21 Feb, 2023How to Take Control of Your Life Now
“Your life is the sum result of all the choices you make, both consciously and unconsciously. If you can control the process of choosing, you can take control of all aspects of your life. You can find the freedom that comes from being in charge of yourself.” – Robert Foster Bennett
Are you in control of your life right now or is the world controlling you? Are you making progress in your life or are you mismanaging yourself and falling behind?
As human beings, we have an immensely powerful mind. It is so powerful that it can create illusions, but it is also a victim of what is going on. Most of us have let our bodies and emotions take over our minds. People have allowed the world to take their attention away from what is tremendously important because they seek pleasure outside of themselves.
The majority of the public has mismanaged themselves. This has resulted in a world with more loneliness, mental health problems, and addictions. They have missed opportunities to develop themselves.
Avoid missing the chance to have a great life. Allow me to help you work out the person you want to become. Understand how your brain works and take control of your life. Be the best version of yourself now.
⚡️ Human beings tend to go in circles when they go on their own.
⚡️ Most people are motivated by a desire to want.
⚡️ Our brains produce dopamine. It is what motivates and makes us move
⚡️ Dopamine is a double-edged sword.
⚡️ The prefrontal cortex of our brain allows us to be rational and to be aware of what is going on.
⚡️ It is important to stop and become aware of where we are.
🎯 13:58 The reward pathway in our brain
🎯 16:58 Dopamine and our wants based on Robert Lustig’s work
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Pete is the author of 20 published books, several of which have been best-sellers across the world, including Shut the Duck Up, Habit Busting, Life DIY, and Sort Your Life Out. He has also presented his own show on TV called The Coach and was the resident Life Coach on GMTV for 12 years.
Pete Cohen 0:00
Happy beautiful day. It is the Future Self Podcast. today's podcast is called How to Take Control of Your Life Now today I'll see you after the theme tune.
Good day to you it is the Future Self Podcast. Now you might not know this song or you might know this song it's Addicted to Love by Robert Palmer. And if any of us want to take control of our lives I think we've got to look at what are we doing with our lives
so yeah, that's on your mind is not your own. We talk a lot of things here on the Future Self Podcast and one of those things we talked about is the mind. You know what is the mind what is it do? But there are many different theories. About this. Personally, I believe that mind is a very powerful thing. I think your mind is your brain in action. When we see what your mind is doing. It's a reflection of what's actually going on in your mind. My coach who I work with for 16 years of my life I'll never forget what he said. He said the mind is a trickster. The mind plays tricks and the mind creates illusions. The mind is a victim of what's going on. If you don't become aware of your mind, then your mind can play that you could be walking down the street you think someone's behind you. You could be worried about something because what you're doing with your mind and that's why people have spoken for centuries about mindfulness. That's why people have talked about the power of meditation meditation, from a Buddhist perspective means to become familiar with. And that's why meditation can be a very powerful practice for people that want to become more familiar with love for gratitude or whatever it is. It's it's our opportunity to train ourselves but as human beings and so I want to talk about that today about taking control. Taking our level of awareness to a level that it hasn't been before, to boldly go where no man has actually gone before. Because if we look at where we are right now, how do you feel about where you are what's going on what's working, because as a coach, you can understand that these are the questions that are very important for me to ask because as a coach, I'm only interested in where you are, where you want to go. Of course, I'm interested in what's happened to you and your story. But I'm interested in what you want to do with your story of where you want to go, what's blocking you what needs to stop or what needs to stop and this episode of the podcast is brought to you by the stock one stock one habit tracker, which is absolutely free. You can download it for two weeks. If after two weeks you want to use it. You can pay for it. Seven pounds a month. But even if you don't want to use it, there's a free version of it. It allows you to go out and track the person that you actually want to become. So when we look at taking control of your life, I really want to look at the pleasure and the reward system. Now look, I'm not a neuroscientist, but I've studied neuroscience. I'm not a doctor. I'm not a philosopher. Even though I like philosophy, I've studied philosophy. I'm not a psychiatrist. I'm just a coach. When I say just a coach. I'm a very good coach because I've just so interested in the possibilities that exist and I believe that everybody needs a coach. The word coach comes from a Hungarian word which means a Coach and Horses. So why would anyone go on a coach and horse was pretty obvious, right? Because they have somewhere and they want to go somewhere. Where do they want to go? And how can you help them get there? Because ultimately to go somewhere on your own is a bit of a challenge and what human beings tend to do is to go round in circles. So I wanted to look at the pleasure reward reward and I want to look at it from a neuroscience point of view. So if I was going to ask you as human beings, what do you think drives us? What do we want? What motivates us? I mean, look, I'm known as a motivational speaker. If you Google me, that's one of the things that comes up but I've been paid to go around all over the world to motivate people. But ultimately, I can't go inside someone circuitry inside their brain and start moving it all around. But I can definitely give people touch share them some stories, I can give them some techniques, I can give them different perspectives. But I think that what motivates most people is a desire to want. We want things why did we learn to talk or make noises? Is it because we wanted something or did we want or I think we want it to be held. I think we want it to be an athlete to be changed. We want it to be fed. What have we learned to talk? Same things we wanted things. Why did we learn to get up and move because we wanted things? Now if I was gonna ask you do you genuinely feel that you're making the sort of progress that you want in your life? Do you feel that you're moving in a direction where you can kind of see where it's going and you know, that's where you want to go? Or do you feel that you are kind of failing and falling behind? Because when we look at motivation,
really it's fundamental. It's what gets us out of bed in the morning. And motivation is really it's what we're pursuing in our life. It could be short term goals, long term goals. Again, we talk about this a lot on the podcast that everything we do as human beings is, is governed by our view of the future to how we see the future. Everything we do is for goals. It's for outcomes. It's for aims. This fascinating we are basic chemists, we are biologists, we are physicians. If you look at science, physics, biology, chemistry, it applies to all of us. And what's so amazing about human beings is our ability to manufacture certain chemicals, molecules, emotions that move us and I want to focus on a particular molecule which is dopamine. Have you ever heard of dopamine? Because when we look at what dopamine does, it has a few functions, but one of those functions is for movement is for motivation. If you actually think about this, as I remember studying this when I did my sports science degree about what causes muscles to twitch, what cause muscles to contract? Well, it's adrenaline, basically. But what people don't realize is that the precursor for adrenaline who comes to the science is actually dopamine. And what we call adrenaline in the brain is called acetylcholine, and that allows us to focus. You see, your brain basically wants you to move we have a body, for the brain to tell the body what to do, but we talk about this a lot on the podcast that what's happened for a lot of us is that our bodies have taken over in terms of we think, and then we feel we feel those feelings in the body that then convince our brain to behave in a way that our body wants us to do that. And awareness obviously is key. And this is what I really want to do. I want to give you another perspective of this. Because when you can understand about dopamine, you can realize it's a it's basically a massive double edged sword. See, we don't I mean, it can be if you use it wisely, it can be your greatest asset. But if you don't, it's it can be terrible. This is where a lot of addictions come from the mismanagement of our of ourselves. That's why in our world right now, we've never had more opportunities. To do great things. But we've never had more loneliness. We've never had more mental health problems. Why is that? Is it that we're just mismanaging ourselves? That's what I think. But once you can start to understand and once you can start to look at this differently, and this won't give you the opportunity to do everything can change. You see, with dopamine, if you learn to manage it, well, then the way you live your life and this is this is really important that if you stop and you look at how you're living your life, which often people don't want to do, because we're living in a world that's moving so fast, our attention has been sold to the highest bidder, just to stop that's why our app stopped once that one starts with Stop, just stop. And that can be challenging for people. It's like Whoa, hang on. This feels a bit weird. I'm not used to stopping I'm just used to continuously moving but moving in a direction where I'm creating a future I don't want. See, the way you see your future is essentially how you're using dopamine. And I think we need to be very disciplined with how we use our dopamine. See, there have been some incredible studies that have done that can basically predict your success in life or whether you're quit at things by how we manage dopamine. We are highly sensitive creatures. I think we all know that. We are not designed to live in this world. And if you don't become more aware of this that the rest of the world is going to control you. And if you're ready to take control back, then this is what this podcast is all about. Look it was in I think it was in 19 in 1972. The man who won the Nobel Prize basically said the biggest problem in the world was too much information. Okay, so how old were you in 1972? I was to where did we get information from? Now there's information overload, there's sensory overload. There's too many things out there that are taking our attention away from what's important and most people are looking for pleasure outside of themselves. It was actually in the 1950s with dopamine really started to be understood.
And we started to understand that it was the precursor for adrenaline and this is where it starts to get really, really interesting when I when I started to get my head around this from working with Dr. Robert Lustig. Please understand that I've worked in the field of weight loss for years I've written 20 books and I think four of those books have been on weight loss. I'm not mucking about with this stuff I've never mucked about with it, even though I have fun with it. I want to understand what's really going on. And through studying with Dr. Robert Lustig, who is an incredible professor. I've been on my podcast. I've met him his book, fat chance that he is. He just broke it down. He basically spoke out and he spoke out and he got hit back. You know people because he was saying the biggest problem with weight loss is really shouldn't and dopamine the way dopamine works. And this is what I really want to explain to you because this information if you start to apply it, you'll you'll start to realize that there's so much you can do. But it does revolve around stopping first. So basically dopamine, most people think of it is that the reward that the pleasure molecule, but basically it's where action is made. It's where we move forwards where adrenaline is made. So I don't know how many how many people here who listen to our podcasts have had addictions to things. I mean, I don't know about you, but I'm definitely got a type of mind that I can be very easily manipulated. And I remember watching the film Wally which is when human beings mess this earth up so much that they have to leave and they end up being on a spaceship and they are literally all they're doing is consuming soft drinks. They've stopped using their legs and they're just watching screens. I mean, it's that way we go. See, adrenaline gets us into action. And most of us want to get into the action. And if we're not careful, we can have a real problem with the mismanagement of dopamine and there's a reward pathway. I don't know how much you want to go into the science but there is a pathway and there's a part of the brain called the VTA, another part of the brain called the nucleus accomplice. And basically all that happens is this structure. It's a part of the brain. It's it's deep in the brain, and that's where the machinery works, but the reward pathways to the brain is where we can from the part of the brain which is called the VTA. It's where these wires start firing spitting out dopamine into the nucular campus. But the fascinating thing about this is that there is a brake system we have a brake system and it's called the prefrontal cortex of the brain. Some people call it I like to call it the emperor of me, the governor, the boss. It's where is the executive function you can even think of it is the real estate, the most powerful part of you, the pre frontal cortex and human beings have that in abundance, but a lot of us miss manage our prefrontal cortex. Other animals don't really seem to have very much of it, but we have it. It's our ability. It's our ability to be rational. It's our ability to see what's going on to be aware of what's happening. Does awareness change everything that if we didn't have a prefrontal cortex, I can tell you we just be that we just be like on those that film why we'd be sitting on a spaceship somewhere or sitting on this earth. Just literally just seeking pleasure we've given up and that's why we have to look after our brains. Our brains are such powerful organs, most energy deficient, most water deficient, most nutrient deficient, the part of us that just needs sleep, and most people are just not living particularly well because we live in a world that almost is not encouraging us to live very well because if we don't live well, we become dependent. We buy things we don't need to buy. And this is what I really want you to see. Look. Right now as you're listening to this. You're you're probably how you're feeling right now. Chances are if you're in a pretty neutral state that you will be releasing a little bit of dopamine, just a little bit every second. There's a little bit of dopamine activity, but then if you start to anticipate something,
how many things could we anticipate right now? And this is why technology is such a massive addiction because if we anticipate that there's a reward for us, that someone might have liked the comment that you've posted or there was something to look at, we couldn't scroll and scroll and scroll and scroll. It's fascinating that we are anticipating something which gets us to fire. A little bit of dopamine. But what's amazing is that even by thinking about something, we can fire even more of it and this is what I loved about Robert Lustig work when I fully started to understand that when people think about food, they anticipate what it's going to taste like. And then they start firing more and more dopamine and then of course they eat it and then they get a big rush of dopamine and then it goes away until a little bit later on the same thing happens again, the anticipation of something. It's such a fascinating thing to start to understand. It's very easy for us to move in the direction of things that we crave that often aren't particularly good for us. And if we look at what happens is look at food is that it sets let's look at cigarettes. Let's look at cocaine. Because when we look at what happens is if you think about food, you can you can you can be firing off a bit of dopamine, but you're going to think about eating a doughnut and then all of a sudden you start firing even more, which makes you want to eat more. And then you go and eat it. And with food. The science around this is fascinating that people can experience about 50 times more dopamine. Right? Isn't that crazy? What about sex? You can think about sex. And you start if you can't turn that thing off what you can just eat no one's really showing you how well you haven't practiced it enough. You can fire off 100 times more dopamine 100 times more dopamine What about cigarettes? I know people that smoke and thinking what's going on? Why it's very addictive. You can you will secrete about 150 times more dopamine when people smoke. So they're thinking about smoking, and all of a sudden there's a bit of dopamine firing there. Right so they want it really dopamine is the wanting molecule. People think of it as the pleasure molecule. I think it's more than it's both. You want it you have it then the dopamine turns off. And then you go back inside and then you think about it a little bit later on then you want another one and what about the thing which is most addictive
big dreams and passion?
A very strange reaction
so when we talk about cocaine and amphetamines, how much dopamine can once agree about 1000 times.
Giving your brain I don't know how many people have done cocaine. It's not something I regularly talk about. But I have done it a couple of times and I can tell you it's extremely addictive. The first time I did it, I was young. You know, I was naive. I didn't know any better and that's what the environment that I was in. And I'd been drinking and I must have drunk about a lot. Eight or nine pints of alcohol. I did one line of cocaine and then all of a sudden I felt completely sober. I felt unbelievable. I felt unstoppable. And boy was there a lot of dopamine flying around my body. And people were very clever because they found a way to make cocaine even more addictive
it's called crack crack cocaine was even more addictive. And if we just wake up to the fact and I don't know what this information does for you, it it's just stepping back and realizing the reason I don't do it anymore is that it was just too much. I couldn't handle how it felt afterwards. In fact, there's some fascinating research about dopamine that when you actually secrete it, there's one part of it that's associated to pleasure and there's another part of it associated to pain. And that's why when we often eat things like chocolate, one bite isn't enough because you then feel a bit of pain that actually want you then one more there's a kind of a downward reflection to this process. And I know that in myself, I know myself well enough that I just have to be very careful. But I've decided to give myself the power because I don't want to be a victim. And I know it's really challenging to change especially because these things give you things that give you pleasure, why would we have food excess? Why would we eat too much? Why would we be addicted to things like food, sex cigarettes and cocaine, because it's all about dopamine, and we are wanting machines, but I've decided to want just more than feeling good for a few seconds. I don't know about you, but in creating my future self, my future self doesn't do these things. My future self is living a very long life. My future self isn't addicted to anything. My future self is committed to be the best with my future self can be. I mean, this to me is such fascinating information and I don't talk about it too much. But I think now's the time in in what we've created with the stock one start while to make people aware of the chemistry that's occurring in their brain. Because if we want to start and move our life in a different direction, we've got to stop first of all, and realize some of what's going on. That dopamine is this wanting molecule that you could isn't that fascinate. You could just be going about your day to day life just especially if you're doing something which is mind numbingly boring, which sometimes we all have to do or a job that we don't like doing. We want stimulation. But even when you're just existing, you'll still be firing off a little bit of dopamine, but then you think about something and then what happens. What happens just by thinking about something, it's amazing that you you fire off the pathway of that thing actually happening. It's incredible that we can do that. But for most people it's just not enough. It's just not enough that they they've been compelled to go and have the thing. And then for food for example, like I said, you can have a 50% increase in dopamine but sex it can be 100% and then the craving goes away. The wanting goes away with cigarettes it could be 150 the cocaine 1000 and come with computer games now with technology we've seen the same thing. The thing is, do you want these things to control you or do you want to be in control of them? Who's in control of your life? These are fundamentally huge questions that as a society, we need to start asking ourselves, why do we have this? Why do we have this circuitry, which is pretty it's pretty obvious, right? It's how we survived. It's how we've got to this point in our life, the wanting of water so your brain that wants to keep you alive, your brain would get you to want water. So you'd secrete dopamine to secrete adrenaline. So you go and find water or find food or have sex so that we could evolve and we have this circuitry in our system. And it's wonderful and it's amazing, but most people are just miss managing it and I'm not saying it's anybody's fault
why does everything that's so bad make me feel so good. Well, it made me it's not a question of something being bad. It is what it is. It's just how is it affecting you? And I don't know any greater feeling than the feeling of making progress on something. And I can't give you the progress. But I can definitely provide the platform for you to create more progress than you've ever made in your life. It was almost 20 years ago that habit busting came out. And that book was published in Korean, Italian, Japanese, Arabic, because it's a universal subject that is of interest. to so many people. The breaking of habits and the creation of habits, but it does start off with awareness and I really hope that what you've heard today helps you understand a little bit more about you. And if you've ever thought about something too much and it's got you to the point where you feel compelled to do something that perhaps after you've done it you wish that you hadn't you're not alone. You're not alone. I've worked with so many people in my life that have been addicted to some of the most addictive substances on Earth and they've broken those addictions. And they've created new ways of moving through the world. And if they have you have and I have as well. Do you just ready? Are you ready to move your life into a different direction because if you are if you're ready to if you're ready to rock it
if you're ready to make progress I wish you could see me now I'm body copy. We all want to rock it that way I want to thank you for listening to the podcast. I really really appreciate you. What's your biggest takeaway from what you've just heard?
I appreciate every single one of you. You've been listening to the Future Self Podcast, guys. Do yourself a favor. Go and download the stock one stock one. It is a container for you to be coached by me. For me to help you identify who do you actually want to be? Who do you want to be? Who do you want to be with your health and your energy? Who do you want to be in your relationships? Who do you want to be with your wealth and your work and your service? Let me help you work out who that person is. Let me help you. Go and meet that person. Get to know that person to not for me to get to know thyself. I'd say Get To Know thyself. Get to know the person that you could become with the choices that you have the choices to either continue to move your life in the way that you have and maybe just make some progress along the way and react to what goes on or be more purposeful, be more directed. Be more the person you know deep down I think we're all capable of becoming which is better than we currently are. And then let me help you put those starts and stops in place. Let me give that to you. It's absolutely free. The stock one start by happiness free for two weeks after two weeks if you want to pay a small amount of money every month for it, you can. There's a free version of it. It's up to you. It's the best thing we've ever put out there and we've only just got started. Thank you so much for listening. We really appreciate all of you we will see you next time on the Future Self Podcast.