Read With Me Wednesdays: Mind Hacking by Sir John Hargrave

This week's book is called Mind Hacking: How to Change Your Mind For Good in 21 Days by Sir John Hargrave.

And guess what?  You can read this badass piece of amazing literature for free right here. Though I will say you can also rent it from the library or find a copy on Amazon for a good price, as well.  Thing is?  The book is seriously cool.  I've always been a bit of a geek and this speaks to my geeky brain like nothing else ever has.

For one, he says that mind hacking is a way to reprogram your brain, as if your brain the software for your computer body.  This makes total sense to me, as I am always on the lookout for ways to reprogram my goofy brain.  So, if you can imagine your brain as a software program that uses code, you can then rewrite that code so your brain works better.

Confused yet?  Don't be.  You don't have to be a computer programmer in order to understand the concepts of this book.  Though, you already are a computer programmer if you really think about it.  You are programming your brain all the time.  Every thought you think about yourself is either reinforcing a concept you already think about yourself or you're reprogramming your brain to think differently about yourself.

Take this for example:

You think you're bad at something.  Let's say, art, for example.  And every single time you draw something, you don't like it, so you say "I am bad at art."  You're programming your brain to believe you're a bad artist.  I used to do that.  I used to say "I am good at pencil drawing, but I could never paint.  I am bad at painting.  I have no idea how to use color."  So, I became the pencil artist.  I would try to paint, and I'd show my paintings off to people, and they'd reply "Meh, that painting is okay," which then would reinforce the idea that I am a bad painter.  So again, I was good at drawing in pencil, but nothing more. 

So one day, I found Donna Dewberry, one of the greatest paint hackers in the world.  She made painting look fun and her techniques were like nothing I'd ever seen before.  So I tried again (from a book about painting landscapes).  And lo and behold, my painting didn't suck!  The next one I tried was a Bob Ross painting, and that one was even better.  They weren't perfect, but they also weren't bad.  I wasn't a bad painter after all!  Then I tried my hand at gourd painting (I was already drawing on them with a woodburner, so why not?).  I made a cute witch for Halloween and all of a sudden I realized: I was a good painter!  So I continued to paint, and now I don't even draw with pencils anymore.  I only paint.

I believed I was a bad painter.  I told everyone I was.  That was who I was.  But it simply wasn't true.  I had to reprogram my brain by trying different things and different teachers and all of a sudden, painting made sense to me.  I wasn't bad at it, I was just ignorant of how to do it in a way my brain understood.  And in the end, I hacked my brain's inability to understand how painting worked with teachers who taught me how to hack traditional painting techniques.

The point is, when your brain isn't working in the way you want?  Seek out new ways to reprogram it.  Find ways to hack the systems that aren't working for you.

In Hargrave's book, one way he suggests to recognize when your brain isn't working the way you want is to understand the "Attention Economy". 

Attention Economy Exercise

Imagine you wake up tomorrow in a parallel universe and our entire monetary system has been replaced by attention meters that are attached to our foreheads.  And imagine each minute you're awake is equal to $1.  Now, where are you spending your money?

Get out a sheet of paper and take one entire day and map out your thoughts.  When you wake up, what is your attention on?  Note the time you start, what you thought about, and when you changed your attention to something else.  Do this as much as you can throughout the day.  Especially notice when negative thought patterns arise.  Become the "observer of your mind", as the book states.

Now, equate those minutes to dollars.  How money attention money are you spending on thinking bad thoughts about yourself?  How much attention money are you spending on thinking bad thoughts about others?  How much on pining away for an ex who doesn't love you anymore?  How much are you spending on your favorite TV shows?  On watching advertisements?  On doing the things you like to do?  How much are spent on happy thoughts?  On positive reinforcement of your self-worth?

I guarantee you that most of our money is spent on the former, rather than the latter.

Now that you have it mapped out, do you see where you're leaking money on things that aren't doing you any good?  How do you want to change your spending habits?  How much do you need to change them?

(If you are more of a visual person and would rather see this on a chart, then download this worksheet to print out and plot out the percentages of where your times goes.)

If your brain is addicted to coffee and gossip and that takes up 35% of your day (or $325 if you're awake as much as I am), that's a helluva lot of attention dollars to be spending on something so trivial.  What could you replace that with?  You wouldn't even need to replace it all, but say you replaced half of that with something else, what would work for you?  Would it be reading new books to learn how to better yourself (like this book in this post!)?  Could you be using that time to create something (jewelry, art, cooking)?  Could you spend those attention dollars on time with a person who needs your help?  Brainstorm some new ideas on how to spend at least part of that time wasted on unnecessary stuff on something more productive for your life.  You will be surprised at how much and how quickly your life can change for the better.

This is just one of the MANY ideas he talks about in the book.  Rather than try to talk about everything here, I'll just say, go get the book, either for free at the link above or buy it on Amazon here: Mind Hacking: How to Change Your Mind for Good in 21 Days (<--affiliate link, I will get a small percentage of the sale if you use this link to buy it).

I am loving this book and I am reading this out loud to my whole family (which includes two teenage boys).  We're all geeky people who really, really dig this guy's ideas.  I know you will, too!

Check out this series next week when we talk about The Code of the Extraordinary Mind by Vishen Lakhiani, the founder of Mind Valley!

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