Strength train your brain...

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Dave0317

Level 3 Valued Member
Anybody here spend time purposefully making your mind stronger? Any favorite resources on the topic?

The Way of the Seal by Mark Divine is one book that I thought really laid out a good explanation of how to develop mental toughness. And some good leadership advice too. More of the same in his other book, Unbeatable Mind. His main points are about knowing your purpose, goal setting, visualization, and box breathing/meditation techniques.

Right now I am reading Left of Bang by Patrick Van Horn and Jason Riley. It is largely about recognizing threats and reading your environment to better deal with crime/terrorist attacks/etc.

Who else has some recommended books or other resources on making your mind sharper/tougher etc.?
 

M.Corpsy

First Post
Try stoicism.

For example, Marcus Aurelius: "Get rid of the judgment, get rid of the 'I am hurt,' you are rid of the hurt itself." (viii.40, in The Meditations)
Or Epictetus: "Men are disturbed, not by things, but by the principles and notions which they form concerning things." - From here: http://classics.mit.edu/Epictetus/epicench.html#74

Also, consider critical thinking. I really enjoy this book (you can read the first chapter for free, look at the list on the left side): http://www.pearsonhighered.com/educ...king-Across-the-Curriculum/9780137085149.page
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Dave, meditative practices are a time-honored way to strengthen the mind. My particular choice is a breathing practice which I liked so much that I now teach it, as do a few other members of StrongFirst leadership. You can read about it at http://OxyInside.com if you want to know more. The work is founded in the research and testing of a Professor Buteyko in the former Soviet Union in the 1960's.

-S-
 

Phil12

Level 7 Valued Member
Some good recommendations here.

For meditation, I like the book Mindfulness in Plain English. If you'll allow me a bit of a reach here, its no-nonsense tone reminds me a lot of Pavel's writing. It helped and still helps my meditation practice a lot.

I would also recommend keeping an eye on this fellow and his work: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam_Gazzaley

There's nothing ready-packaged available from him yet, but he's doing some really interesting work on video games to improve things like working memory. He had a podcast with Tim Ferriss that was quite good.
 

TravisDirks

Level 3 Valued Member
Improving the brain fits in really well with a strength practice. I'd say it's a bit like having a physical practice, in that you need to decide where you want to focus and some places are better than others. I decided that what's important to me is the ability to grasp complex concepts and to be able to work with them to solve problems. Deep or critical thought you might call it.

For this I recommend Charlie Munger's concept of mental models. This is a good place to start: https://www.farnamstreetblog.com/mental-models/

Put briefly the idea is to read and learn deeply about the best models and tools for understanding the world from many different fields - Physics, mathematics, psychology, economics, biology, everywhere... Pick out the deep ideas that really explain a lot in a field. Try to really understand them. Then the crucial part, practice stripping them of the specifics of the field and using them in other places. What can evolution teach you about business? or Sports? What can a differential amplifier tell you about the design of human senses?

Adding these mental models to your thinking toolbox really adds up nonlinearly and it's fun to think across fields.
 

Dave0317

Level 3 Valued Member
Thanks guys. Good to have some fresh perspectives to learn in other directions. Travis, I have seen exactly what that article refers to in a number of areas in life. Definitely worth spending more time on.
I definitely believe in training the mind goes right along with the strength training we do. You would simply be out of balance to train one and not the other.
 

Karen Smith

Level 6 Valued Member
Master Certified Instructor
Iron Maiden
Anybody here spend time purposefully making your mind stronger? Any favorite resources on the topic?

The Way of the Seal by Mark Divine is one book that I thought really laid out a good explanation of how to develop mental toughness. And some good leadership advice too. More of the same in his other book, Unbeatable Mind. His main points are about knowing your purpose, goal setting, visualization, and box breathing/meditation techniques.

Right now I am reading Left of Bang by Patrick Van Horn and Jason Riley. It is largely about recognizing threats and reading your environment to better deal with crime/terrorist attacks/etc.

Who else has some recommended books or other resources on making your mind sharper/tougher etc.?
If you are interested in other books like you mentioned, My Ex-husband (also a retired SEAL) has a books called "Escape the Wolf" that you might enjoy. His second book hits shelves next month but can be found on Amazon is called "100 Deadly Skills" by Clinton Emerson.

And don't worry this is NOT in anyway a self promo... as I DO NOT get any of the proceeds ;)
 

Dave0317

Level 3 Valued Member
Thanks Karen, I actually bought Escape the Wolf a while back while I was overseas. Great book. I really enjoyed it and have recommended it to friends that travel, and those that live in dangerous cities here in the U.S. I am a cop now and find that much of what he talks about can be applied to many places and cultures.

I will definitely be getting a copy of 100 Deadly Skills also. One can never be too strong...or too deadly.
 

TravisDirks

Level 3 Valued Member
Try stoicism.

For example, Marcus Aurelius: "Get rid of the judgment, get rid of the 'I am hurt,' you are rid of the hurt itself." (viii.40, in The Meditations)
Or Epictetus: "Men are disturbed, not by things, but by the principles and notions which they form concerning things." - From here: http://classics.mit.edu/Epictetus/epicench.html#74

Also, consider critical thinking. I really enjoy this book (you can read the first chapter for free, look at the list on the left side): http://www.pearsonhighered.com/educ...king-Across-the-Curriculum/9780137085149.page
I can second stoicism. It's certainly made a huge difference in my ability to keep going in touch situations. Maybe an even bigger benefit is that it's also caused me to appreciate when things are good much more often. These are favorites: A Guide to the Good Life, and Meditations
 

tangozero

Level 5 Valued Member
Thanks Karen, I actually bought Escape the Wolf a while back while I was overseas. Great book. I really enjoyed it and have recommended it to friends that travel, and those that live in dangerous cities here in the U.S. I am a cop now and find that much of what he talks about can be applied to many places and cultures.

I will definitely be getting a copy of 100 Deadly Skills also. One can never be too strong...or too deadly.
Another great book (little older now) is Unleashing the Warrior Within. Cheesy title, but excellent actionable approaches and plans for goal setting. Very practical. Also by an ex-SEAL.
 
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