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Proactive Discomfort

Proactive Discomfort

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Brain stimulation is the secret behind building a massive mental edge. And the fastest and easiest way to stimulate your brain is to learn something new. But not all learning is equally stimulating…

At CIA, covert operators are in a constant state of learning: languages, driving skills, defensive tactics, technical tools, etc. But what you don’t see in the Hollywood movies is that we also throw ourselves into personal hobbies that are equally challenging and uncomfortable; musical instruments, art forms, exercise techniques, academic learning.

The worse you are at something, the more stimulating that practice is for your brain. And the more stimulated your brain, the sharper your mental edge. Not because the specific skill you are learning is of tactical utility, but because the process of forcing your brain to learn (aka: ‘absorb’) something new increases the information you will index later that drives your ideation.

For example, being bad at the guitar is embarrassing and frustrating. But it also opens up a whole world of new information and experiences that simply don’t exist for someone who never tried to play a guitar. The same is true for coin collecting, sailing, pilates, and krav maga. 

Staying in your comfort zone will never give you an advantage over others. Instead, get comfortable being uncomfortable and you’ll have an incredible mental advantage where others are mentally stuck.

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How to Do It

The value of practicing what you are good at AND what you are bad at, how the brain interacts with new skills/information, benefits to challenging your bias

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Suggested Frequency

4 times per week

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Time of Day


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 Happiness  Productivity  Focus  Creativity  Motivation
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