Brain Food – No. 531 – July 2, 2023
Timeless ideas and insights for life. (Read the archives).
A few gems from my remarkable conversation with Dr. Julie Gurner
Victim or survivor mindset
“I think that there are two ways of looking at things that have happened to you. You can be a victim or you can be a survivor. Those are two very different cognitive positions. You can’t control what happens to you in either circumstance, but one is very powerful. You have overcome. One is you have had something happen to you and you are under that thing for quite some period of time. For me, if I hear someone and I hear that helplessness, one is that I want to reframe that experience. I want to tell a different story. I want them to tell a different narrative to themselves. I want them to rewrite that. In some ways, you want them to rewrite that narrative to survivorship and overcoming and what it took. You ask the right questions to get them to see that their own throughway in that case is based on their strength and ability. You want them to see those things rather than seeing the helplessness and powerlessness.”
“When people are telling me that ‘I’m doing this because of my childhood’ or ‘I’m doing this because of this,’ I think you’re giving up some amount of power. You’re giving up a lot of power to something outside of yourself, and also, how you’re interpreting that event is not useful to you. There may be a lot of truth to the terrible things that have happened, but those terrible things—you have to shut the door at some point and say, “I am my own man or woman, and I move forward. … if you are somebody who uses other events as a reason to self-destruct, you’re ceding power… We see that even in companies—’I’m doing this because so-and-so made me angry. I’m doing this because…’—and you end up making some poor decisions and ceding power because of someone else. You’re willing to make a poor decision. You’re willing to give up. Sometimes people are willing to give up their entire future dreams because of X, Y, and Z, and it’s a tragedy. You want people to really understand the power they have to create their own lives at some point and that creation is not given to anyone else but you.”
“It’s one thing to create. The other is you have to choose. ‘What are we going to do, and what are we not going to do?’ This is a gigantic aspect of show-business survival. It’s kind of unseen, what’s picked and what is discarded, but mastering that is how you stay alive.”
Your life is designed to get the results you are getting right now.
For the trajectory to change, the approach must change.
A mathematician on how to get the mind into motion.
“An initial period of concentration—conscious, directed attention—needs to be followed by some amount of unconscious processing…the key to solving a problem is to take a break from worrying, to move the problem to the back burner, to let the unwatched pot boil.”
Things I Love
Occasionally I recommend products or services I find useful. These recommendations are not sponsored, nor are the links affiliated.
Mattress: My obsession began when I was tasked with buying new mattresses for the family cottage. I talked to friends. I talked to sleep clinics. I tried countless mattresses. I even had the kids test them. There is so much crap out there! I ended up selecting the Obasan hospitality series. It’s the most comfortable mattress I’ve ever slept in. And it’s not just me. One of my kids told me it was a “bad bed for reading” because “it is so comfortable, I just fall asleep.” Highly recommended.
Grinder: I’ve been looking for a grinder that can do the range from espresso to Aeropress to pour-over. If that sounds simple, it’s not. I landed on the Niche Zero, which is both an excellent grinder and beautiful.
P.S. Sky vs. Ocean
P.P.S. I got tired of paying hundreds of dollars for this out-of-print book. Since it was out of copyright, I had the team put it back in print.