to function. And so now I was in a position where we understand how it works, We understand when it doesn't work so well, what can we do to train it to work better? And that notion of anything about our our life our brain functions. Being trainable just comes from my orientation as a brain scientist, it's like we know there is this thing called neural plasticity, we know that repeatedly engaging in certain kinds of mental behaviors will change the way the brain functions. The big question mark was was what what can we actually have people do that will reliably strengthen the brain? And that's where connecting back to your topic of passion and mind to meditation and mindfulness meditation in particular ended up being an unlikely answer to the question of how to protect and strengthen attention. So that's the broadest level answer. We study all kinds of groups in my lab, um who need to benefit. And frankly that ends up being essentially all of us. I was going to say that's one of my favorite things about it is I haven't met a person yet who doesn't benefit and which makes me if I can interject now, just for a moment, I watched a video of you recapping a moment where uh I think you were on stage with Jack cornfield um legend in the field and you're saying something about, you know, I needed to do this work and someone brought up the concept of meditation I think is I'm recalling the story perhaps poorly uh and you said uh we here at Penn, we are, this is an ivy league institution and we do not use words like meditation and other fluffy such things in my uh in neuroscience. And yet as I understand it, maybe you can recount the actual story and or your personal experience, which would be better. And so you put it into practice and if I'm not mistaken, you had trouble denying the results based on your empirical experience. Wow, you've done your homework. That's absolutely right, that thought of, we don't use those kind of words here was a private thought. I didn't say that part out loud, but I certainly thought it what I what ended up happening. Yeah. Just to give you get a little more detail on that. Um, it was actually the same moment I was describing to you feeling like a crisis point in my own life and in any of the professional circumstances I was in, I was always curious how do other people deal with attention slipping away and all the consequences of that where your mood feels bad, you feel kind of out of touch, you feel like you can't quite get the right control over your life in a way where you feel things are actionable and that you can hold your goals in mind and achieve them. So, I was always looking for that. Anyway, I was at this symposium by a dear colleague, actually a seminal figure in the field as what's called an affective neuroscientists. So he's interested in how emotions are taking shape in the brain Richie Davidson. And he at that point, early 2000s had not really come out regarding come out sounds a little more dramatic than it is, but had not really started exploring publicly that he is bringing meditation to his own lab. He had done it in the seventies and then took like a 30 year break and then was starting it out again doing some very, very exciting stuff that now many of us have heard about putting monks in the scanner and seeing the impact of long term meditation. These are tibetan monastics affiliated with the Dalai Lama's monasteries. And he was starting to find that mindfulness training and other forms of contemplative practice were really transformative in terms of brain function, I knew nothing of this, but he's in the seminar room and he is finishing up and he ended with like this a set of images which I thought were really striking and compelling and one was of a brain that he had sort of a composite, right, a lot of different participants that he and his students had manipulated to be in a a very negative mood. Now that sounds like a terrible thing to do for the participants, but it's such a powerful way for us to learn about brain organization and brain function during these potent states of negative mood. So what you do is things like remember the some of the worst memories of your life place, the saddest music, you can think of just really having this kind of potent experience and then putting them in the scanner and then seeing the brain networks that were active and then he did the same thing on the other side which was essentially ask people to think of their happiest memories and play really nice music that would uplift their mood. So he had these two static images, one of the negative, experiencing brain, one of the positive, experiencing brain, that was sort of the end of his talk where he is making this point, the brain looks different under these two states. It's real, it's in your head, and it's literally in your brain, and at the end of it, I just raised my hand in the back of the room and and this is like, after many questions have already been asked and I was a little bit sheepish about even wanting to ask, but I was such a powerful moment for me because I'm like, oh my gosh, what I really want to know. And this is what I asked him, how do you get that brain, the negative one to look like that one? The positive one? And I didn't really know if you would answer, but he did, and he answered in the most sort of succinct and almost flippant way, he's like meditation. I mean, I think he might even taken off his mic at that point, and I was, the moment you described was my internal dialogue, like, what the heck, we don't use that word here, Do you? Did you forget temporarily where you are? And it was so almost crazy and offensive to me. It's like, you know, you're talking to a bunch of astrophysics physicists and you're gonna start talking about astrology or something. It's like, no, we don't do, that does not compute. And I in addition to that actually had my own real biases against meditation practice, which, you know from my of course I am for people that are just listening to my voice and can't tell from my name. I'm indian. Um not seeing me, you probably couldn't tell, but I'm I'm indian and I grew up in Chicago, but actually spent a lot of summers in India and my family, you know, we um practiced a lot of indian practices and culture was was that And my parents both both practiced meditation and I always thought that that was great for them, but I'm like this hard nosed western trained neuroscientist and I'm definitely not interested in that. So I had a real chip on my shoulder about it after Richie said that though I had to grudgingly say, fine, I'll take a look at this guy I really respect is talking about it and he's doing some very cool stuff. So that person, Jack cornfield that you described me being on stage with, I fortuitously walked into the pen bookstore and bought his book, didn't know anything about it, didn't know who he was. And then yes, fast forward. 20 years later, I'm on stage with him and it's it was a very gratifying moment because he had really helped me initiate that journey. So meditation, it's very clear and I think maybe you can talk for a second because I'm I use these maybe to fluidly meditation, mindfulness and attention, maybe you can help orient the listener watcher around those terms because I will throw them around. I think I I tend to use them reasonably accurately, but it's a little bit of a soup and especially if if this concept may be new to you. So maybe you can walk us through meditation, mindfulness and attention. So let's start with meditation because that's sort of one of the broad categories when I use that term and maybe you're going to say you do the same. It's a broad category. It's like the worst sports, right? When you say sports to somebody, they get a general idea of what you're talking about. But obviously volleyball is very different than gymnastics, what you need to do to be in an olympic level. I don't know, Ressler is very different than what you need to do to be a track and field person. So you get a sense but it's not specific And from a brain training perspective, I think of meditation as engaging in specific mental practices to cultivate specific mental qualities. And we think of what those practices are. And we use that term meditation usually when the practices and the qualities are part of some kind of wisdom tradition, Eastern Western, whether it's philosophical or religious or spiritual, it has that sort of kind of quality to it. And just like different sports can involve different kinds of training. Different forms of meditation will cultivate, will involve different practices and cultivate different qualities. So for example let's before we dive into mindfulness, transcendental meditation, even the term gives it away, it's like achieving transcendent states beyond just thinking of yourself as a lone individual. You may engage in practices that promote that or compassion meditation really cultivating the quality of caring for the suffering of others and acting on behalf of alleviating that suffering. So these are specific things you do and we're not talking about the practices are but they're different and then they produced these qualities for mindfulness. It is a form of meditation, but it's also an intrinsic mental capacity we have. But let's just talk about mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness meditation would be engaging in practices that cultivate this present centered, non elaborated orientation. So that's a lot of words to basically cultivating the qualities of being in the here and the now without a story about it, react without reacting to it and with the capacity to get the raw data of what's transpiring without laying a story on top of it. And that judgment. That's right, judgmental is another way that people put it. Um it's really about not having the director's cut of your life experience, like you're not sitting on the side and what's really happening in this moment. Chase is looking at her and wondering what she's gonna say next is just there's a face on the screen and it's I this faces eyes are directed towards me and very different experience. Um so anyway, mindfulness I would describe as a mental mode. So, like I said, intrinsic capacity, we all have it a mental mode of paying attention to our present moment experience without this judgmental editorializing and emotionally reacting to it, and with an awareness of what is happening in the moment. So just to connect the dots, the meditation practices allow us to on demand have more moments of mindfulness present in our lives. And, you know, I already used the term attention so we can unpack attention to. But I think just mindfulness and meditation are really good terms to to parse that they're not the same thing, but obviously they're interrelated. Yeah, so I'm playing dummy here, I think I have a perspective, but let's just keep pulling on this thread for any newbie, or if there is a skeptic amongst us here listening or watching so great, we can focus our attention, but I pay attention all the time, right? Like, I have to drive, and I uh you know, if I didn't pay attention, I would crash into something, or if I have to, you know, write an email to a colleague or if I'm in the weight room training, I'm I'm I'm paying attention. So what's the big deal, I have the experience of paying attention. Um but why would I bother to train it, since I already have experience is doing it good, good job playing the skeptic. So let's talk about what attention is, because then we'll talk about whether it's actually true that you're paying attention as much as you think you are. And I'll just start with a real piece of data and it's not just one singular study. It's like study upon study. It's now meta analyses of of multiple studies, which is the number 50% and 50% is the amount of time during our waking hours where our attention is actually in the task at hand. So just think about that. So, you know, we're going to have a let's say we have a 40 minute conversation, You're going to be gone for 20 of it and you're not going to leave. I mean, I'll still see you, you'll be standing there, I won't be able to tell And it won't be 20 minutes and 11 continuous context. It'll be micro excursions that you're going to take away from the sound of my voice comprehending what I'm saying, taking in the richness of the interaction and you'll be somewhere else. So then the question is that's a pretty striking number. I mean, that that in and of itself suggests we question when we feel like we're paying attention, maybe we're not. And the way we know this number is that we've done studies now many, many, but I'll just describe a couple of versions of these studies. People volunteer. They sign up. Yes, they'll be in your study and you basically asked them to agree to be texted any time of normal waking hours and asked a couple of questions via text and then the answer. So the first question would be something like what are you doing right now? Just whenever you get the text, what you're doing right now, I'm in an interview right now, or I'm talking to somebody right now, or I'm reading a book, whatever it is, you just they even have like little categories in some of these studies were just click on what you're doing and it was literally all human activity. So the categories were rich. And then the second question was, where's your attention right now? And essentially that was is it in the thing you just told me you're doing or somewhere else? And only about 50% of the time where people say yes, it's in the thing I'm doing. So that that's kind of striking, but you're like, okay, look, it's just everyday life, like you're not trying to always pay attention. So then you talk about studies where you bring people into the lab And you tell them this is an attention experiment, and for the next 20 minutes you're going to be doing an attention task. And then during this task you stopped the experiment every now and then and you ask them, where's your attention right now, is it on the task or not? Again, half the time their attention is not on the task. So then you can take it to a level further, like, okay, but there's no motivation to maybe these are boring psychology experiments, so then they did versions and this is stuff I haven't done directly in my lab, but some wonderful colleagues have, you pay people so be aware that your mind will wander now, don't wander, okay, you're going to do this attention task, I'm gonna pay you and still people will wander away. So this we're learning is not just some strange, odd thing that some people have, it is the human brain and this particular moment it's built for distractibility in this way. So the first challenge I'd have to, the person who thinks I don't need to pay attention already. Pay attention okay, pay attention to whether you're paying attention a little bit more, knowing what I just said, and then we can talk about unpacking what we even mean, when we use the term attention, there's I think I will do a lay person's version of what you just said. How many times have you gotten to where you're going while driving your car and have very little memory of the process that it took to get there. And if you then I think most people, if you drive, you can say that that has happened numerous times and then you start to apply that same um thought or process to lots of other things that you do during the day and then it starts to become quite obvious that we are sort of moving through Our day and to me 50% seems wildly generous for attention paid because we live in a culture that is dramatically seemingly all of time has been Um has been, there have been distractions. You know, you cite monks 400 years ago talking about not being able to focus about getting close enough to God or whatever Shaming themselves because that modern world that they were living in 400 years ago was so distracting and you know multiply that times infinity, basically. Here we are in Western culture in 2021, so I'm here to say this, maybe I'm burying the lead, but We all struggle with attention and if you are a mindfulness or a meditator and you try and focus on something like the breath, I will bet you that you cannot focus on 40 breaths in a row before your mind goes somewhere else to the grocery store or two, oh what you forgot to do or maybe I might even wager that you can't get 10 breaths if you are listening right now, so feel free to pause and go do that exercise and then you can Venmo me, I'm just at chase drivers and Venmo um but the punch, the punch line for me is yes, exactly. If you owe me a dollar breath, I just teaching teaching, teaching, it's just racking up um and you know, we're we're adjusting, but underlying all that is, if you can start to be the master of your attention, Whether that is at first on your breath in meditation or most think vividly brought to life in being attentive to your life, to the moments. There is a of the hundreds and hundreds of guests that I've had on the show. There is a very strong correlation to all of the peak performers in the world at whatever discipline and their ability to pay attention. There's a famous, um, we had Malcolm Gladwell on the show not too long ago and he talked about Lebron James ability to recall in dramatic detail. Uh three minute stretch during a basketball game. I mean what every player was doing, where they were on the court, what what you know, mood they were all in, where they're having a good game or a bad game and this is incredible. 360° image over, over a lot of time, over minutes. And then you, people wonder why someone like Lebron James is world class. They have this When you are in the moment and aware. It is, you know, whether you use the word transcendent or aware or just it's a very powerful spot. So this is a good time for me to bring in your book which is called peak mind, find your focus on your attention, invest just 12 minutes a day. So the question that I'm just laying here before you is why why do it, why care, Why train this thing between our ears. This multi million year Oregon. Why train it to pay attention? What's the punchline Attention? Minutes, 12 minutes a day is a lot 12 minutes a day for 10 years. Imagine how many minutes that is. It's a lot I would ask people that think that's a lot of to tell me honestly how long they've been scrolling on their phone without actually any agenda. That's a little more than 12 minutes. So let's see if we can cut down some activities and shift over to try something else. But to answer your question, I think it's a really good one. In fact, every, you know, as you know from some of your snooping on me online, you know that the kind of work that I've done has been in these kind of incredibly demanding professions, Military service members, first responders, you know, leaders of communities and it's a, it's a brass tacks question. Why the heck should we do this? Why should I give you a single minute, let alone 12 a day for what you're saying. And what I say most broadly is attention and I'm not even exaggerating what you pay attention to is your life? It is your life and attention fuels everything you do and to shorthand that attention fuels your success. So you probably want to pay attention to what's going on with the gas tank of your mind and cultivated in a way that will advantage you And that's actually why I wrote why I liked the title, that was the title of the book. It's a little bit of a play on this notion of a peak moment. You know, peak moment is like I always joke about this like in my head it's the it's a woman on the mountaintop, you know, with her arms outstretched, like did it and then it's over and then you got to climb back down the mountain. That's not what I'm talking about. I'm not talking about a peak mind as essentially exceptional, extraordinary and and very, very transient. I'm talking about the mind, a mind that has the capacity to cultivate all of itself, including all of its attention so that it can use that fuel to do everything we want to do and do it while staving off distractibility so that we can meet the challenges that life has and frankly continue to have a sense of fulfillment. So, and I'm kind of talking around the notion of what attention is, but I hope that that at least as it is, it makes you curious about why you might want to I know you're already sold on on doing it. Everybody outed yourself as a practitioner of meditation, but I think it's a really good question to ask and it's one that I get asked plainly often like why should I mean Yeah, you've done this work, but I don't care. Well let me ask you something for anybody that's thinking that I mean have you met somebody where you thought you know their their decision making is illogical. Their emotions are highly reactive. They're disconnected and not able to be empathetic and thought that's a good leader. I want to aspire to be that person. Absolutely not. So how do you go from being somebody or being in a state of having illogical decision making to having more logical decision making, from being reactive to being regulated from being un empathetic and disconnected to really plugged in and able to touch into the heart of those around you. The difference between those two kind of categories of behavior is attention and we know this not just from thinking about it but from study after study. It's the cognitive capacity that when depleted would lead you to being this this person you don't want to be and when available and strengthened the person you probably think is the best version of you. So we want to do that and we want to cultivate it. And the question big question mark as I said at the outset is has been how do we do that? How do we actually get people to pay attention better? And it actually connects to what we were talking about with that 50% number. So maybe we can talk through kind of connecting the dots there. Please do. Please keep going. You're on a roll. I'm this is yeah, this is why I'm here. So, you know, I think that the first thing to do is maybe unpack what that term is because we've been using it as a placeholder, but it's actually more than one thing, attention ends up being, this may be obvious, but it's every, every mental capacity we have right now is the success story of our evolution. I mean, we didn't end up the way we are with the brains we have by chance they were selected for and finally honed and anything along the way that didn't have these particular features didn't make it so oftentimes what may feel like is a flaw in the way we're designed is often truly a feature. And that's true with the same 50% number we were talking about this, this distractibility idea is actually a good thing. But even before that, backing up even further, like why do we have attention? Why do we have a brain that pays attention? And it starts out with the fundamental problem that that organisms that had brains had, which is the brain is actually guiding what the entire organism is doing to survive. And it's limited. It cannot possibly process every single thing around it. And everything single thing within it meaning generated within its own ability to generate whatever it was going to generate. So attention was the solution that allowed for kind of a sub sampling. It's like, okay, I can't get a picture of the whole thing. But what if I just get a little bit and then a little bit more and a little bit more and I'll use that to kind of piece together what's going on. So one of the first capacities of attention that was developed, I would say evolved and we don't know the order by the way, but one of the capacities that was involved because we're guessing whenever we're talking about brain evolution, frankly we're guessing. But this makes sense that that this may be one of the reasons that happened. The capacity to what we are calling. Focus narrow restrict so that you can take a small sampling from the environment and use the entirety of your limited brain to fully process it. That's a win. I only have one brain so I'm gonna take a little bit and use all of it to process what's going on and that's actually what happens. So even in the course of this conversation, when I'm focusing on you and your facial expressions, my visual cortex is more active. My face processing areas are active. If you speak comprehension tuned to your voice is going to be more prominent. Everything we pay attention to is more prominent in our brain which goes back to this notion of in some sense it's our life in that moment. And so just to just to kind of speed this up because I could go I could go on and on but focus is very, very important. And the metaphor I like to use for focuses. Its like a flashlight. So think of the organism in this darkened space and wherever you direct this brain resource, you get information just like us in a darkened room with a little flashlight to help us make our way to the door and Miami winter Miami rainstorms. We get a lot of power outages, We keep our flashlights handy. But that's only one way we pay attention. This narrowing, restricting. I think all of us get that. And usually when you say to somebody come on, pay attention. It's like direct your computational resources to me. But there are two other main ways that we pay attention that I think are worth talking about again as it relates to that 50% No. The second one is the exact opposite of what I just said. Whereas we want to constrict and narrow with the flashlight. This next system something we call alerting formally, it's a brain system of alerting. Broad receptive does not want to restrict anything. The only thing that actually privileges is the present moment, what is going on right now? And if you think about that term alert, that's what it means. What's alert to what's going on right now? So if you want to place yourself in like when in your life might you use the system think of the last time you were driving or walking. And even if you were in that kind of zoned out state where you don't remember anything. If you encountered a flashing yellow light while you're driving, you probably are going to have that feeling of like you gotta pay attention, maybe it's a school zone, maybe construction site, I don't know what, but I gotta pay attention what's going on right now because action may be required. That's unusual. And so we know what that kind of feels like that readied state. Um but not restricted, not narrow, it's not like the flashlight. So one systems kind of pointing the flashlight. Privileging certain content. One is privileging time and the third system just to round it out is privileging our goals. What is it that I want to do in this moment? What is the most important thing to me right now? And can I attend to the things that align with my goals and this we call executive control, just like an executive of the company. This system's job is to ensure that whatever the goals are and whatever our actions are are aligned and when there's a mismatch to course correct? So either you have got to change the goal or you got to change what you're doing so that might help us understand at least okay, attention is not one thing, it's actually much more than one thing. All three of those systems by the way are going to be vulnerable. They're going to be vulnerable to various aspects that will degrade them. So anyway, that's just, I think, I think it's beautiful, it's time for you to step in? No. And if I was to put an exclamation point on your wisdom there, it's if you want to be able to direct your attention effectively towards those things, I think what's going to peak the listener here is like, oh executive function, Yeah, I want, I want to achieve my goals Yeah, that's the one other time, okay, but I want to win at life and win, not just be successful but fulfilled, which is a big part of our show. One without the other would be hell. So the the, the exclamation point is that meditation is developing the muscles that allow you to direct that this is going to the gym and what I find fascinating and it's scrolling back here to the intro of your book is if I asked people if you want to be, would you like to be stronger and healthier? I don't know many people that say no, I don't want to be stronger, I don't want to be healthier, I don't want to be more ability to handle, I don't want to have, you know, I want to have a lesser ability to handle what life brings to me, I don't think anyone says that, so by extension then, so do people want to train to be stronger to be better. Yes. And to some degree, some people engage in that and some people don't now let's take that same, it's just like going to the gym well are you willing if you realize that attention is truly all we have to give in this world and our attention for example determines our executive focus, which is how we make decisions is how we get things done. Would you want to spend time practicing being able to flex that muscle at will and when again I've asked 100 you know, practitioners like yourself masters and I've heard from thousands of people, if not more in this community that of course this is the meaning, this is what we want. And if we can just agree to this for a moment, we'll park the neuroscience, will park the high flatten, you know terminology and whatever you people's preconceived notions of meditation, mindfulness and awareness are and say, do you want to be able to live a richer life to live in the moment and to direct the actions that you take to affect the outcomes that you want in this world? Everyone has to say, I don't know anyone who says no to that right? Therefore I want to go to the gym and I want everyone who's listening to go to the gym. I want to go to the mind jim and this is I think a great lens into your book, your book is a mind jim. So let's assume we've brought our people with us, Everyone is standing around Okay Doctor me she I got it. I want to, I want to go to the mine jim with you and chase because this idea of of combating you know addiction, this idea of my attention wondering not being able to connect with people around me and empathy and all the things you said, you've got a bunch of raw subjects here, we're all focused on you right now. What's the first thing you tell us to do? Okay so everybody's bought in, everybody wants to do this, that's great. And the first thing to know is that just wanting to do it is not going to be enough. I'm looking at the boldface in your book right here, you can't just decide to do this, that's not how the brain works. It's true and part of that is because Of this 50% like it's just gonna be the default of the way that you function. So so know that it's a win that you're at the gym. You want to do it, you gotta, you know, you've got your right mindset and you're committed but it's truly not going to be about thinking about it or reading about it. You know, reading about it is a great way to get interested in what you do but you have to actually do the workout, you've got to work it for it to work is another way that you can think about it. But um the thing to remember, I just want to actually talk about one thing you said before we talk about what we say to the people of the gym because it might seem like, well I want only the executive control. Things like I want to be better at my goals, maintaining my goals and achieving my goals very important. But what makes us not be able to do that just think about the times when you have not been able to achieve a goal. Usually that flashlight is not where you want it to be, it's somewhere else or you're unaware. Like the floodlight is another metaphor I used for the alerting system of what the situation is to know if you need to do something differently. So these systems completely rely on each other. And I think that's a really important thing to realize in terms of vulnerability is the flashlight is so powerful because it guides the input for information. We can direct it willfully but it can get yanked, it can get pulled. And so if you're in a darkened room and you hear you hear a strange sound, you're going to take that flashlight and try to figure out what it is why? Because threatening information, novel information, information that's related to you. If you're walking down the street and somebody says chase, you're going to turn why you're not even to think about it. You're just going to turn all of that has helped advantage our survival. So the system going back to why we're built to be distractible will always have this sort of agility to move in other directions. The reality is, as you were saying about the medieval monks, you don't need to have external stimulation for threat stress and poor mood to have an impact on you. We generate all that content ourselves all the time. In some sense, we're competing. There is a little bit of an inner war going on. I want to be writing this email in a thoughtful way, but I'm thinking about that really disturbing um, conversation I had that really just kind of left a sting or I'm really worried about something and you know, so the flashlight does get yanked around. It gets yanked around in time in some sense. So I just want to connect it back to why we even bother with this present centered attention and it is a big deal. So not only can we get yanked around in time by mental time travel. A thought about the past, a worry about the future, but we can actually even get yanked around into other people's minds. So I mean, I I really think this is kind of interesting. It's time travel and mind to travel. So now when we think about social evaluation, I'm thinking, oh, I'm in your mind and I'm looking at myself thinking, oh, he she didn't, you know, he's thinking I didn't give a good enough answer to that question. It could have been better. like now all of a sudden I'm not speaking with just my mind towards my content. I'm preoccupied with your evaluation of me and I did that all on my own. You said nothing. So this is all to say these are the forces that are really going to derail us. It's the time travel in the mind travel. And that's what I realized in our work when I was telling you that after we kind of got a basic understanding of how it works, we understood that it's vulnerable and what is vulnerable to is this notion of stress, threat. Poor mood fundamentally is about hijacking of attention out of the present moment. So the first thing we want to do is train. So that were in the present moment. And and literally that's when I was like a lightbulb moment when I'm reading jack cornfields book and he's talking about pay attention to the present moment. I was like ah genius idea, practice paying attention to the present moment. So when you are your flashlights somewhere else, you're actually reminding yourself to be here now. And the other thing you got to do is notice where the flashlight is notice where you're at moment by moment or else you won't know where you are to know if you're in the moment and and pointing it toward the right things. So both of those features of being able to direct your attention and be able to notice where your mind is and both of those being privileged toward the present moment is all what mindfulness training is about. So all these people hanging out wanting to understand what they do for the mind jim. That's what we're gonna be learning, how we're going to learn a series of practices that are going to Allow us with a dedicated amount of time working up to about 12 minutes a day to practice mentally practice focusing, noticing and redirecting our attention when it's not where we want it to be. And then once we've cultivated that we can use it and apply to all the other aspects of our life that will be served better from our ability to do that. That is such a powerful message. That is a powerful tool. That is a simple message is the three things right? Pay attention. Be able to uh redirect our our awareness when we realize it's gone somewhere else and bring it back to the present moment. And one of the things that I loved among the book is incredible. We editorialized for just a minute um for those doubters or if you are aware that meditation because it's scientifically Uh made a lot of covered a lot of ground in the last, I would even say 30 years. Um everyone now let's just assume that you're like, Okay, cool, I'm at least bought in one of the things that I loved about your book dr me, she is that there is a very it's very practical. Here's here's what's happening, here's why here is literally a recipe to do this every day. And I think it's fair to say that there's lots of kinds of exercises we can do and you know by extension, there are lots of different types of meditation. Meditation is about this exercise of focusing your attention. You know, you are reasonably prescriptive in here. There are lots of different things you can look up meditation, just freaking try it. You have a you have a guide in your book that helps us do that. And so let's we're still talking to this group of people were in the middle of gymnasium, we're all sitting around listening to you and so walk us through what the practice looks like. It can give us a shortened version. But you've got a five week, a five week training here. You only you only gotta make you only got about you only got about 80% it's fine. You don't need to do 100% of the things 100% of the time. You can't it's like you're not you're dieting, it's like you can't have the occasional carb okay and you've missed one day a week, it's okay. But by and large, you're going to the gym and you're eating healthy with dr Michelle here. So what does your five week program look like? High level? Say it again? High level. What does that program. So so let's just talk about one of the practices. So in the book I I talk about four practices. It's almost like a practice a week that you can kind of get introduced. And then there's one that's going to be foundational, you're going to do it throughout the entire time. You're going to interlace these new practices, you learn with those and this is a foundational practice. Like I said I didn't make this up. This has been around for millennia. The only thing we've done is connected the dots with attention and then studied the impact of how if and how it affects attention and then what's the least amount of time we can have people do this and still find beneficial effects. So let me just talk about that foundational practice and there's many different names given to it. You already mentioned one aspect of it. Mindfulness of the breath is something people call it. And in the book I call it the finder flashlight practice and I do that for a specific reason which I'll get into. So we're all we're all here we're ready to go. We're going to do our workout, sit sit down if you want. You can stand up if you like. But I suggest pick a kind of a specific time during the day when you're dedicating yourself to doing this, don't do it just like in the middle of the most crazy busy time you can do micro practices later. But you're going to devote yourself to doing this in the same way you take seriously exercising. So sit down comfortable posture and really it's about this is not about falling asleep, this is not relaxation, this is about waking up and paying attention. So we're gonna take this sort of dignified posture. I would say upright but not uptight. We don't wanna be like so stiff and don't be too preoccupied about the posture. You just want to really embody what you are aiming to achieve. And then the very first thing we're going to do so fundamental is we're going to notice that our body is breathing, sitting and breathing. And of course we've been breathing this entire time. We weren't breathing. We have other problems but we are and we're just taking stock of that aspect of our experience breathing. And then we're going to do is actually going a little bit of a hunt. What is most vivid regarding my breath related sensations. What feels prominent right now for some people, it may be coolness of air around their breath or their chest moving up or down. Pick something that you can say is actually vivid. I can really feel it in the sensory arena and then take that flashlight of your attention and for the short amount of time we're going to do this practice. That's where you're going to direct the flashlight of attention and oftentimes it helps to kind of lower, close your eyes because you really are thinking about now not thinking, experiencing body sensations. So lower. Close your eyes while you're sitting. You notice your body breathing, notice what's vivid and then that's the target for your attention for the short practice. And then the intention, the goal is keep my flashlight focused on those breath related sensations. So focus number one part of the exercise. We're doing this for a while soon enough, your mind will wander away which brings us to the second part of the instruction. Notice when your mind wanders away. And by the way, I didn't say if you happen to be one of those really broken people whose mind wanders, you know, the rest of us are fine. Just keeping your flashlight here. I'm not saying that it's normal normalize it 50% of the time when you notice your mind has wandered away, simply redirected back. And you might even say gently redirected back. There's nothing a big hubbub about this. So essentially the three steps for our first exercise. Our focus notice and redirect and the content for all of this is our mind and our body and our breath happening and then repeat. Right? So focus notice. Redirect, repeat. And if you if you noticed, I'm actually we're actually exercising all three systems of attention. In that one practice we're exercising, pointing the flashlight were really receptive with the floodlight, checking in on where our mind is and then that that executive control is saying what's the goal right now. Not thinking about the future, not making your grocery list, not even thinking about, you know, a great memory of the last time you meditated right now. Pay attention to the breath, get that flashlight back. And a lot of times my my military colleagues will say this is a push up. You gave us a push up for the mind. So I really liked that you already talked about it as a mind jim. But I hope that that gives like a flavor for the present centered nous. You can't save up the breath for later. It's happening right now and it's just a handy tool. There's really not anything about breath manipulation or changing the way your breathing. It's just it's a handy tool you can use no props needed, got it with you all the time And you can exercise in this way and work up to about 12 minutes a day. This to me, one of the reasons that I was um focused on asking you to do this is I'm speaking to everyone who's listening and watching right now. Yeah. How simple is that now that when you understand the simplicity of this is the rationale is like can anyone do this? Yes. Does 100-100% of the people's minds wonder. Yes, it's not if you're super strong, even the best meditators, if you've been doing this for 30 years, your mind will wander and your job is to gently bring it back to the breath. Now there are all kinds of different types of meditation, but at its foundation, those three steps, the attention noticing and redirecting as you just walked us through, it's difficult to understand the profundity, I don't know if that's the right word of that exercise and if you get super strong doing these push ups and you can do lots and lots of pushups, how that translates into the rest of the world. So there are other exercises in your book that you build on, but that's exercise one, Let me break it to you everybody, they're all that simple, They're all a simple push up. And yet, you know, Buddhist monks have been practicing this you know sometimes for 70 years of their life and it brings about great potential power, awareness, ability to succeed, ability to regulate, ability to normalize, to connect to empathize all this is happens as a result of these little mental push ups. Now I'm saying this from someone who like I know it all To be fair, I've only been practicing for 10 years, so I am a novice and yet I would like to shift the conversation now do, let's just assume that we've got everybody where this, you know, you're in the spotlight, dark circle of people around you in the gym, you we've done this exercise together, people like, okay cool, I get it a little bit of a blend of it, it's so simple and yet it's so profound. So you asked me before we started recording about creativity and you gave an example of judgment of, oh well if I'm not in the moment and I think, oh, what's, you know, doctors are gonna be thinking about that, I'm thinking about right now and I'm asking, am I asking good questions or is just going off the rails, am I doing a bad job in that moment? This judgment, It is so preoccupying that it undermines the attention on the moment and it's certainly, it's not a stretch to think this or to to have this be obvious is that when we're going to be doing our best at anything specifically, I'm talking about creativity here because you asked earlier, but it's obvious that Lebron James is not going to play his best basketball if he's worried about what X thinks or why, or the thing that if his attention is not in the present moment, you have done a great job of breaking down some of the different aspects of the benefits. I would say the stories that we tell ourselves, I like to think that the most important words in the world are the ones we say to ourselves and people who do not have control of their attention. Does anyone here have monkey mind where they're saying, oh geez, I wonder if they're thinking, what does that help or hurt. I think it's terrible. So you go chapter by chapter here, the ability to stay and play for example, to press record if you are, if you are frustrated right now with life, something is not happening. If you are meditating, you will soon realize that you have the you are in charge of what your experience is. And most importantly, if you pay attention to your experience and multiply that times lots of experiences. That is your memory. You're literally in control of what you're remembering. So I would like you to talk to us a little bit about some of these specific benefits, like the ability to stay in this joyful, playful state where we do our best work and we are most creative and our ability to create as another example, the memories, the living, the life that we want by focusing on things that matter instead of the the terrible things that happened to us. We got in the car wreck, you know, we had an argument with our spouse or our co worker yelled at us. So staying in play and then choosing the memories that we create. How does your what you know about these practices benefit just those two examples. So, great question. I think the first thing I want to say is I love that you're taking play in that way. That was not actually the way that I meant it, but it's actually related to that point. So really what I was talking about was related to something I said a few minutes ago, The notion of mental time travel, that so much when we do this, 50% of the time we are in the past to the future. So it's like the rewind button or the fast forward button and in some sense, even the word play in that joyful spirited, ever flowing flow um, state in some sense requires you to be in literally have the button on play. You're not in rewind and you're not fast forward. I mean if you think about the state of mind that you're in, when you're most creative most generative, it actually is pretty present centered now when you're evaluating creative product, you probably need to be in fast forward and rewind, which is fine. But the creative process is not singular, right? There's multiple steps. So I think that we don't want to miss that generative component, we do need to stay in play. The problem is two things we can't, we're going to be mind wandering and two were not aware when we're mind wandering. So it might not have even occurred to us that, you know, especially if you've got to be creative on a deadline and there's so many professions where I see this and I really feel for and and frankly, even as an academic, we've got to do that. Like come up with a brilliant new experiment idea by the time the grant deadline comes around. It's like how am I going to do that usually what starts happening is the pressure of having to perform is all that is you're paying attention to, you know, what happens if I don't get the grant, what happens if I don't succeed at this? So it's all the what ifs about the future or well the last time I had to do this under this time pressure, you know, didn't go so well again rewind So in that moment when there's performance pressure, when there's even a desire to be your most creative, you've got to be present centered and that goes back to the practice we just did in our mind gym. So I know that the vulnerabilities that we might have to creativity, especially this generative component, we can do something about it by staying in play. And you know, the other thing is attention is the conduit. It's the gateway to memory. So if you do not pay attention, the chances of you remembering episodes and new information Are much, much less in fact zero. Now, I'm not talking about the kind of memory that's really moto orrick or, or procedural, we might say like, you know, learning how to how to do something repetitive, like practicing scales on a piano or something like that when you're initially learning it, you need to pay attention. But then you can execute in an automatic way I'm talking about learning and remembering things like episodes of your life and knowledge that you gain. So even if we think about students and as a professor, I see this all the time. They're sitting in the classroom now everybody's got their laptop and they somehow think that if they're like Alexa or Siri and transcribing every word out of my mouth somehow that's going to translate into them remembering it not at all. What they need to do is have presence of mind to listen, attend to my words, comprehend them and turn that into some set of notes that will actually jog that memory of what they understood. So just I think that most people don't have that understanding and when people complain my memory is so poor, I don't remember that at all. Even if it's remembering somebody's name that you just met, were you paying attention when you heard the name? Did you actually experience it hitting your eardrums? Were you listening not just hearing? Were you observing? Not just even watching with those added attention? Early infused aspects of our experience. We will create richer memories and that will serve us, especially when we want to remember this is sort of like it gets at the core of um why I'm such a believer and why it really does, it's like I haven't heard you say anything that I don't want, do I want richer memories. Do I want to be able to direct to write the memories that I have into my hard drive such that in a future date I can recall them as such. Do I want to be more president connected. Empathetic. And it really it's it's part of the start that that that trips me out is it's all available to all of us and it truly is available. The the connection that I think is fascinating is Can you get this really in 12 minutes a day? Yes. Is the answer. There are some traditions that want you to do 20 and maybe more is more beneficial. But in your work you talk about the minimum effective dose. So for the folks out there who are like okay, I don't want to be a monk chase. I don't want to go, I don't want to live in the zen monastery and but I want these benefits. So uh dr zhu talked to us about the minimum effective dose. What why you ended up in 12 minutes? And uh if you think that's legit to get maybe the 18 80 20 rule, like we get 80 80% of the benefit or something like that. Yeah. You know, we because we wanted to help people uh preserve their attention When they were under very stressful circumstances because we started out talking about 50% as the default for mind wandering right? We're not in the present moment, 50%. But if you have a profession that is filled with stress threat, poor mood and you're under extreme demand, extremely demanding circumstances for multiple weeks, that number is going to go up, you're gonna mind wander even more. So part of my motivation was I wanted something that people that are time pressured and performance pressure, which frankly at this point is all of us could do reasonably do. And when we started the work, we didn't start with 12 minutes a day, we actually started on the extreme. I was like, you know, after hearing Richard Davidson as I, as I described to you earlier, you know, tell me about some of the results with the monastics. I'm like, Okay, nobody has yet really systematically studied attention and mindfulness. That's what I want to do again back in the early 2000s, which where should I start looking? And I'm like, let's go to sort of olympic level meditation practitioners, People that are going to endure or undergo a month of solid meditation practice 10 to 12 hours a day at a mountain retreat center. If we're ever going to see a change in attention due to mindfulness practice, we should see it here. And yeah, we did. I was very pleased to say we've seen improvements in various aspects of attention and even kind of a related system called working memory. And frankly a lot more research has been done that it improves long term memory as well. So all these things now in those retreat settings, people have found, I can't go on a month long retreat, I can't even go on a week long retreat or even a daylong retreat. And even if I could, I don't know if that's what I would choose to do, right? So there's all these considerations, plus there was no way I was gonna even entertain the idea of talking to a bunch of marines, special forces guys, firefighters, medical and nursing students and say just leave your busy life and just go do that thing. So we had to incorporate it into quote unquote duty day. You got this time, do the work? What's the it's a brass tacks question, what's the least amount of time doc like, just tell me what to do and I'll do it. I didn't have an answer. In fact, the starting point was not even was not the mountain retreat. It was a program that is available across the world now. Something called Mindfulness based stress reduction, developed by my dear colleague and friend Jon Kabat Zinn and he developed it to help people based on sort of these buddhist principles and practices in a secular manner, not tied to any particular worldview offering practices in medical settings to help people that were essentially unable to be helped by any other kind of treatment. These were chronic pain patients. And he developed this eight week 24 plus our program and these patients came in. They did the program. He asked them to practice these same types of practices that I describe in the book 45 minutes a day. And the patients benefited. In fact, many, many patients have benefited from doing this. And in some sense it's part of the gold standard of treatment for a variety of disorders, physical disorders as well as psychological disorders. 45 minutes a day is even a long amount of time and and 2.5 hours a week is a lot of time to give. But that was a great starting point because it was, it was already in the kind of civilian setting didn't require people to go anywhere. And then when we did sort of titrate it down. So we went, we said, okay, Maybe don't ask them to do minutes. Let's ask him to 30 minutes. And we did. Nobody did 30 minutes, very few people that and these were now pre deployment marines. So we were catching them at this very very intense preparatory interval and I was kind of um not that surprised but disappointed that we couldn't get them to do it. So then I just took a different approach. Let me let the data tell me something. And what the data told me is that people did benefit. And what we did is we told them, don't tell me what I want to hear. Tell me how much you actually practiced week by week, day by day, fill out this little form only. I'll see it as the researcher, your trainer won't know how much you actually did private. Nobody's gonna know about it. And they did. They were very honest and put 000 sum. Put you know five here, here, 15 here. Even though the recordings we gave them, we're all 30 minute recordings to help guide them. And then we kind of left the data tell us Okay for those that benefited what was the average amount of time daily that they were practicing And it was about 12 minutes a day that they were doing over eight weeks. To me. That was very interesting because that meant okay that's somehow a doable range. Um and the second thing we found is that the more they did beyond 12 minutes, the more they benefited. So there is as you were hinting at there is this sort of dose response effect. The more you do, the more you benefit. So just to tell you about one other study After getting this picture painted. Okay. There's something about 12 minutes. The next study we did was actually at the University of Miami football team. So again different kind of community of participants. They definitely want to see actionable beneficial effects. We didn't even bother asking them to do 30 minutes now. We just said 12 minutes we're going to give you all these recordings that are 12 minutes long and we want you to do them every single day for a month. Did they do them every single day. No they did not. But those that did them for about five days a week benefited. Those that did all seven days benefited more. So we continue to see this dose response effect. The thing that was categorically different was people were willing to do the 12 minutes. So that's why that number became interesting. And um, and you know, so I think the two things that that are takeaways are, yeah, you don't need to go away to a mountain retreat. You can do this every day, Squeeze in 12 minutes. Work up to it to think of it as your daily dozen and if you do more you'll benefit more. Incredible. I find, um, I find the way you've laid this out in the book to be exceptional. And again, I'll just for folks who are totally now committed peak mind, find your focus on your attention, invest 12 minutes a day. Highly recommended I've been doing this again, I'm still a sophomore. I'm a neophyte 10 years in here. But I've looked at a lot of different, I'll call it source code and what you've just The ability to articulate this how you got to 12 minutes I think is super valuable. And I'd love to me things, you know, putting things in packages that people are actually will consume is half of the, if not more of the challenge and you've done an incredible job. Um, other sources that you find really valuable. Do you want to prescribe some specific traditions of meditation that you found in your research were perhaps more easily adopted than others. Let's try and keep the barrier to entry here low and easy. Um, any any advice on that front? Yeah, I mean I said, the main thing is that me, because I wanted to offer this as broadly as possible to a variety of groups and I don't know anything about these people. I don't know, I know what their profession is usually, but I don't know what their worldview is or their particular flavor of, of religious or spiritual practice. So to me it was important because I'm coming from a brain training perspective that it's accessible by anyone. So as you'll see as you described about the book, every practice has that quality of like these are common things, you gotta breath, you've got a body, you can do this. But there is something I think that is important to mentioned and you know, you described, which I appreciate. You know, there's a simplicity and an elegance to some of these practices. Again, I'm not the inventor of these, I'm a communicator of these and really have reverence for a lot of the millennia worth of world wisdom that allows us to even consider them, they're simple, but I think for the practitioner to keep in mind that they aren't always easy. And that's like a common Frazier here simple, not easy. So that is an important thing to remember and in fact that's why I used the phrase Find your flashlight when I, when I wanted to name that practice because oftentimes when you get to the point where you're there, you're focusing on the breath. Got it here I am on the breath, look at me focusing on the breath. Then you have that inside of like, oh my gosh, I just said that to myself that was mind wandering right and that's even a complimentary mind wonder, but that is mind wandering. That's not focusing on the breath, that's thinking about you focusing on the breath. Um you can get very frustrated like ah this flashlight is just not staying stable. It's just like all over the place and initially that can be very, very frustrating. So to me, I want people to really understand the win the moment that you should get. Like that little dopamine burst in your mind is finding your flashlight. It's not about keeping it steady, it's not about focusing, it's about refocusing and frankly you can't even know to refocus unless you know where you are. So I want people to really experience that part of the practice. Like you're sitting there, you're like focusing on the breath. I wonder what I'm gonna have for lunch mind wander win, realized I mind wandered. I didn't spend the whole next 10 minutes planning out my menu for the next week. I noticed it and got back and that's what will happen. You know, you describe yourself humbly as a a sophomore with 10 years of experience, it's not your, you know, you are nowhere near the same level you were as you started. And my guess is, and you can tell me if this resonates with you, what has probably gotten easier and better is the journeying away isn't as deep hours long. There's a, there's a, there's a more intimate or kind of familiarity with your own mind so that you can kind of tell when you're getting tugged away and even before you fully mind wander, you may be able to bring it back. Does that resonate with you at all? That does also, I would add to that there's a kindness in the understanding that that is a part of it. Like that is not, I didn't do this right or well or I'm not good or bad or there's like just an acceptance that goes with this. Like, cool, here's my job, bring the attention back. And so it is, as you mentioned, it's not so hard and heavy, you start to get familiar in the environment and there is what I find is a general compassion with one's itself which I think has huge implications across across the landscape of the mind and sort of self kindness. But I'm editorializing now going beyond your question. So yes, I do find it to be true. Yeah, yeah. And I think that's also really exciting and when the, and the reason I'm saying this is because often times when I've introduced these practices and I teach a course at the University of Miami for undergrads. And it's really interesting because we're learning the practices and they're also learning the science of all of these studies that are part of what I describe in the book um that are now a field, which is kind of amazing when I started out, it was such a lonely place, but now there's an entire field called contemplative neuroscience, but what they come to realize which within a couple of weeks is there's a little bit of dip in their mood because they kind of see the landscape before them. Like my mind wanders a lot a lot and it's not just wandering while I'm practicing, it's wandering all day long. And and some point get to the point where they start even saying things like, is the practice making my mind wander more, you know, because I'm noticing my mind's wandering a lot more and then we kind of pause and it's really fun when they kind of guide each other. Like no, probably it's been happening all along. You've just picked up on it and then they start trying to talk through and help each other like what's been the benefit of noticing your mind wandering. Well, if I'm, you know, thinking I'm going to play this video game for five minutes and then get back to studying, I realized I'm not doing that, I'm stuck here. Maybe I can do something to shake myself out of continuing to play and go back to work or I'm in a room in a loop. My mind is wandering to that to wake up in that moment and say let's see if I can go for a walk, shake this off or have a conversation with a friend. So they were starting to pick up on the reality that the mind wanders a lot and that changing our relationship to it because now we, we appreciate that capacity we have and this tendency we have can actually start transforming things for the better. So we're not chasing happiness but it ends up that with more practice we can feel happier and more in control of our lives. Well I don't know people who don't want that, that's not who the show is for so they can listen to other podcasts but I've taken up a little more of your time than I promise. So I want to say thank you, Doctor Anesthesia Professor of Psychology at the University of Miami. It's been extraordinary to have you on the show. Thank you for writing Peak mind, I've recommended it a couple of times, threats already. Just tripling down here. It's an incredible packaging of information. The simplification. 12 minutes is an absolute doable thing for anyone and if you don't have 12 minutes I like to think that you are, you have not, you're not doing this right? This thing called Life? I want to help you find 12 minutes. Um Thank you so much for the work. I know you've you've said it many times that you've referenced. You know, this is the work is out there. You're just communicating. It it's a beautiful way of respecting the tradition. But truly you've your work is additive to the field and I'm very grateful and congratulations on such a beautiful a book and a great piece of work. Thank you so much. It's been a lot of fun talking with you. I will send this message out if they haven't heard enough everybody. It's it's very powerful my experience with people across, you know, hundreds of guests on the show, some sort of contemplative practice most popularly, mindfulness and meditation is amongst the common response of all of the high performers. My good pal tim Ferriss many of you know, he had the same experience in writing tools for titans. That was the number one thing that was cited. The most common thread for high and peak performers. Uh dr Michelle, thank you for being on the show to all y'all out there in the world, enjoy the book and happy to be answering your questions. And I bet if you wanted to see if uh doctor if you wanted to direct people to somewhere other than your book. Let's say they've got the book, do they have to come track you down at the University of Miami and and go to school there or how can they where else can they tap tap? I highly recommend the University of Miami, but you don't need to do that. You can just remember my first name. A mystery. Am I. S. H. I. And visit a mystery dot com Michy dot com. Excellent. Thank you so much for being a guest on the show and to everybody out there in the world. I did you, mm hmm. Mhm. Yeah. Mhm. Yeah.

Class Description

Each week here on The Chase Jarvis Live Show, CreativeLive Founder + CEO Chase Jarvis sits down with the world’s top creative entrepreneurs and thought leaders and unpacks actionable, valuable insights to help you live your dreams in career, hobby, and in life..

Subscribe to The Chase Jarvis Live Show on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play, and Spotify.

First aired in 2010, the show has featured guests including:

Richard BransonArianna HuffingtonMark Cuban
Jared LetoMacklemoreAdrian Grenier
Tim FerrissGary VaynerchukSir Mix-A-Lot
Cory BookerBrené BrowniJustine
Daymond JohnLewis HowesMarie Forleo
LeVar BurtonGabrielle BernsteinRyan Holiday
Amanda CrewJames Mercer (The Shins)James Altucher
Ramit SethiDebbie MillmanKevin Rose
Marc EckoTina Roth EisenbergSophia Amoruso
Chris GuillebeauW. Kamau BellStefan Sagmeister
Neil StraussYves BeharVanessa Van Edwards
Caterina FakeRoman MarsKevin Kelly
Brian SolisScott HarrisonPiera Gelardi
Steven KotlerLeila JanahKelly Starrett
Elle LunaAdam BraunJoe McNally
Brandon StantonGretchen RubinAustin Kleon
Scott Dadich


Dream Focus Studio

By far the best classes on Creative Live!! Thanks Chase Jarvis for bringing so much greatness to the table for discussion! Just LOVE it!


Excellent interview with thoughtful questions. Thanks!!

Carla Thauberger

This was amazing. Will definitely be viewing again and again. Thank you both for this!