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Building an Empire Starts With Your Mindset

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What does it mean to “make up your own mind”? For most of us, this means that you have to make a decision or a choice between several options based on the information you currently have access to. It seems like a simple enough task, but it can often prove to be incredibly challenging. This is because the human brain moves back and forth between various states of consciousness and tends to prioritize some things more than others.

The task of making up your own mind becomes complicated when we realise that our brain is not always in complete harmony with itself. There are certain parts of our brains which get activated at different points of our day and throughout different parts of our life. It is in these moments that it  becomes difficult to make up your own mind about even the littlest thing.

We typically think of our brain as one, united organism, but the truth of the matter is that we are constantly under the influence from various forces within the brain. While this may be a huge oversimplification for people in the field of neuroscience or brain science, I like the description of three brain types outlined by Dan Priestly in his book Entrepreneur Revolution.

1. Lizard Brain

What is the lizard brain? The lizard brain is the part of the brain that is responsible for protection and self-interest. It is looking to store up as much energy as possible while working as little as possible to avoid risk or punishment of any kind. When our minds are being too strongly influenced by the lizard brain, we are more likely to look for ways to avoid conflict and hide from our responsibilities.

We look for self validation for our own actions while shying away from negative feedback. Just as cold-blooded lizards gain energy by lying in the sun, so too do people under the influence of the lizard brain require regular attention and positive reinforcement to do their jobs. And in just the same way, those influenced by the lizard brain are much less likely to do well in “cooler” environments where feedback is negative.

“Your mind is your greatest power. Use it well.” – Aneta Cruz

To counter the threat posed by the lizard brain, focus your energy on strengthening your sense of security and protection around work. We slip into the lizard brain mindset when we are unsure about our future or we are encountering a period of change. When we fear for our job or our livelihood, we are much more likely to slip into the defensive, lizard brain like state. Safety and security are the name of the game when you want to keep the lizard brain away.

2. Monkey Brain

So what about the monkey brain? The monkey brain is interested in chasing positive feelings and living in the moment. It wants to spend time with friends and experiences positive things without being challenged. The monkey brain seeks out these positive experiences by looking for the easy work or the job that will bring them passive income while they can sit on the beach eating coconuts and bananas.

Those influenced heavily by the monkey brain spend much of their days looking for ways to escape the rat race to spend time with their friends, but they don’t put in the effort necessary to achieve real success because they lack lofty goals. To train the monkey brain, you must start to look beyond your day to day routine to build habits which allow you to plan for longer term goals.

Training the monkey brain can be a challenge, because the monkey mindset is playful and is always looking for a good time. Unfortunately, in order to train the monkey brain you need to be your own parent. I’ll say that again, you must be your own parent if you want to get out of the monkey mindset. Many of us leave the house at or before the age of 18 to go to university.

After that, we rarely have direct contact with a parent or guardian figure. When we slip into the monkey brain state before that, our parents are often there to guide us in the right direction. Learn to be your own parent and you will be much better able to deal with the monkey in your head.

“Brain power improves by brain use, just as our bodily strength grows with exercise.” – A.N. Wilson

3. Empire Builder Brain

The empire builder brain is what many of us aspire to nurture and cultivate in our day-to-day lives. The empire builder brain looks outward and is interested in helping others as much as in helping itself. The mindset brought on by this part of the brain is one of growth and discovery, and it is integral to those who want to succeed in their personal, professional or spiritual lives. In the empire builder mindset, difficulties are not barriers to be slowed down by. Rather, they are challenges to overcome.

People that cultivate this train believe in lifelong learning and taking action on a daily basis. They also have a long term goal for their future that they keep coming back to day over day. And no, this goal doesn’t have to remain the same month after month, or year after year. Rather, that habit of thinking about your future goals must be formed, and those goals must be reviewed regularly and holistically.

Why brain type are you? Comment below!

McVal is the founder of We Write For Growth, a platform for businesses to connect with talented writers and researchers and growth hackers. He is also the author of How to Make $2,000 a Month Online and Start Up your Life: Why we don’t know what we want, and how to set goals that really matter. McVal writes about motivation, decision making, and strategic thinking. He graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 2011 with a degree in Spanish, and has since worked as a market researcher and business consultant in Washington D.C., New York City and London. You can reach him on Twitter @mcval or on IG @mcvaliant. 

Life

The 3 Most Important Things I Learned About Personal Growth

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When you look back on your life, what do you want to think about? Do you plan to reminisce on all of the good things that have happened and how they shaped who you are today? Or would you rather remember all of the bad decisions, challenging experiences, and mistakes made that hurt or wasted a portion of your life?

In my opinion, I think it is important to reflect on both. While it’s important to remember the hardships we’ve been through in our lives – without them we wouldn’t be where we are now. There are 3 very specific areas that I feel have helped me grow in a personal sense more than anything else in my life so far. 

These aren’t simple lessons in a book or a lecture that you can just absorb and apply to your life. These are things that I’ve learned through experience and reflection, and I’m still learning and growing today.

1. We determine how much we’re worth by what we think about ourselves, others, and life in general.

This might seem like a pretty obvious lesson in life but it’s actually one of the most important because we can determine our own worth by how we think about ourselves and the world around us. If you’re looking for success in any kind of business or social setting (dating), then I’ll tell you right now that it doesn’t matter if you have 10 billion dollars or not – people are still going to judge you based on your thoughts and beliefs alone.

What determines our value isn’t necessarily what we do with our lives (which is often based on luck) but whether or not we believe that ‘our work’ is worthy or not in some sort of grand scheme or universe. We may not always be able to control what happens in our lives, but we can always control how we value ourselves and others.

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” – Maya Angelou

2. You don’t have to change your habits or personality just because someone else doesn’t like it – their opinions are THEIRS alone.

This is another one of those lessons that people tend to pick up on a little bit late in life, but if anything that makes its importance even worse! Basically, there’s going to come a time when you’re going to meet someone who has certain expectations of you as a person…but these expectations might not be realistic due to their motivations and personal beliefs. For example, sometimes parents might expect you to be a lawyer or doctor because that’s what they believe is best for their child.

However, this isn’t the case for everyone and so maybe your passion lies in music or writing novels. In this example, if you were also pressured into becoming a doctor – then there would obviously be some kind of conflict going on within yourself as a person. You should never have to give up something that you want to do just because someone else doesn’t like it! The reason why we’re put onto this Earth is to make our own choices and go after our OWN dreams instead of letting others determine what we can and cannot do with our lives .

3. You can’t change your life until you accept that you need to make a change.

When I was younger, I thought that this lesson would be pretty obvious – but as I got older, it really made me appreciate the fact that there are always different ways of perceiving our lives. For example, if someone wants to become rich and famous one day – their mind might simply overshadow any other possibility in their head because they feel like this is what they NEED to do right now.

However, this isn’t always true within our own lives because we think about things too literally instead of having an open mind. If you want to achieve success in any kind of business or social setting (dating) then you should be willing to try out different things instead of staying in your comfort zone. If you want something, then it’s up to YOU to actually go after it – nobody else is going to give it to you!

The three lessons above are some of the main things I want to pass on to everyone because they’ve come at an important time in my life where I need to start thinking about others instead of only myself. It’s great if we can learn to love ourselves first before anything else, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect everyone around you even though they might be your friends and family members!

If you enjoyed this article on the 3 most important things I learned about personal growth, then please share it with your friends and family! Also, check out my other articles on success & motivation as well as life lessons that could help people who are struggling with their life right now on lifengoal.com. Thanks for reading!

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​​4 Boss Level Growth Strategies That Create an Optimized Life

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Building a business is about more than sales, marketing, and flexing on social media. While those things tend to draw attention, they attract the wrong type of clients and are not how you build a sustainable and freedom-focused business. (more…)

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Practicing Self-Devotion: 3 Ways Towards a More Mindful and Compassionate You

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I can still hear the voices of my older relatives and my elementary school teachers telling me “be disciplined”, “keep at it”, to give time and energy towards what we want. As a young, impressionable child, I believed all those things because well, they made sense. They worked. And honestly, I felt like it’s the only way to flourish. (more…)

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3 Business Optimization Strategies That Create a Fulfilled Life

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The balance between life and business is an interesting conundrum. There are articles, books, podcasts, and videos that talk about the need for work-life balance. The reality is that the balance has to be specific to your situation, and it’s a lifelong process to attain. Business leaders should be more focused on optimization strategies that create freedom in an enjoyable way. (more…)

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