6 Amazing Things You Didn’t Know Your Mind Could Do

6 amazing things you didn't know your mind could do

Have you ever been blown away by extraordinary feats accomplished by human beings? What if YOU could do extraordinary things too by harnessing the power of your mind?

Sounds too good to be true? You may believe that some people have unique superpowers, but the only difference between them and you is that they realized the power of their mind while you just haven’t yet.

Now, let me introduce you to the 6 amazing things you didn’t know your mind could do.

1. You can use your mind to withstand extreme cold

Doctors say we cannot survive more than a few minutes in extremely cold water. Yet, there is a man that can stand fully immersed in ice for more than 1 hour and 30 min, and complete a full marathon above the artic circle in Finland, in temperatures close to −20 °C wearing only shorts.

Wim Hof (AKA Iceman) learned to withstand extreme cold by controlling his mind using breathing exercises and other techniques. He is not just doing that to be in the Guinness Book of World Records. In fact, he has a huge mission: make people around the world realize that they have the power to control their mind and stay happy, strong and healthy.

According to him, everybody can do what he is doing, and he actually proved it in a documentary by training other people, who were able, after only a few days of training, to climb a mountain in extreme cold wearing only shorts.

He is actively collaborating with the scientific community to bring more awareness around that topic. He is awesome, so check out some of the resources I mention at the end of this article.

2.You can use your mind to influence your immune system

Iceman has also been able to demonstrate under clinical tests that he can control his immune system, which scientists thought was impossible. In an experiment back in 2011, he was injected an endotoxin that should have made him sick for a few hours, but nothing happened. A new experiment including 12 people trained by Wim Hof and 12 “normal” people was conducted in 2013 and yielded impressive results showing that we are indeed able to influence our immune system. Wim Hof claims that we all have the power to regulate our immune system to prevent illness and stay healthy. What do you think?

3.You can use your mind to heal yourself

You have the power to heal yourself. The scientific community can keep denying it, but do you know what pharmaceutical companies do before launching a new product? They test it to see whether it is more efficient than the placebo effect. What is the placebo effect? It is nothing more than you healing yourself by believing that the pill they are giving you will help you! The pill is not necessary, it is your belief that heals yourself not the pill.

4.You can use your mind to live longer

Studies have shown that your perception of aging has a deep impact on your life expectancy. People who expect to have a long life, and who have a positive perception of aging, will on average live significantly longer than people who have a negative perception of aging. You can read more about that in my article: Why Your Perception of Aging Matters

5. You can use your mind to withstand extremely harsh conditions

We’ve already seen that we can withstand extreme cold, but it is only one example of what your mind can do. Would you agree that a marathon is physically one of the most challenging activities?  That is not necessarily the case for everyone.

In Japan, in their quest for enlightenment, Mount Hiei Marathon Monks from the Tendai school of Buddhism must walk the equivalent of 1,000 marathons in the mountains over a period of 7 years, covering a distance greater than the circumference of the earth. The first 3 years they have to walk 30 to 40 km for 100 days in a row each year, the fourth year, 30 to 40 km for 100 days in a row twice. During the seventh year, in addition to the 100-day 30 to 40 km marathon they also have to walk 84 km (2 marathons) for 100 days in a row.

Only those who have completed 100 walking marathons in a row during the first year are elligible for the quest  and once they accept it they can’t withdraw and must either complete the 1,000 marathons or take their own life.

But the walking part is just the easy stuff. One of the most challenging parts of their quest takes place during the fifth year when they have to meditate for more than a week without food, water and sleep while repeating the same mantra 100,000 times. Two monks stay constantly next to the meditating monk to make sure he does not fall asleep.

Only 46 people have completed the 1,000 marathon since 1886 and among them 3 completed it twice.

6. You can use your mind to rewire your brain

You have the power to rewire your brain and modify it regardless of your age.

Barbara Arrowsmith-Young was a child with learning disabilities. She was told that she would never learn as other children and would have to learn to live with her limitations. She couldn’t tell the time, she had spatial problems and couldn’t read a map and would get lost even in her friend’s house. She was unable to make sense of concepts, ideas or relationships (like cause and effect). For instance, she couldn’t make sense of philosophical books. Neither could she understand irony and jokes so that she had to learn to laugh when other people did.

Out of despair she tried to commit suicide. However, she then found out the work of well-known psychologists who was doing experiment on rats. Experiments revealed that physiological changes occurred in their brains when stimulated. Believing that it would probably be the case for humans too, she went on designing various exercises to train our brain and was able to modify her brain bit by bit until she fully recovered.

Yes, you can rewire your brain at any age.

Conclusion

Our mind is more powerful that most of us imagine. With our mind we can regulate our immune system, heal ourself, rewire our brain, and withstand extreme conditions.

You may think that the things mentioned in this article don’t apply to you. However, it is important to remember that, on the fundamental level, our minds are all very similar. With a huge shift in our belief system and the adequate training we can without a doubt accomplish great things.

Don’t you feel like pushing your mind a little bit harder now? I personally do!

Resources to go further

On Wim Hof

On Mount Hiei Marathon Monks

On living longer

On rewiring your brain

How to Escape the Rat Race and Live the Life you Want

How to escape the rat race

Are you sick of working? Do you wish you could escape the rat race, quit your 9/5 job, and spend the rest of your life doing what you really love? I might have something for you.

It is very easy to get stuck in what appears for most of us to be the only path that exists: working 40 years and retiring at 65 hoping that we will be lucky enough to enjoy at least a few years of retirement before becoming sick or passing away. But, is it really the only option we have?

Unfortunately, in this article, I’m not going to give you any magical pill or get-rich-quick schemes to escape the rat race, because there aren’t any, but I will provide you with different perspectives that will invite you to reconsider your current lifestyle and, I hope, open doors to new opportunities in your life. In the end, it is you who must decide what lifestyle suits you the most and what you are ready to do to escape the rat race. You CAN escape the rat race, but will you?

In this article I will talk about 4 different lifestyles (+ 1 bonus lifestyle). To make it easy to understand I caricatured each style so bear with me for the sake of the demonstration.

Here are the 4 lifestyles:

  1. Traditional 9/5 job lifestyle
  2. Passion-oriented lifestyle
  3. Vacation-oriented lifestyle
  4. Early retirement lifestyle

1. Traditional 9/5 Job lifestyle

It is the most common one by far. You have a traditional 9/5 job and you just hate it. You aren’t really growing, you are certainly not excited about your job, but you are making a decent amount of money, which allows you to live a comfortable life with a nice house, a nice car and everything else you need. In order to sustain you current lifestyle you’ll have to work until 65 at a job you don’t like, wishing everyday you could escape the rat race and do what you love. Is it you?

2. Passion-oriented lifestyle

You are spending time doing what you love every single day. You get up in the morning excited to start the day, and work doesn’t look like work to you. You may not be earning a lot of money, but you do what you love and are satisfied with what you have since you aren’t a heavy spender. Your house may be smaller and your car older and cheaper than your neighbor, but it doesn’t really bother you.

My guess is that most people aren’t that lucky because they haven’t really found out what they love to do. (See Step 4: Find Your Life Purpose). Steve Jobs in a famous speech said “You’ve got to find what you love” and I have to agree with him on that. If you haven’t find your passion yet, I invite you to keep looking even if it takes you decades to figure it out!

3. Vacation-oriented lifestyle

You alternate work and vacations. You generally take a few months of vacations every year or take one-year break from time to time. Because you are enjoying long breaks, obviously you aren’t making as much money as people working all year long, but you have few needs and a simple lifestyle so it is not a problem for you.

It might be difficult for you to have a career and climb the corporate ladder, but, hey, you had no plan in the first place to fully join the rat race so you have nothing to complain about!

Your free time offers you the opportunity to learn new skills that may help you generate some revenues in the coming years if chosen wisely. The biggest benefit from that lifestyle is that you don’t have to wait for retirement to enjoy your life. You clearly don’t know how long you will be around and whether you will be healthy enough to enjoy your life after retirement? Is it your lifestyle?

4. Early retirement lifestyle

You are determined to get out of the rat race as fast as possible. You don’t follow the usual “save 10% of your income and invest it for your retirement” mantra that investors love so much. Why? Because you have absolutely no plan to hang around for 40 years! You’re not playing in the same league. Your personal mantra is rather “I save 60 to 80% of my income and invest it until I have enough money to leave the system”. Then you can start focusing on what I really want to do. When you save such amount of money each month that totally changes the game, doesn’t it? In fact, in extreme cases, some people manage to retire in their 20s after working for only 5 years!

No. For you, no vacations on exotic beaches where you spend most of your savings accumulated during the year to make sure that you will never get out of the hamster wheel. No expensive cars, branded clothes or luxury houses. You must break free as soon as possible!

So what is your favorite lifestyle?

More about early retirement

Now, Let me explain more in detail about the early retirement lifestyle as it is particularly appealing, especially for those of you who aren’t particularly materialistic.

To put it very simply here is how it works:

  1. Save 60 to 80% of your income
  2. Invest your money in index funds (or other assets but make sure you know the risks involved!)
  3. Retire when you have enough passive income from investment to sustain a similar lifestyle until you die (Of course, the more frugal you are, the early you can retire)

Can you really save 60~80% of your income?

Obviously, the higher your salary is, the easier it will be for your to save money. However, don’t think that you need to be rich to adopt that lifestyle. This method is totally possible with an average salary and you will find people online that have done it. You don’t necessary need to save 60% or more, but the more you save the easier you will be able to retire.

Here is what this lifestyle involved:
– Live in a smaller house or apartment close to your working place
– Don’t own a car (or buy a cheap one and only if you really need to)
– Cook your own meal and avoid going out for dinner (it is likely to be healthier too)
– Buy very little clothes. Occasionally, you may buy expensive clothes like jackets if you know you will wear them for 10 years or more, or if they have a high reselling value
– Buy only second-hand stuff, and with a high reselling value when possible (nowadays most of the second-hand products are only a fraction of the original price. Say thank you to your consumerist friends!)
– Repair or make your own stuff if necessary
– Don’t buy anything unless you really need it
– Have inexpensive or free hobbies like walking, running, reading, having a coffee with your friends etc. (Whenever possible, choose hobbies that may turn into future revenues. If you like to study, use your free time to build valuable skills like writing skills, programming skills, blogging…)

As you may have noticed by now, here we aren’t talking about luxury retirement where you can go cruising all year long (You could very well spend much of your time in beautiful but inexpensive countries though). This lifestyle assumes that you’ll maintain the same frugal lifestyle that you had before so that you can live out of your passive income without using your capital assets.

However, financially speaking it is not as bad as it sounds since it assumes that you won’t generate any revenue at all after you « retire », but in fact:

  • You are very unlikely to completely retire. You will likely work part-time, create a new business or even work full-time if you feel like it. What is really awesome is that you will have enough money to live (simply) without having to work and will be able to focus on what truly matters to you. For self-actualization and creativity work that’s fantastic! Imagine what you could do if you had the time and the safety net to focus on what you really love.
  • You have a lot of time to learn new things that could turn into future revenues. For instance you could learn skills that allows you to work as a freelancer online (writing, design, programming…)
  • You may inherit from your family (though I wouldn’t count on that!)
  • You will likely collect some money from social security or pension plan in the future

As you can see, technically speaking, rather than a retirement, it is more like an escape plan allowing you to leave the system and giving you the safety net to focus on what you love.

BONUS lifestyle: Very early retirement lifestyle

This lifestyle is the early-retirement lifestyle on steroids! It adds online passive incomes to the early retirement lifestyle and requires you not only to save most of your income, but also to spend your free time building online passive income to escape the rat race even earlier. There are different ways to generate passive income online such as:

  • Affiliate marketing (selling someone else product on your website). It is what I’m doing just right below.
  • Creating your own products (Ebooks, Online courses, podcasts…). I’ve personally been using K Money Mastery (affiliate link) comto help me  publish ebooks on Amazon. I highly recommended it to you if you want to start generating passive income online.
  • Putting ads on your blog etc.

You don’t necessary need to have a blog to generate passive income online but it is generally better. Building passive income requires hard work and is definitely not easy! However, it is certainly very appealing. So if you happen to have something you are passionate about, or have a nerdy side, building a blog in your free time could be a great way to get started.

Note on investment

Most financial advisors will tell you to save at least 10% of your income and to invest it, and it is indeed a wise thing to do. Simply saving 10% of your income each month until you retire at 65 should provide you with enough money for retirement. Of course, if you want to retire early and have a safety margin, you should save and invest more! (Learn more here: Myth #3 Mutual Funds – Are You Investing Your Money Wisely? )

What lifestyle should you choose?

In this article I provide you with 5 different lifestyles that have each their benefits and their drawbacks. None of these lifestyles rely on get-rich-quick schemes and they all come with their own set of challenges. Some of them may seem impossible to you, but, it is mainly because you have hardly heard of them before. Or, maybe, because you aren’t ready to trade your little comfort and take a leap of faith to do what you really want to do. Give them some thoughts.

In the end it is up to you to decide how much free time you want, how much money you need and on what term you want to retire.
I hope that you’ll use this simple roadmap to reconsider what really matters to you in life and make sure you are taking the path that is right to you. Everyone’s situation is different, but,  hopefully, this article will open your eyes on what is possible for you, and will help you escape the rat race!

So which lifestyle do you choose? Leave me a comment below and share with me your ideal lifestyle.


Some resources to go further

On finding what you love

On passive income

  • Smartpassiveincome.com If you want to build passive income online it is a great site to start with. There are many podcasts and free resources and the guy who run the blog is totally honest and transparent.
  • K Money Mastery  A step-by-step method for making money with Kindle publishing that I’ve been using myself.

On early retirement

On investing


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The 5 Commandments of Personal Development

The 5 Commandments of Personal Development

Are You Using Age As An Excuse? – Why Your Perception of Aging Matters

Are you using age as an excuse?
A birthday is just another day where you go to work and people give you love. Age is just a state of mind, and you are as old as you think you are. You have to count your blessings and be happy. – Abhishek Bachchan

Are you using your age as a recurrent excuse not to take action in your life? What is your perception of aging? Are you afraid of getting old or do you have a positive view of aging?

Why your perception of aging matters

In this article I will tell you why all these questions matter more than you might think.

I’ve always been amazed at the number of people who are complaining about being too old, but as they said “You will understand when you will be my age”. They might be right but I vowed to never tell myself that I’m too old to do what I want to do. I refuse to play that game and I have good reasons for that.

People repeat to themselves the same mantra every day again and again and again, and not suprisingly, they end up believing it.  It is easy to fall prey to that belief when you’ve been hypnotized your entire life by people around you or by the media. Looking at the media, it seems that it is perfectly normal to be worn out by 45. Most of us have been brainwashed to think “we are too old”.

Get rid of the “I’m too old” excuse

The « I’m too old » excuse is one of the most disempowering belief I know of. I’ve never seen highly successful people complaining about being too old.

You won’t believe what people in their 40s tell me all the time. It seems to me that they are already in their 70s or 80s. They would tell me they are too old to learn a foreign language, to start a business, or to get some education. “It’s too late” as they say. Really?

Nowadays, in most of the countries around the world, the life expectation is around 70 and for developed countries around 80.

If you are 45 today, you still have 25 to 35 years to live on average. I guarantee you that in 25 years you can do a lot of things. You can start something from scratch and become an expert at it. You can learn to speak several languages fluently or you can create your start-up company among other things

These people will show you how young you are

The following examples will show you that you might not be as old as you think.

  • Fauja Singh: He is a centenarian marathon runner. If it is possible for a centenarian to run a marathon, you might want to reconsider what is possible at your age.
  • Jim Morris : Jim is a 78 year-old body builder who turn vegetarian at 50 and vegan at 65 and look surprisingly healthy. Jim Morris shows you that you can be healthy and active, and even practice body building in your 70s. A healthy diet is the key.

In one of my videos I actually recommend people to choose how long they want to live. Indeed, I believe that we are greatly responsible for our health and I’m convinced that we definitely have our say when it comes to the age until which we would like to live. We also know that people who strongly believe that they will overcome diseases like cancer are actually more likely to survive. For that reason I believe that it is important to send a clear message to our subconscious mind by deciding how long we want to live right now rather than just hoping we live a long and healthy life.

Some studies show that people who have a positive view about aging live on average 7.5 longer that people having a negative view of aging. So why not change your perception of aging right now? Especially when you know that, as we get older we generally become happier! Isn’t something to be optimistic about?

Being old or young is largely a mindset. Change your mindset and things will start changing for you. It is time for you to stop hoping and start choosing to live a long and healthy life. Why not drop that excuse “I’m too old” and start doing what you always dreamed of doing. Why not command your subconscious mind to assist you in that quest, and decide today how long you would like to live?

Let me give you another piece of information to encourage you to take responsibility for the way you age and start adopting a new and more empowering belief.

Our Brain is Plastic

It’s all plastic. You name the ability and you can drive improvement out of it independent of age. – Michael Merzenich, neuroscientist

Not only does our brain shape us, but we can actually shape our brain.  – Barbara Arrowsmith-Young, creator of Arrowsmith School

It is true that when we enter our forties, our cognitive abilities tend to decline. However, does it have to be that way? What if I tell you that you could improve your neurological abilities at any age? What if I tell you that you could retrain your brain to maintain your memory or restore your reaction time and your listening abilities to name a few?

For hundred of years, we thought that our brain was fixed and couldn’t be changed. However, we know now that it is not the case; actually our brain is surprisingly plastic. Let me give you an example.

Barbara Arrowsmith-Young was a child with learning disabilities. She was told that she will never learn as other children and would have to learn to live with her limitations. She encountered a lot of challenges in her daily life (see her TED Talk: The Woman Who Changed Her Brain). She couldn’t tell the time, she had spatial problems and couldn’t read a map and would get lost even in her friend’s house. She could understand concrete things but was unable to make sense of concepts, ideas or relationships (like cause and effect). For instance, she couldn’t make sense of philosophical books. Neither could she understand irony and jokes so that she had to learn to laugh when other people did.

She was so depressed that she tried to commit suicide. However, she then found out the work of well-known psychologists doing experiment on rats. Experiments show that when scientist stimulated the brain of rats, physiological changes occurred in their brain. Believing that it would also be the case for humans, she went on designing various exercises to train our brain and was able to change her brain little by little until she fully recovered.

Why does it matter?

What does it have to do with aging? The fact is that, our brain is plastic and we can retrain it to improve our abilities and even cure some disabilities regardless of our age.

In reality, as we get older, we live more and more on automatic pilot and we stop stretching and growing. As a result, our cognitive abilities start to decrease. The good new is that, as crazy as it sounds, yes, it can be reversed!

Here are some of the things that are possible by training your brain (at any age)

With training, your brain can:

  • Recover the machinery that controls learning
  • Restore the processess known that control growth, healing.
  • Change its chemistry to be like that of a young brain
  • Recover its ability to operate in a noisy environment
  • Recover its power of prediction
  • Restor its ability to remember
  • Re-strenghtened its immune response

To learn more watch How brain plasticity can change your life

Neuroscientists started designing exercises that we can use to maintain our brain abilities. You can check some of these exercises for free on BrainHQ.com

It is time for you to change your mindset. Start by refusing to say « I’m too old » again. Then, decide how long you want to live. Finally, start improving your diet and make sure you do some kind of exercises on a regular basis.

Being old is a mindset!

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The 5 Commandments of Personal Development

The 5 Commandments of Personal Development

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