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- Hide Preview | 175 Comments | submitted about a year ago by Joeycrackem [Post Locked]

Becoming a mental juggernaut

TL;DR: Animated Video Post

It’s easy to understand why people exercise their bodies. Your physical appearance is observed every day when you look in the mirror. Failure to take care of the body has obvious repercussions. The mind is different. Unlike the body, maintenance failure is not as obvious. So why would one wish to expand their mind in the first place?

Expanding your mind allows you to have a more comprehensive understanding of reality, which in turn better equips you with the resources you will need to achieve your goals and live a happier life. Knowledge is potential power, and potential power is better than having no power at all. Simply put, you will have more tools and be more informed which will allow you to make better decisions.

1. Hang out with insightful people

The easiest way to become more insightful is to hang around insightful people. You become like the people with whom you surround yourself. You might have noticed that overweight parents tend to have overweight kids, or that athletic parents tend to have athletic kids. In many cases, the people with whom we often associate with are responsible for many of the beliefs and values that we uphold.

If the most insightful things your friends have to say have to do with ‘Game of Thrones’ fan theories, perhaps it’s time you start associating yourself with new people. You need to hang out with people that will give you new perspectives and make you contemplate higher quality thoughts. You don’t have to get rid of your old friends, just find some new ones.

There has never been an easier time to find insightful people. Through the powers of the internet, you can find your clan with a simple Google search. These people tend to hang out in niche forums or in dedicated Facebook groups. If you really want to find them, you will!

2. Meditate

Meditation has been practiced in the East for thousands of years. The exercise is starting to gain more popularity in the West due to scientific backing and general open-mindedness.

There are many benefits that stem from meditation; some are more obvious than others. However, these benefits only become evident after you have made meditation a daily practice in your life. Just like in the gym you cannot expect to see a huge transformation in one week.

Some benefits include:

  • Increased ability to focus
  • Increased emotional stability
  • Reduced stress
  • Increased Gray Matter in the Brain [1]

Meditation allows you to observe your thoughts and choose which ones to follow. You will no longer be run by impulse. Consequently, you will become better at decision making. Meditation leads to the development of ‘meta-awareness’, which means being aware of your own awareness. Enhanced meta-awareness allows you to step outside yourself and to judge your actions as if you were an observer. This ability is critical for those who wish to expand their minds. In the pursuit of knowledge, one will be forced with the task of challenging their presumed beliefs and thought patterns. That is why meditation is essential.

Tools for meditation:

  • Headspace app
  • Guided Mediation videos on YouTube

3. Listen to Audiobooks and Podcasts

If you are serious about expanding your mind, you will be an adherent of the ‘Kaizen’ philosophy. It’s Japanese for ‘continuous improvement’. We all have the same twenty-four hours in a day, but what separates us is how we spend that time.

You can learn almost anything with audiobooks and podcasts. You can download new information to your brain whilst doing everyday activities. I, personally, can get through and audiobook easily within 2-3 days. If I am consistent, that’s 2 books a week and over 100 books a year. Can you imagine how different your mind will be if you went through 100 books a year? You don’t even need to read that many books for your mind and perspectives to shift. Even 30 books is more than 90% of people would complete. Here are some activities you can do whilst listening to audiobooks:

  • Commuting to work
  • Vacuuming the house
  • Cleaning your car
  • Cleaning your dishes
  • Walking the dog

There are plenty of opportunities throughout the day that will arise in which you can slip in an audiobook.

Podcasts are also good and have gained huge popularity over the past few years. The advantage of listening to a podcast is that they can cover specific topics that are normally difficult to research. Podcasts are a goldmine, and just like audiobooks can have the same influence on your mind.

Tools for Audio:

  • Audible
  • Itunes Podcasts (contains over 250,000 different stations)
  • Soundcloud (contains amateur podcasts)
  • YouTube

4. Read Biographies

Imagine if you could sit down with some of the most influential people in history, and hear them tell you their life stories. Imagine if you could learn the lessons they have learned, or discover certain insights that they had. Well, this is possible with the aid of biographies, and more specifically autobiographies. You might never get a chance to talk to these people, but you can absorb their words. Biographies are incredibly useful in regards to expanding your mind because they allow you to consider different contexts.

The best thing about biographies is that they distill many of the lessons that would have been learned over a lifetime. You will not receive the same amount of insight as the person who experienced the events, but you will gain knowledge.

You might never become a boxing legend, or blow hundreds of millions of dollars, but you can learn the lessons from Mike Tyson’s biography. You might not be a president who spent twenty-seven years in prison, but Nelson Mandela’s biography might have something to say about it. You didn’t win the Mr. Olympia, and you weren’t the terminator or governator. But Arnold Schwarzenegger was, and he wrote all about it.

You get the picture; there are many life lessons to be learned through reading biographies! So what are you waiting for?

Tools for Biographies

  • Goodreads (Find ratings and top lists)
  • Total Recall (Arnold Schwarzenegger’s biography, a personal favourite)
  • Long Walk To Freedom (Nelson Mandela’s biography, another favourite)

5. Watch Documentaries

I remember when I was a young man. I used to spend many hours a day watching documentaries. My favourite documentaries were ones that dealt with: Astronomy, Quantum Physics, classical physics, war history, wildlife, and crime investigation. I stopped the habit after the age of sixteen. Last year during my Mechanical Engineering course I was tasked with choosing an elective subject. I decided to choose Astronomy because of my prior interest in the subject. To my surprise, much of the content discussed in the lectures, I had already learned as a teenager through documentaries! Topics such as: gravitational waves, black hole event horizons, the moons of Jupiter, supernova, and nebula formation, as well as the expanding universe seemed like common knowledge to me. Long story short, I ended up getting a high distinction for the class. I didn’t get the mark because of natural intelligence; instead I got it through the documentaries that I had enjoyed as a teenager.

Documentaries are a fun means to expand your mind, especially during your downtime! The good thing about them is that they don’t seem like work. Many people can’t stand reading because to them it seems like work, it reminds them of school. Documentaries offer an alternative to the usual means of education, and you can find some good quality information in them as well. You can watch a range of documentaries on YouTube as well as a number of online websites for free. Do not ignore this medium; I try to watch one every couple of days.

Tools for documentaries

  • (watch documentaries for free)
  • YouTube Playlists ( many free documentaries )
  • IMBb Highest rated documentaries (a useful list)

6. Read Philosophy

Reading philosophy is easily one of the best ways to expand your mind. Philosophy is derived from Greek and means ‘love of wisdom’. If you love wisdom you will not ignore philosophy. Philosophy challenges you to question many things in your life through the use of reason. The capacity to reason is one of the special human endowments that distinguishes us from animals. If you wish to expand your mind, you must learn to reason and use critical thinking to gain clarity. Philosophical inquiry can lead you to entertain deeper thoughts than you have ever imagined. You might find yourself asking questions such as:

  1. Is it worse to fail at something or never attempt it in the first place?
  2. If I could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
  3. To what extent do we shape our own destinies, and how much is down to fate?
  4. Does nature shape our personalities more than nurture?
  5. Should people care more about doing the right thing, or doing things right?
  6. What single piece of advice should we offer to a newborn infant?
  7. Where is the line between insanity and creativity?
  8. What is true happiness?

Luckily for us, we can also read the ideas and conclusions made by some of the greatest thinkers who have ever lived. We can read philosophy from both the East and the West in order to form our own personal world view. I highly recommend you read philosophy if you are serious about expanding your mind.

Tools for philosophy:

  • Philosophy in minutes (introductory book that summarises key concepts)
  • The pig that wants to be eaten (fun philosophical conundrums)
  • The Republic (classic text by Plato)
  • Meditations (classic text by Marcus Aurelius)
  • School of life Philosophy (a YouTube crash course in philosophy)

7. Learn a new language

Learning a new language is an extreme workout for the brain, it’s like running a couple of marathons and competing in a strongman competition straight after. Language is complex, and in often shapes how we see the world. Learning a new language forces you to learn new syntax structures, and a completely new vocabulary and way of describing the world. Research has shown people who are multilingual often:

  • have higher general intelligence
  • are better at planning, prioritizing, and decision-making
  • have better focus, concentration and attention
  • have better memory and memorization skills, including better working memory
  • exhibit mental flexibility

There are just so many benefits to learning a new language, and as society becomes more globalised you might be forced to learn a new one.

Tools for language learning: (free language lessons) (language lessons)

8. Learn programming

Programming, much like learning a new language, can be incredibly taxing on the brain. Steve Jobs famously said,

“Everybody in this country should learn how to program a computer… because it teaches you how to think.”

Programming requires a structured and logical way to thinking, much like mathematics. Programming is advanced program solving that requires you to break down complicated problems into smaller manageable pieces that can be tackled. This structured way of thinking can then be applied to real-world scenarios. Good programmers are good problem solvers, and as the world becomes more technologically advanced, individuals with these skills will be rewarded greatly. Programming also requires incredible persistence as well as creativity. This is because small errors in a line of code can ruin the functionality of the end product. Programming develops grit due to the persistence needed for it. It has been said that a young Bill Gates (Before his billionaire days) would often code for twelve hours straight. Gates would often fall asleep on the keyboard, wake up and continue his coding.

Programming has never been easier to learn as there are many of online resources and communities that can help you. I personally like to use as you can learn a range of languages from HTML to C++. Go and give coding a try!

Tools for programming:

  • (learn to code online for free)
  • MIT ‘Introduction to Computer Science and Programming’ (free online course)
  • (paid courses)
  • Khan Academy ‘Computer Programming’ (free online course)

The Bottom Line

Expanding your mind is not rocket science. There is one common denominator between everything that I have listed. Everything challenges your mind in some way. Anything can be used as a tool to expand your mind, as long as it involves you learning something new. This list is by no means exhaustive; there are many things that I have omitted for example:

playing chess or any other strategy game learning a new musical instrument learning cognitive biases and heuristics building up your memory It’s up to you to figure out which tools you will use. I hope this article has been of value to you. Go out there and expand your mind!

[-] Joeycrackem 150 Points about a year ago

Cliffs: Start doing shit that challenges your brain. Yeah you got nice biceps, but your body will diminish as you get older. All that we are left with is our minds.

[-] Bear-With-Bit 40 Points about a year ago

I find cooking is a good mental work out. If that gets to be routine, then try making a nice dinner for a small group.

[-] blackzero2 16 Points about a year ago

I have developed a good connection with cooking. Some of the obvious benefits are that its healthier, cheaper, delicious etc but some of the not so obvious things I have discovered is that it is quite relaxing. Sure I am not making a Gordon Ramsay level dish each time, it can be something simple but there is a sense of achievement. This is something I have done purely for myself. Next up, it gives me better control over my binge eating habits. Feel like grabbing fast food? Well there is already cooked food in the fridge can't waste that. Oh also, girls love a guy who can cook. If I hit it on with a girl, usually by 3rd date I invite them over for dinner. Put on some music, prepare dinner while talking, eat and then eat some more ;)

[-] OneRedYear 9 Points about a year ago

Cooking + A good podcast is how I bookend my day.

[-] The_Noble_Lie 4 Points about a year ago

Just to reference the article:

This is cognitively simple compared to any complex programming task. Theres more time dependence I suppose. Especially when cooking many dishes at once.

[-] Da_llluminati 12 Points about a year ago

The mind is important, but big biceps are importanter.

[-] lazy_jones 6 Points about a year ago

If you're hoping that our minds won't diminish, you're going to be disappointed... It just takes a little longer to notice.

[-] polyspastos 7 Points about a year ago

Ye we all die. So what? Don't get up today? WHAT IS YOUR FUCKING POINT?

[-] Code3LI 4 Points about a year ago

To be fair, train both until and into old age. Sarcopenia, or age related muscle loss, diminishes our muscle mass by 3% to 5% per decade as we age, starting at the mere age of 30 years old. Strength training inhibits this. TRT helps mitigate or even reverse it.

[-] KidWonder101 1 Point about a year ago

I disagree somewhat, exercise does a lot for the brain.

[-] SirKolbath 126 Points about a year ago

Let me add to the language section the free app Duolingo. I've been studying Spanish for 701 days, ten minutes a day and now read it on between a fourth and fifth grade level. I check out kid's books from the library in Spanish and can puzzle my way through them. (The Rhinoceros Detective was about... Get this, a rhinoceros and he's a detective!)

All kidding aside, I'm getting ready to take some Spanish classes at the local junior College to work on speaking the language, but the reading foundation is a huge help.

[-] Joeycrackem 24 Points about a year ago

I actually mentioned that one in the animated video. Great app!

[-] SirKolbath 7 Points about a year ago

I actually mentioned that one in the animated video. Great app!

Good! I'm glad you brought it up. Can't believe I've been using the damn thing for 701 days straight. It's almost become an obsession.

[-] aboutarookie 2 Points about a year ago

This is the exact same post on the seduction sub

[-] weiry6922 6 Points about a year ago

Im using Duolingo for learning swedish. It is a great app.

Have you ever used the paid for version? Wondering how good their audio lessons are. I currently listen to swedish YouTube videos while driving to work.

[-] SirKolbath 5 Points about a year ago

I have not. Congratulations, by the way, that you are able to understand spoken Swedish. That's pretty amazing. I've noticed that Duolingo seems to be more focused on the written word, or maybe that's just the way that I process information.

[-] weiry6922 3 Points about a year ago

Unfortunately I'm nowhere near that good yet. I only listen to videos teaching Swedish phases or basic conversations at the moment is what I meant. Yeah I agree, I've found listening to the YouTube videos to be helpful even if I only understand a few sentences.

Keep up that impressive streak sir.

[-] SirKolbath 3 Points about a year ago

I've heard Swedish is a very difficult language to learn. Good luck!

[-] [deleted] 3 Points about a year ago

Varför vill du lära dig svenska?

[-] matthewzz1997 3 Points about a year ago

Eftersom jag träffade en svensk tjej :)

[-] [deleted] 1 Point about a year ago

Enjoy ;) De är sjukt nice:a

[-] weiry6922 2 Points about a year ago

Varför vill du lära dig svenska?

Jag skulle gärna vilja bor där en dag. Jag talar bara lite Svenska. Hopefully that made sense :)

[-] Fraita 2 Points about a year ago

Förstod precis allt ;)!

Good luck with your Swedish lessons, really have challenge myself to learn a new language too.

[-] [deleted] about a year ago
[-] matthewzz1997 1 Point about a year ago

I'm learning as well. What videos do you recommend?

[-] weiry6922 2 Points about a year ago

I've been listening to GoSwedish videos over and over to try and memorize her lessons.

Duolingo Swedish forum is a good place to get recommendations on videos, I've seen them make quite a few suggestions. Depends on where you're at in your progress.

[-] Saihyou 5 Points about a year ago

By the way for some Asian languages (Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Korean) it's recommended to use LingoDeer as it was made specifically with them in mind.

[-] [deleted] 4 Points about a year ago


[-] [deleted] about a year ago
[-] rookieMale 3 Points about a year ago

You can also try Memrise. It’s wonderful and offers multiple ways of learning a language. I use both Duolingo and Memrise daily for Swedish.

[-] HandsomeTalos 1 Point 9 months ago

My German teacher in highschool made us learn 100 words from Memrise and then verify us in front of the class. It was cool.

[-] SirKolbath 1 Point about a year ago

Thanks. I'll look into that.

[-] Code3LI 2 Points about a year ago

I'm really interested in brushing up on Spanish, so I'm going to download this app. Thanks!

[-] 2comment 2 Points about a year ago

That's pretty good progress for 116h time investment. Since it's said that it takes 15m to get into a task and focus (Idk if this is backed up), I wonder if an 30/45/60/90m chunk at a time would be better investment or if the daily refresher is better?

[-] Twentyfivedeep 2 Points about a year ago

The website LINGQ is great too in my opinion. It costs, but it is a great way to build your vocabulary and assess our level of inoweledge.

[-] SirKolbath 1 Point about a year ago

Thank you! I'll look into that. I've also heard very good things about the website "Spanish in 30 Days." It is supposed to focus more on helping you create sentences to speak in your head.

[-] juniorman00 2 Points about a year ago
[-] NSFWIssue 1 Point about a year ago

5th grade level in 701 days doesn't sound very promising. What kind of lessons does Duolingo have? Basic vocab? Grammer structure? Pronunciation? Conversation? I think I'll check it out, some progress is better than no progress.

[-] SirKolbath 6 Points about a year ago

Bear in mind that it's ten minutes a day. If I were studying Spanish 1-2 hours a day or doing total immersion I'd pick it up in a few weeks, but the logistics of doing so are incredibly difficult. Mathematically, this is 117 hours over the last year and 3/4. That's actually a lot of progress for a short period of actual work.

[-] [deleted] about a year ago
[-] [deleted] about a year ago
[-] [deleted] about a year ago
[-] [deleted] 19 Points about a year ago


[-] hiaf 6 Points about a year ago

As they say ignorance is bliss. Gaming dumb blondes becomes more of a chore than a challenge. Your friends will be bland for conversation as well as your family. Dumbing yourself down for conversation feels wrong but is necessary just as essential as is small-talk.

Avoiding small minded people and searching for your equals or better is a good way to climb social ladders.

This post encourages mentally stimulating activities much like we should search people worthy of our attention. I would like to add that entertainment without substance can still be enjoyed if done sparingly, much like social contact with thougtless individuals, though we should stray as far as possible for our sake.

I believe our mental health can be affected negatively with dull, negative and ignorant people just as severely as consuming mindless entertainment and not challenging the brain.

[-] [deleted] about a year ago
[-] photospheric_ 70 Points about a year ago

I would add reducing or avoiding alcohol completely to this list.

There’s reliable information showing that even moderate amounts of alcohol can cause brain damage even if it might have some physical benefit (reduced blood pressure etc).

[-] Shakydrummer 48 Points about a year ago

Reduced my alcohol intake to basically where I can count on both hands by the end of the year how many times I drank. The difference is just night and day man.

[-] Metalgear222 6 Points about a year ago

How many times you drank or how many times you got drunk?

[-] Shakydrummer 2 Points about a year ago

Drank? For 2017 all it really was was Christmas, my birthday, and new years. I usually just drink soda water the rest of the time!

Getting drunk on the other hand, the birthday and new years were given but I honestly didn't even go super hard on my birthday cause at that point I could barely handle anything in the first place haha

[-] MisterInspector 21 Points about a year ago

Maybe its just me, but when I stopped smoking weed almost 5 weeks ago on friday, I've been feeling more alert and wary of how I spend my time. I actually want to get off my ass and take steps to improve my life. There's so much to do.

[-] [deleted] about a year ago
[-] MisterInspector 4 Points about a year ago

I completely stopped smoking after a solid two years of inhaling a few bong/pipe bowls a day and doing absolutely nothing. I feel great. I know it affected my motivation and happiness, but I sincerely hope my cognization didn't get fried, though I suspect that happened a while ago. And if it did, I hope it all goes back to normal, soon. I'll try to read more and watch science documentaries on youtube, purely for that purpose. Cheers.

[-] max_peenor 3 Points about a year ago

a loss of five IQ points

In young adults over a certain period of time... blah blah blah.

Medical science is largely a shitshow of contradictory studies (which themselves are the ghetto of science) and probabilities. It works because as with all things in a casino, the math favors a certain outcome over multiple tries.

So... point? Drugs should be looked at as a tool. Sometimes they will have utility. Often they will not. If you are using a drug because you need it to feel better, then you have a problem. If you are using a drug to feel normal, you may have a problem (i.e., it's ok to take a hydrocodone right after shoulder surgery, but if it is how you deal with a hangover, stop).

[-] DoveDizzle 2 Points about a year ago

Actually the latest research shows that it improves cognition and memory overall. But its probably different for everyone. First of all, i think sativa strains are better. Secondly, if people have high anxiety, thats worse for your frontal cortex. So weed can improve your cognition by lowering anxiety.

Of course, too much of anything is bad -- including food and water.

[-] [deleted] 1 Point about a year ago


[-] S-Blaze 10 Points about a year ago

Also reduce testosterone. Everyone that I know who smoke regularly would be better off without it.

[-] Code3LI 4 Points about a year ago

Between alcohol and cannabis, I would rather be able to smoke every once in awhile rather than drink. I've seen too many overdoses, DWI accidents, assaults, etc while volunteering in the fire department. Not one similar incident, or any incident at all, was due to cannabis. As always, moderation is key. But people in NY don't even be that choice. And I would never suggest it as a mental crutch unless a medical professional prescribed it as a medication.

[-] S-Blaze 1 Point about a year ago

Drunktard incidents tends to be much worse but non violent incidents caused by weed are regular. Like a friend who almost crashed his car while stoned, 0 alcohol, if I hadnt picked the wheel in a hurry his car wouldve been a wreck and us probably injured. I smoked for 13-14years with breaks and I'd rather drink once in a while, it makes me social and cheerful. Weed put me too much in my head and make me lazy the following days. Also less gains when I smoke and less libido.

Still awesome to play some music on occasion but thats it for me. My roommate and best friend who I introduced to redpill is lazy as fuck because of it lol, he has a good job and many qualities, good redpill mindset overall but he doesn't lift and spend most of his sparetime playing games high. It can be hard to keep in moderation because people get accustomed to the dopamine. ''moderation'' for someone might be 1 blunt a day and thats just funny. The mexican had the slang marijuanna aka mary-whore which meant she both comfort you and destroy you, a little dramatic but true regardless.

Quitting helped me get out of my comfy parent's basement and do something with my life.

[-] Code3LI 4 Points about a year ago

Everyone is absolutely unique and different. They did a study in Colorado (it's on YouTube) where people smoked and a Sheriff watched them maneuver through a track. Even when quite high, he said that he wouldn't pull them over. In fact, I remember one person being so high they stopped themselves before the Sheriff said anything. This doesn't mean I condone it, but traffic fatalities were down 33% in the first quarter of 2017 alone in Colorado:

I'm also going by professional experience. I've had drunks try to attack me, I've had to hold them down to transport them, I've seen them roll vehicles, I've seen them be ejected from vehicles, I've seen them speak of suicide, I've seen them covered in piss/shit/vomit, I've seen someone due of cirrhosis of the liver, etc. I've never seen any incident in my hundreds of calls revolve around or even include marijuana.

And remember, Schwarzenegger used to smoke pot. Many famous people, some profoundly intelligent, smoked pot or do still smoke. It depends on the individual. I agree it can be a crutch for many, but it's better off legal. I would rather someone smoke themselves into a state of sleep rather than watch someone drink themselves into a state of death.

[-] S-Blaze -5 Point about a year ago

Schwarzenegger rewarded himself with it he didnt smoke it regularly. Same thing with the other famous people at their peaks. But yes everyone is different, it has an enhancing effect. For example me i'm a virgo, big thinker always in my head thinking,planning,dreaming, hypercritical of myself, careful about my look so I can't really unwind and feel at ease on it.

[-] SigmundRoidd 9 Points about a year ago

Gee You're a Virgo?

Damn, that makes a lot of sense.

Since the month you were born will coincide with specific personality traits.

[-] [deleted] about a year ago
[-] MisterInspector 0 Points about a year ago

I know a few guys like that as well. They could eat more and gain a few pounds of muscle/fat but instead they choose to ignore how skinny they look because they're skating to the next location to get high. It's sad. But then even two months ago, I was no better.

[-] max_peenor 1 Point about a year ago

There’s reliable information

Internet web links? How do they work!

I've seen data all over the place on this. You really need to cite when you make claims like this, because if I go from my memory, it says you are both full of shit and completely right at the time.

[-] photospheric_ 1 Point about a year ago

Haha you’ve got a point tbh. It was an observational study so it could be criticized. But it does seem intuitive that alcohol, which is a literal poison, which also causes your body to produce acetylaldehyde, would probably have a detrimental effect on the brain over time. It’s also been linked to head and neck cancers.

Point being, it’s not healthy in the amounts most people drink it. Beer in particular is loaded with phytoestrogens and can affect men hormonally. Odd that it’s considered the “manly” drink.

With that said, I’m not going to tell anyone that they should stop drinking altogether if they’re responsible and understand moderation. To me, it’s an issue of self control more than anything.

[-] max_peenor 2 Points about a year ago

Odd that it’s considered the “manly” drink.

The RN rationed booze daily as part of tradition. They ruled the waves. Do you think they gave a shit about the health of their sailors? DO you think the sailors gave a shit given there was buckshot and explosives with their name on it out there?

Nevertheless, the speech I always give: drugs are tools and should be treated accordingly. Alcohol is one of those. Use and treat tools appropriately. Etc.

That said, you can pry my wine cellar from my cold, dead hands, commie. It only saddens me that fine wine and brandy actually has ethanol in it. It's a sad, mean joke from the heavens.

[-] [deleted] about a year ago
[-] 0rientado 38 Points about a year ago
  1. meditate

  2. talk to smart people irl

  3. absorb ideas through audio, text, or video

  4. solve or create, math, gaming, programming, music
[-] DoveDizzle 6 Points about a year ago

Music is huge, imo. Started learning the trumpet and feel much more alert due to having to be in the moment to quickly change notes etc.

[-] chazthundergut 31 Points about a year ago

You are missing the important first step: eliminate the poisons

Just like with physical fitness, 80% is removing the garbage. You can workout like crazy, but if you are stuffing your face with pizza and soda and donuts you are going to look and feel like shit. I know this from experience.

Similarly, if you want to achieve peak mental fitness you need to remove the things which are poisoning your mind. In terms of ideas, yes (get off the news cycle if you're on it. Get off the fabricated world of social media). But also at the chemical level.

Here I think the focus should be on dopamine. Our brains are over-saturated with dopamine just like our bodies are over-saturated with sugar and insulin.

Anything that gives you a quick hit of dopamine needs to be removed or at least significantly reduced.

Social media, porn, netflix, videogames, weed = these are the big culprits. When you are feeling a little bored or stressed or uneasy, what is the quick thing you do to numb yourself or give your brain a little shot of relief and pleasure? That is what you should focus on.

Dopamine should be harnessed in a way that is intelligent and beneficial to our minds and bodies. The feeling you get from socializing in person is good and we should reinforce it. But if you are getting the same circuits in your brain lit up by posting/ browsing on instagram, you are doing yourself a disservice. The pleasure you get from sex is amazing, and is a great reinforcer to keep you fit, keep your edge sharp, and keep your game on point. But when you light up your brain's pleasure senses with porn, you are reinforcing loser behavior (sitting alone in your room carrying on a sexual relationship with your computer or smartphone). The satisfaction you get from mastering new skills is good; videogames cheat you of that. The satisfaction of learning new ideas and tackling books and biographies is good; netflix cheats you of that.

And so it is with many things in modern life. You get the picture.

One of the greatest challenges that modern men face is not overcoming hardship, but overcoming pleasure ... the modern world is like a soft prison, with silk chains holding us down. Only the strong will have the discipline and resolve to resist instant gratification and pursue those things in life which are meaningful.

Struggling through real hardship, mastering skills, learning wisdom, building friendships, creating things of value and beauty, seducing and fucking beautiful women, etc. These are things which are most rewarding. But it's hard to pursue them when we are being constantly distracted by a smorgasbord of sugary food, videogames, and pornography. All cheap and easily accessible to a brain that has a evolved over a million years to become perfectly adapted to a world of scarcity and hardship.

TLDR- Step one in "taking care of your mind" is removing the poisons.

[-] HandsomeTalos 1 Point 9 months ago

Thanks, man! Really well put.

[-] [deleted] 9 months ago
[-] [deleted] 28 Points about a year ago


[-] chootey 1 Point about a year ago

Do no harm via head injury. When you lose brain function after a head injury, nothing feels different because your brain doesn't broadcast its own functions all the time, it only broadcasts its presence when the task at hand needs it. It will happen later when you distinctly remember you were able to do this strange thing with ease, but now you do it and it's exhausting or hard. Your brain is an instrument, like a computer, don't strike it in any way. Concussions, sports, etc. People think brains are just magic and subdural hematomas aren't a thing. Your brain is like jello in a cup, shaking it damages it.

What are your thoughts on martial arts like jujitsu? I would like to learn self-defense but I'm wary of getting concussions from being thrown to the ground during sparring. I've already ruled out muay thai, boxing and kickboxing because of the head contact needed in sparring.

[-] [deleted] 1 Point about a year ago


[-] chootey 1 Point about a year ago

Yeah that's my worry, is that little hits over time will add up and I'll pay the price for it years down the line. I want to be able to know defense for those instances when I need it, but I'll have to look more into the likelihood of getting a concussion in jujitsu and some of the other similar grappling martial arts.

[-] Collector797 1 Point about a year ago

The chances of getting a concussion in a grappling art like BJJ is very, very low. You're far more likely to suffer a joint injury.

[-] [deleted] about a year ago
[-] Auvergnat 28 Points about a year ago

I have done all of these all of my life (except podcasts, they didn't exist back then... and reading biographies, I always preferred reading classics and non-fiction), and what I got wasn't "a more comprehensive understanding of reality", neither "the resources you will need to achieve your goals and live a happier life", or "potential power".

What I got was hubris ("I am so smart!"), grand but useless qualifications and general knowledge (you don't make girls wet, or gain popularity, or power, or money, because you've read Nietzche). Plus how do you know what you are reading/listening to is actually reality? It took me to stumble on this subreddit to finally starting understanding reality. Playing the guitar, speaking spanish, having read the great philosophers, getting educated didn't do it.

Now as I look back on over 20 years spent on "expanding my mind" as mostly a waste of time I could have spent getting "street smart" and "doing/achieving" more than "thinking/learning". "Experiencing" more than "analyzing". Be a man of action.

[-] redsanto 4 Points about a year ago

This comment should be on top, I'm still young (25) and I've been doing this kind of mental self improvement for a few years and I can relate everything you said. I'm planning to change my strategy i.e. if I want to learn a language I'll learn just the basics and move to the target country, or if I want to be more interesting I might travel to a certain museum in a different country and absorb all the information as a sponge. Another example would be learn programming to automate tasks from your job and this will lead you to have more time to relax and be less stressed.

[-] RedwallAllratuRatbar 1 Point 12 months ago

Lately I've been hanging with stupid people, watching stupid tv shows, reading gossip internet websites. I feel much better already and my "horizons" when it comes to talking with 90% of people have improved drastically. It's like getting drunk without drinking!

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[-] JcHgvr 21 Points about a year ago

If you're the smartest person in the room you're in a wrong room.

Also actually reading a book instead of listening to audio book is a better mental exercise.

[-] codingbuffnerd 18 Points about a year ago

I'd also include:

Reducing stress levels.

Healthy sleep. (everyday on the same time, uninterrupted, no coffee past 2-3pm)

Diet. Diet. Diet.

[-] Code3LI 4 Points about a year ago

To add: If your sleep is shit, get a Sleep Study done. You may have poor quality sleep due to sleep apnea or another disorder. Sleep Apnea cause disruptions in breathing, whether it be due to neurology or physical obstruction (as seen with people who snore).

[-] soider8 1 Point about a year ago

Can you expand on the neurology thing? Is sleep talking/sleep shouting a case of this?

[-] Code3LI 1 Point about a year ago

I had to brush up on it, but obstructive is when your throat narrows when sleeping, causing you to snore. Due to this you may not get adequate air and it disrupts your sleep cycle.

Central sleep apnea is the neurologically based sleep apnea where the brain doesn't send the correct signals to the breathing muscles while asleep.

There is also a combination of the two.

I have obstructive, I believe. I did an at home sleep study and then eventually did a sleep study at a clinic years later when the Sleep Doctor I went to, as well as their office, became stubborn and rude. I have and utilize a CPAP mask at night to helpncombat it. It helps, but it takes some getting used to. If I don't use it, I snore quite loudly (as per my wife).

Sleep Apnea can also cause issues if you're on TRT. My Hematocrit for awhile went up rather quickly when I didn't use my CPAP properly or adequately. Due to that j had to donate a lot of blood.

[-] seserta 3 Points about a year ago

Re: diet - 4th month of ketosis and second month of ketosis + intermittent fasting. I took a break month in January just to see what happens.

I was slower in mind, emotionally not as stable and energy levels were not as high.

I guess it's like fitness. Once you experience a fit body, of let go for some reason, the difference is palpable.

I emphatically agree with what this one YouTube guy said about this combo - it's like running your body on rocket fuel!

[-] Shakydrummer 17 Points about a year ago

I'd throw in learning an instrument as well personally. Can never go wrong with it!

[-] ImHydeRightNow 6 Points about a year ago

And learn theory too. It's facisnating.

[-] Shakydrummer 3 Points about a year ago

I can just sit there for hours thinking about how and where note displacement and different permutations fit into one another. It's like a gratifying never ending puzzle hahaha

[-] WalterEArmstrong 12 Points about a year ago

You might consider adding books on investing to your list.

[-] loose_wrist 8 Points about a year ago

Here, have my upvote! A while ago someone said you should not read science fiction because it's trash. And I was thinking about books like 1984 or farenheit 451.
Those are science fiction books that expand one's mind.
You pointed out correctly that some categories will yield a better return than others.
But the mere fact of reading a book, even if it's a magazine about sports, is better than not reading.

Another truth; reading on paper is better than reading on wink or audio book; your mind catches more.
But as said; if you can go through 100audiobooks a year you'll learn more than going through one paper book.

[-] seserta 1 Point about a year ago

Even the Foundation series. Good Sci-Fi is great stuff for the mind.

[-] wokedaoist 8 Points about a year ago

If you don't want to pay for meditation apps like Headspace, I've found Insight Timer is pretty great. Most of the guided meditations there are free.

[-] PracticalInvestment 7 Points about a year ago

Html is not a programming language.

[-] [deleted] about a year ago
[-] gmangini 5 Points about a year ago

Also playing chess or magic The Gathering are great for the mind as well!

[-] Code3LI 3 Points about a year ago

This may be downvoted, but hasn't it been shown that video games are cognitively enhancing? Hand eye coordination, memory, communication skills, etc are all used. Moderation is key... You don't want to end up like the WoW guy from South Park.

[-] gmangini 3 Points about a year ago

You are correct to a certain extent and depending on the game. Playing a mind-numbing, 6 hours daily of COD is doing no one any favors. But I agree there can be some positive externalities to playing certain games--especially games that are incredibly strategic in nature.

[-] Code3LI 3 Points about a year ago

CoD is cognitive cancer at this point, and I was a huge fan. I like team based games and utilizing strategy. Overwatch has specific class roles and teamwork, Monster Hunter has a ton of game functions and strategy, etc.

CoD is just a money grab now. WW2 is ok, but the series lost its spark a long time ago.

[-] gmangini 1 Point about a year ago

I agree. I'm not a huge gamer, but I've heard positive things about league of legends from my chess buddies.

[-] telegetoutmyway 1 Point about a year ago

The game is good, but the community is toxic and lifedraining. Like anything else, moderation.

[-] [deleted] about a year ago
[-] Mister-guy 4 Points about a year ago

Awesome post and great list. It's easy to get mentally lazy.

The only thing I would add is to spend some time outside and appreciate nature. It can be incrediblely important to your mental health and help you reconnect with your roots.

Go on a trail run, go backpacking, surf, fish, etc. Just get outside for a bit and away from your computer/phone/tv.

Edit: Added some words.

[-] NarcKammerjaeger 4 Points about a year ago

This self help ist getting outter control. Doing more left brain stuff ( like programming) to feel better or geek on things to distract yourself will make this whole shift worse! Why?

Because it is the problem in the first place that's why.

First I thought, well it is actually good to see something other than some 18yo's borderlineaspies Interaction report about how he sees girls as sluts now because he thinks he realizes things now (he don't). And hence this is a more or less sexual strategy sub I think this kind of posts are by far exceeding theire need to be here.

IT DOES NOT GO LIKE THIS: Learning programming -> getting degree? Doing freelancer stuff? -> money/self worth -> pussy.

Also listening to podcasts 5h a day without application won't do shit for you! Or will do the same as playing a video game. I mean playing strategy games on very hard does have its benefits.

On the other hand meditation should be a must. If you want to strengthen your working memory do duel-n-back training. Play an instrument ffs.

Take care.

[-] greatslyfer 1 Point about a year ago

Doing stuff like programming is to exercise your brain , it's not to solve your life problems, that wasn't the point of the post.

And again, it is pretty much implied that you have to do something with life improvement podcasts, not just listening. If you think that's not an obvious message of listening to podcasts then you missed the point.

[-] icecoldwhoknows 3 Points about a year ago

What not to do: ~spends countless amounts of time on social media~

[-] Orsick 2 Points about a year ago

I've been meaning to listen podcast for a while, but I know none. Any recommendations?

[-] gmangini 1 Point about a year ago

The Joe Rogan Experience. He brings on interesting guests and they really tackle tough questions with great insight.

The Ben Shapiro Show. Stay up to date on politics.

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[-] PB0034 1 Point about a year ago

Try this

If you liked it, I’ll link another one.

[-] seserta 1 Point about a year ago

Try the 'one you feed' podcast. No matter where you are in life, it's full of good information for leading a happier life.

[-] heymikeyp 2 Points about a year ago

I wish I could upvote posts like this twice. Thanks OPie.

I'd like to add one based of my own experience and others as well. And I may get downvoted for this.

The use of psychedelic substances. My major problem a few years back was procrastination, my closed off mind, comfort zone. I needed a hard reset and tripped on mushrooms. I didn't do it to fix myself I just never tried a psychedelic before. Needless to say it changed my life in a drastic way. Basically my way of thinking was completely altered. I got my life together, introduced new activities like daily mindfulness meditation. I began to research on more topics and just became an overall better, stronger open minded person and I contributed it all to a single trip of mushrooms. Whether it was always me deep down laying doormant and the power of magic mushrooms brought it to life is irrelevant to me. I truly believe each and every individual should have a psychedelic experience at least once in their lives from either DMT, Mushrooms, or LSD. Especially those in need of a hard reset like I did at the time. I now try to incorporate psychedelic trips a couple times a year with my other activities. Those who aren't informed of psychedelics, I would research them regardless. Its truly fascinating stuff. Many good books touch up on them, a few podcasts as well such as Joe Rogans.

[-] armthedark 2 Points about a year ago

Another great resource for upgrading your brain: Dual n Back.

It's a brain training game that has been shown to increase working memory with regular training. Working memory is a function of fluid intelligence, one of two components of IQ (the other is crystallized intelligence.)

A meta-analysis found that it produced an average increase of 4 IQ points. Some users have achieved as much as 15 points.

Most brain training games are bull shit and have no transfer to other mental skills in life. Thus far, DnB is the only one to display transfer.

[-] greatslyfer 1 Point about a year ago

15 points... you've got to be kidding me.

[-] king_of_red_alphas 1 Point about a year ago

I would actually say TRP itself (the sub not the concept) can be “spiritually” (for lack of a better word) detrimental.

The incessant negativity, anti feminist rage porn and just the overall obsessive focus on “how bad we have it” can really fuck with your thought process.

It stands to reason that if all day you are worried about holding frame, being alpha and just waiting for some girl to level a false rape accusation against you, you’re probably not really experiencing life or other human beings in the moment.

[-] dontbethatguynow 1 Point about a year ago

Philosophy could be dry for many people, though i like to think that reading Ayn Rand and Plato's republic back in my HS days helped me to mold valuable principles later in life

[-] Factor2_9 1 Point 8 months ago

if (looking for a podcast suggestion) {



[-] seserta 1 Point about a year ago

I can vouch for Headspace. Great app! Also, YouTube is full of audiobooks like psychocybernetics, deep work, mastery... I have learned so much from them and they have changed my life for the better.

IMO, success should be an inside out process. You succeed with your mind and body and all else follows suit. Including riches and freedom.

Also, I often just choose a Ted talk and let YouTube play similar talks. Amazing way to stumble into incredible things.

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[-] cth1ic_warrior 1 Point about a year ago

..or follow a set, unchanging moral code, that has 2000 years of some of the greatest minds as adherents.

[-] [deleted] about a year ago
[-] CutLiver 1 Point about a year ago

Lmao at getting a nice body being an easy task. Tell that to 85% of the guys out there who, if they have the energy, do some cardio and lift for 2 hours a week. I'm in the gym for around 6 hours a week and even I feel like I could be doing more. Getting a nice body is hard work, man.

[-] bringer_of_glory 1 Point about a year ago

Most important: Go for the things you really are interested in. Follow the interests that are YOUR interests, not the ones from others.

And think about this: Why do you want to become "smarter"? Is it because you want to impress people? So that people like you? Thats not a healthy reason, because you will never reach the point, where you will be satisfied or get the feeling, that "now, finally, people love and accept me". You have to learn to love and value yourself.

If you are just following your interests and want to broaden your horizon - go for it :)

[-] MorpheusGaveMeDrugs 1 Point about a year ago

My suggestion: Insight (App) it has a great variety of guided meditations with guys like Eckhart Tolle ("The Power Of Now" an extremely good book about meditation), Dan Millman ("The way of the peaceful warrior") and a few cool buddhist monks. I prefer it as a timer though.

[-] wtf793 1 Point about a year ago

Yea this is my go-to meditation app. It’s simple and it gives stats too.

[-] FitnFreaky 1 Point about a year ago

Reading this list and I do all of them except for the tip to learn programming. Thanks for the info.

I'd also like to throw in Jiu Jitsu. It's the perfect compliment of a physical workout and mental challenge. When you start combination visualization, it will put your mind in a pretzel. It's a great test to maintain your focus, expand your game and challenge yourself mentally.

[-] [deleted] about a year ago
[-] al_khatib 1 Point about a year ago

steve jobs manually mined the silicon from earth and singlehandedly created a cpu production line, and ingeniously layout and design the ui/ux, soldered every component and wrote his own programming language wherein his glamour operating system was written and also singlehandedly populated the app store with his own apps and pitch his genious work to some rich people...

[-] bikeknife 1 Point about a year ago

For podcasts I would highly recommend Dan Carlin's Hardcore History. Most are free (A few ask for an optional 1$ donation) and are damned insightful. Blueprint for Armageddon really opened my eyes to world politics during WWI.

[-] archetypicalman 1 Point about a year ago

Completely agree with #1. My life changed when I stopped hanging out/interacting with negative people and started associating with more like-minded folks. Unfortunately, most of these folks I meet are online since we're in difference cities. Another issue for me is the negativity/self-doubt/self-esteem issues I face with parents. Since they live with me, I can't do much about it and hence limit my interactions with them as much as possible. How would you handle this?

[-] [deleted] 1 Point about a year ago

How many #1's can there really be in a list of 8? Someone do the math.

[-] PB0034 3 Points about a year ago

It’s a glitch to my knowledge. See it every time.

[-] arrayay 2 Points about a year ago

When you adopt a condescending tone and talk down to your reading audience, as many as you want.

[-] [deleted] 1 Point about a year ago

This is the response I was looking for! XD

[-] Gravel_Roads 1 Point about a year ago

Bravo. Literally everyone should read and consider this post. Men and women alike - this is genuine self improvement. Also excellent dating advice for anyone that wants to bag some quality company, and be able to contribute to the conversation with thought and substance.

This is quality advice.

[-] mcnaughtz 1 Point about a year ago

This shits easy I already do all of these how do I get fit again?

[-] toxic_hanger 1 Point about a year ago

Are people generally smart after the learning a new language or is it because the were already smart enough to think of learning one. (code or speaking)

[-] mental_models 2 Points about a year ago

Think of this analogy to a champion boxer (bonus!: an entity that also happens to be at odds with brain health lol).

Learning a new language is to the brain like roadwork, lifting, rope-skipping, bag/pad work and sparring is to a champion boxer; It 'sharpens' your (brain) 'fitness'.

You still need esoteric boxing wisdom. I could take a star football player in peak fitness and genetic talent, loaded with performance enhancing drugs, and he wouldn't know shit about angles, glove placement, etc.., etc...

You still need genetics. I could take a man with a genetic heart condition and teach him the greatest esoteric wisdom from all the master boxers, but his body wouldn't be able to carry that knowledge to fulfillment. This guy could potentially be a great boxing trainer.

Learning a new language isn't going to make you smart. Thinking of learning one isn't going to make you smart. N-back isn't. Not treating your brain like a whack-a-mole isn't going to make you smart.

[-] Kryptic_Knight 1 Point about a year ago

Read - Start with Alan Watts. Learn spanish - easier than most, sounds nice in general.

I would advise anyone to focus on these two aspects before going into anything more taxing or detailed. Programming is nice but you want to wet your toes before diving in.

[-] irritus 1 Point about a year ago

Great post mate, much more welcomed than some of the dribble that has been coming out recently

Some very important info there although I don’t completely agree with biographies and programming but that’s vastly due to what’s in line with my own interests.

Id possibly mention apps like brain training which make problem solving into small games which can be completed rather quickly yet the benefits are outstanding after persistent use

[-] In33dmon3yz 1 Point about a year ago

+1 for Meditation . Tried it for years didnt have enough discipline. This year it was One of my priorities. And 20-40 minutes of your day makes such a Great Impact in dealing with loss, oneitis, Medical problems . After i meditate in the morning i Feel so free and calm

[-] bailey25u 1 Point about a year ago

The video takes you to a website that has a good list of essential readings

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[-] wheresmyshwarma 1 Point about a year ago

What are some podcasts I should subscribe to for daily commute?

[-] [deleted] 1 Point about a year ago

This is a great post, saved. I firmly believe that improving your mind is more beneficial than body.

[-] juicebox414 1 Point about a year ago

BTW: you can also access some Audiobooks and a whole bunch of Podcasts from Spotify. A particular podcast that I use is Coffee Break French and it's helped in understanding the simplest of exchange between two languages. They also have it for German, Spanish and Italian.

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[-] wisefool006 1 Point about a year ago

Audiobooks are available from the local library via the overdrive, Libby and hoopla apps.

[-] DevlanHorner 1 Point about a year ago

Highly recommend Harvard’s Intro to Programming course, CS50. It’s free, sharpens your brain, and makes you more employable

[-] boniggy 1 Point about a year ago

I can attest to the audiobooks. I drive 2hrs a day in traffic and that allows me to plow thru books consistently. Its pretty awesome.

[-] codespher3 1 Point about a year ago

Two birds one stone I recommend my favorite podcast to anyone interested in general philosophy.

[-] leviathan51 1 Point about a year ago

Are multilingual people smart or are smart people multilingual?

[-] Kenny_Twenty 1 Point about a year ago

Excellent suggestions.

Hanging out with insightful people is so important.

[-] binarynightmare 1 Point about a year ago

I actually find mental exercises and challenges to come more naturally than physical. Either way, solid post.

[-] TheRiseAndFall 1 Point about a year ago

If you are on Android a fantastic podcast app is Podcast Addict.

Two great podcasts to get started with are the Joe Rogan Experience and the Tim Ferriss Show. They both interview people from various backgrounds to learn what they do, how they think and how they got to where they are. I guarantee that listening to either cast will change your life and the way you think of things and of people within the first month. These podcasts will then lead you to other ones.

[-] German8835 1 Point about a year ago

Any Apple podcast recommendations? Some I can start with.

[-] PB0034 1 Point about a year ago you might be able to find it if you search the title in Apple podcasts.

[-] circlingldn 1 Point about a year ago

dont learn programming, instead learn marketing

[-] silverfox007 1 Point about a year ago

Could you expand on why marketing?

[-] jwyatt1991 3 Points about a year ago

Because if you’re like me, you may make the mistake of taking a programming job, only to realize that working in an “enterprise” (usually corporate or military) environment won’t prepare you to become self-employed. You’ll know a “language” but you won’t learn to build an actual product that people want. You can’t sell a language, unless you’re selling to other programmers. And most tech can be reverse engineered and recreated by nearly anyone. So programming may not be what is necessary to build the product. Branding and marketing is what sets Google apart from Bing, Apple from Nokia and Tai Lopez from any programmer. A good name is better than gold.

[-] mental_models 1 Point about a year ago

We live in a world that 'genius' isn't directly rewarded, while 'market position' is.

[-] [deleted] about a year ago
[-] [deleted] -2 Point about a year ago

Check Tai Lopez his podcasts and his youtube channel.

[-] gmangini 3 Points about a year ago

Tai Lopez is a fraud. If your looking true insight, I recommend Jordan Peterson.

[-] JaspersChest -47 Point about a year ago

Meditation is masturbation in today's society.

[-] alisemihc 30 Points about a year ago

This is the lowest comment i have ever seen in this forum.

[-] [deleted] 4 Points about a year ago

As it should be, meditation is a tool like anything else. Turning it into a vice lies solely with the user and not the method/activity itself.

For someone who is actualized to a certain extent and has a few mins a day, go for it. If you just got of some MMORPG and are sipping Mt. Dew before "meditating" for a few minutes before jumping in some other ridiculous bullshit, yeah masturbation.

Edit: Edgy Tyler Durden missed the mark.

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