Science

5 Ways to Increase Your Intelligence

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I'm obsessed with the human brain. I'm especially interested in how to make it work better — how to think better, how to learn better and how to maximize my overall cognitive potential.

Books like Brain Rules and audio courses like "Your Best Brain" have been a big help with this. I'm also a fan of brain-supporting foods, herbs, and supplements like walnuts, bacopa, and omega-3s.

One evening, I went down a brain research rabbit hole (just another one of my crazy Friday nights) and came across this Scientific American article that talked about strategies for increasing one's fluid intelligence.

I was struck by the approaches outlined in the article. They made sense to me both logically and intuitively -- and they were backed by science to boot.

In this episode, I summarize those strategies and give you actionable ways to integrate them into your life.

Enjoy!


Did you learn something from this episode? I’d love to hear your biggest takeaway from this or any other episode. Let me know by leaving a review on iTunes and telling me what you learned. Yes, I read every single review!

If you have any suggestions for future guests or topics you’d like to hear covered, you can email podcast@thinkgrowprosper.org.

What did you think about this episode? Leave me a comment below!


Ruben Chavez is a writer, personal development educator, and host of The Think Grow Podcast. His Instagram account, ThinkGrowProsper, has amassed over 3 million followers. Along with his blog, these platforms are his way of inspiring and connecting with thoughtful, creative, and ambitious people just like you.


Doing Meaningful Work and Understanding Yourself Better with Maker and Author Jonathan Fields

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Jonathan Fields (@jonathanfields) is an award-winning author, serial entrepreneur, and teacher. He's founded a number of game-changing wellness companies and has led workshops around the world on everything from yoga and mindfulness to conscious entrepreneurship and innovation. 

His most recent book is called How to Live a Good Life: Soulful Stories, Surprising Science and Practical Wisdom. I highly recommend it -- super inspiring read. (You can read the first chapter for free at GoodLifeProject.com/book).

Currently, he runs the mission-driven media and education company, Good Life Project®, where he produces a top-rated podcast of the same name with millions of downloads. I've had the honor of appearing on his podcast, which happens to be how we first connected.

Jonathan regularly keynotes at events and has been featured in a variety of media outlets such as The New York Times, USA Today, People, O Magazine, Vogue, Wall Street Journal, FastCompany, and many others. 

But more importantly, he's one of the kindest, most genuine, and down-to-earth people you could ever meet. I'm extremely fortunate to call him a friend.


Show Notes and Time Stamps

We had a fun conversation and we cover topics such as: 

  • The value of psychological and personality frameworks (5:52)
     
  • Jonathan's career trajectory and its common themes (16:22)
     
  • Jonathan's approach to learning a new subject (19:07)
     
  • Jonathan's views on bridging the gap between science and spirituality (23:22)
     
  • Jonathan's philosophy on doing meaningful work (31:22)
     
  • The "Purpose/Flow/Expression" Venn diagram model (34:05)
     
  • The difference between doing what excites you and what distracts you (41:17)
     
  • The 5 Love Languages and how they can improve your life (45:37)

...and more!


Selected Links and Resources From the Episode:

See what Jonathan is up to at GoodLifeProject.com

Listen to his top-rated podcast, Good Life Project Podcast.

Grab his inspiring book, How To Live a Good Life: Soulful Stories, Surprising Science, and Practical Wisdom

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain

The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman

The Big 5 Personality Model

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

Jonathan's upcoming podcast -- LoveFullStop.com


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If you enjoy this episode and find value in this podcast, I humbly ask you to please subscribe and/or leave me a review on iTunes. Or you can just share this podcast with a friend who you think might find value in it. If you’ve already done any of these, I want to take a moment to sincerely thank you. I truly appreciate your support.

If you have any suggestions for future guests or topics you’d like to hear covered, you can email podcast@thinkgrowprosper.org.

What did you think about this episode? Leave me a comment below!


Ruben Chavez is a writer, personal development educator, and host of The Think Grow Podcast. His Instagram account, ThinkGrowProsper, has amassed over 3 million followers. Along with his blog, these platforms are his way of inspiring and connecting with thoughtful, creative, and ambitious people just like you.


How Your Focus Creates Your Reality (The Science Behind The Saying)

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I love quotes but I also love figuring out what makes them true. Part of that has to do with applying them to my life but the other part is learning how they hold up against one of the most powerful truth detectors we have -- science.

Whenever I hear a quote or idea that resonates with me, I typically ask questions like:

  • What makes this true?
  • What basis does this idea have in reality?
  • What does science say about this?
  • Can I corroborate this with an experience from my own life?

I've found that sayings that have endured the test of time tend to contain -- at the very least -- a seed of wisdom or truth in them. If not in a literal way, in a metaphorical way.

It turns out there is both practical wisdom and scientific truth packed into the idea that “your focus creates your reality.” In this episode, I read one of my blog posts that explains what I think that consists of.

You can read the original blog post here.


Ruben Chavez is a writer, personal development educator, and host of The Think Grow Podcast. His Instagram account, ThinkGrowProsper, has amassed over 3 million followers. Along with his blog, these platforms are his way of inspiring and connecting with thoughtful, creative, and ambitious people just like you.


Rethinking Reality With Cognitive Scientist Donald Hoffman (Episode #4)

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This episode is for you science nerds (and I include myself in that category). I speak with Donald Hoffman, a cognitive scientist at the University of California, Irvine who has been studying visual perception for over 40 years.

His research has led him to some intriguing and compelling theories about our ability (or inability) to see a true picture of reality -- and even about the nature of reality itself. His TED Talk “Do We See Reality As It Is” has garnered over 3 million total views on TED.com and YouTube.

In our conversation, we talk about two subjects I find endlessly fascinating and think about quite often: Perception and evolution. What does one have to do with the other, you might ask? 

In this episode, Don explains his controversial Interface Theory of Perception and brings forth compelling and rigorous scientific evidence to address this question and others, such as:

  • Do we see a true picture of reality?

  • What is the nature of reality?

  • Do objects exist even when we're not looking?

  • What are the practical implications if his theory proves to be true?

We also touch on some of the arguments against his theory, which I found super interesting.

Other Topics We Cover

If you find this subject matter is too dense for you, don't worry -- we also talk about more intuitive topics like:
 

  • The relationship between science and religion

  • What certain Eastern religions have in common with his scientific theory

  • Don's antidote to anxiety

  • Why anxiety is normal and how it has helped our species survive

  • His hope for the future of science

  • What makes science such a powerful tool

(If you want to jump to this part of the conversation, start at around 43:50).

Fair warning: Don is a super intelligent guy and this interview does get a little dense in some parts (like when we talk about string theory and the future of spacetime). But if you’re a curious soul like I am, I assure you, it is absolutely worth the cognitive investment. Personally, I had to listen to this interview several times to really absorb some of the concepts that went over my head the first time around.

I think you are going to find this conversation fascinating and thought-provoking, just as I did. However, you may find that you end up with more questions than answers. Alas! Such is the nature of these deep topics. So, prepare your cognitive faculties and get ready for some head-spinning theories...

Hope you like this episode! Let me know what you think in the comments below :)

Selected Links and Resources From The Episode

Confirmation bias

Large Hadron Collider

Don's TED Talk, "Do We See Reality As It Is?"

Visual Perception by Donald D. Hoffman

Do We See Reality? by Donald D. Hoffman (book coming soon)

The Enigma of Reason by Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber


People mentioned:

Albert Einstein

Theoretical physicist Edward Witten

Physicist Niels Bohr

Theoretical physicist Nima Arkani-Hamed

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson


Ruben Chavez is a writer, personal development educator, and host of The Think Grow Podcast. His Instagram account, ThinkGrowProsper, has amassed over 3 million followers. Along with his blog, these platforms are his way of inspiring and connecting with thoughtful, creative, and ambitious people just like you.