Train Your Brain

September 4, 2022 by  
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I’ve been talking about the power of the brain a lot recently because it’s been a super helpful thing for me to review and to share with others. Your brain is a very powerful organ, operating beyond your conscious thoughts. You can use its vast abilities to feel better, physically, mentally, and emotionally, as well as live better in so many ways, but it takes some work and some practice.

In the book, Super Brain, authors Deepak Chopra and Rudolph Tanzi write that you need to train your brain to do what you want it to do. “The minute you say, ‘My memory isn’t what it used to be’ or ‘I can’t remember a thing today,’ you are programing your brain to live up to your diminished expectations.”

The authors go on to explain how this works and hint at what you can do about it. “The first rule of super brain is that your brain is always eavesdropping on your thoughts. As it listens, it learns. If you teach it about limitation, your brain will become limited. But what if you do the opposite? What if you teach your brain to be unlimited?”

In other words, we all need to be very aware of our thoughts. We need to monitor them and then move them to the where we want them to go so our brains operate on healthy and positive ideas.

When I read this years ago, I tried saying to myself “I’m starting to feel younger and healthier by the day—frickin’ A!” and, wouldn’t you know, I actually began to believe it and feel it! My brain was listening in on these thoughts and operating based on them.

Our wise authors also make note that, “You are not your brain.” When you are acting as the leader of your brain, you can actively reprogram your own neurochemistry and even genetic activity, no longer having to be a slave to mood swings, pain, and negative thoughts.

So, the takeaway here is, be aware of your thoughts and direct them the way you want. Set aside the negative thoughts and defeatist self-talk. Think positively and encourage yourself and your brain will listen.

By the way, when I wrote about what Chopra and Tanzi said in this book about the placebo effect two weeks ago, a reader, Cora , wrote that “the same topic is very well described in a book by Randy Baker —”. I haven’t read it yet, but it just goes to show how powerful and well-accepted these great concepts on the power of the brain really are.  

A Pill-less Placebo

August 21, 2022 by  
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You’ve heard of the placebo effect, right? It’s that brain-body connection in which the brain is tricked into believing that a simple sugar pill can relieve pain or cure certain illnesses by simply telling the person that the pill they are taking is genuine medicine. That’s how powerful our brains really are!

There’s a book I’ve talked about many times before called Super Brain by Deepak Chopra and Rudolph E. Tanzi, which points out that, if we so chose, we could set up or create our own placebo effect at any time and without any kind of pill.

“Where did the patient’s relief come from?” the authors ask in regard to the results of placebo effect studies. They then answer, “It came from the mind telling the body to get well.” Your mind can and does control healing of all kinds including pain, disease, and wounds that our bodies deal with from time to time.

“In serious illness, doubts and fears play a marked role, which is why a practice like meditation or going to group counseling has been shown to help,” the authors write.

But this effect isn’t just for serious illness. We can do this to relieve of heal all kinds of pain, injury and disease, if you truly believe in it.

The authors suggest that there is a specific method that will allow anyone at any time to turn on the pill-less placebo effect. It requires the same conditions as in a classic placebo response:
1. You trust what is happening.
2. You set aside doubt and fear.
3. You don’t send conflicting messages that negate each other.
4. You open the channels of your mind-body communication.
5. You let go and allow the healing system to do its work.

That last item is a big one. Our bodies have an amazing ability to heal themselves, but we need to truly believe in that. When we get a cut on our finger or knee, we slap on a band-aid and know that it will heal itself. In doing that, we’ve just let our brain send a positive message to our cells to do their job, right? Shouldn’t that faith in our body to heal itself in such a small matter be equally effective when it comes to more serious issues?

The problem is, when we are faced with a serious illness, we let our minds jump in with all kinds of worry and negative thoughts, which pretty much does the opposite of the things listed above.

If we are going to benefit from our own built-in placebo effect, then we’ve got to, at a minimum, follow the list of the five conditions above. If you can do that, you are supporting your body’s ability to take care of you, as it is supposed to do. Believe in that ability, and talk positively, both out loud and in your mind, about how well your body can heal itself, and you’ll see the results for yourself.

The Super Brain at 70

May 2, 2014 by  
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Finally, I’ve past the 70 year mark so now I can stop being so focused on my ‘age’.  But I am thinking and acting on maintaining and improving my “Super Health”!  Why, oh why, would I want to do that?  Oh, I don’t know, maybe because great health and longevity are more than a little important to me as it is for most people, especially as we age.

With that in mind, I found myself reading, for the third time, Super Brain by Deepak Chopra, M.D. and Rudolph E. Tanzi, Ph.D. I do so love their subtitle Unleashing the Explosive Power of Your Mind to Maximize Health, Happiness, and Spiritual Well-Being. What a great book!

Even though I was having such a fantastic time, I even thought about this book at my huge 70th birthday bash. My wife Kimberly put together the most amazing party with over 200 people including family and a ton of great friends. We had professional Brazilian dancers and a drum team (my daughter Cammy is on the dance team) plus three talented fire dancers that put on a fantastic show that reflected off our pool with the night lights of the city as a back drop.  And the party went on until 3 a.m.!

That night Chopra’s book popped into my head as I talked to an old tennis friend, Galen Young, who is just short of turning 90 years old. The thing is, Galen is still playing a mean game of tennis (he is currently ranked 10th in doubles and 5th in singles in his age group in the U.S.) He has even set another goal firmly in his super brain–he has decided that he is going to win another gold medal at the Huntsman World Senior Games–and I sure wouldn’t bet against him.

You see, the book Super Brain really does reveal some super secrets and methods to train or program your brain to give you pretty much anything you want.  The authors give some great brain plans for super health and super longevity and good ol’ Galen Young is out there doing it so you know what … anyone of us can do the same thing!

The day after the party I jumped back into the book to re-read and re-dedicate myself to applying the concepts and the methods that Super Brain reveals. Here they are …

Ok, I am teasing you now because we will wait until next week to share those details. If you can’t wait for my blog, by all means, go ahead and buy the book! You’ll want to eventually anyways.

Revisiting the Super Brain

March 15, 2014 by  
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The last couple days I followed my own advice and re-read a great book that I hadn’t picked up for about a year. The book is by the brilliant Deepak Chopra and Rudolph E. Tanzi and is titled Super Brain. I saw the book on my bedside shelf and it grabbed my attention–probably because my experience the night before.

Kimberly and I attended a gala fund raiser for the National Ability Center and listened to a short speech by Anna Beninati where she talked about her experience as a skier. She’s very talented and has Olympic gold medal dreams. But what makes her story so special and unusual is the stupid decision she made as a teenager. She was running alongside a moving train trying to jump on it only she didn’t quite make it. She fell beneath the train cutting off both her legs. However, she considers herself very lucky. Wow!

Why does she consider herself lucky? Well, first of all she is grateful to be alive but it doesn’t stop there. She’s lucky because that terrible accident changed her brain. Accepting that she had no legs, she decided she would make her life count for something and I don’t think if she wins gold at the winter Para Olympics in Korea in a few years that she will stop at that point. That will probably just be the beginning of using her “Super Brain”. I think she already deserves a gold medal for using her brain to push it to that level.

Our brains, as Chopra’s book explains can make us or break us. It all depends on how we use them. We have a choice to either control and program our brains to serve us or we can sit back, do nothing and let our brains control us.

On that note, let me share some of my “margin notes” from Super Brain.

P. 40 Whatever you pay attention to grows.

P. 42 Expect past memories, as well as the things we’ve learned, to come to us and they almost always do.

P. 16 You train your brain to do what you want it to and it will do it.

P. 31 You can choose to follow the upward learning curve no matter how old you are! (Creates new dendrites, synapses and neural pathways.)

P. 63 If you actively act as the leader of your brain you can reprogram your own neurochemistry.

P. 70 Inertia is depression’s best friend.

P. 71 Depression creates an illusion that all my power is stripped away.

P. 72 The brain is transformed by meditation.

P. 40 Don’t ever say to yourself or others “my memory is going”. If you say that your inner brain will prove you right.

P. 230 You need to motivate self –especially as you age.

And as an overall summary of this great book –the theme could simply be….Use Your Brain–Don’t Let It Use You!!

The Secret to a Great, Happy, and Productive Life

February 22, 2013 by  
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You can greatly enhance your life no matter what age you are by doing something very, very simple. What is this simple cost free secret? Well, it’s not so much a secret as something most of us forget about and stop doing as we age. I am talking from personal experience, especially now as I am nearing the BIG 70!!

Ok, so what the heck is this big secret?  It’s simply “Action.” That’s right it’s Action and Movement. It’s getting up off your butt both physically and mentally.  Deepak Chopra and Rudolph E. Tanzi in their wonderful book Super Brain give some very powerful evidence that physical exercise and movement along with environment enhancement stimulates the growth of new neurons. And this happens at any age!

You, no doubt, have experienced a big lift in your mood, on days you were kind of of feeling down and out, by merely taking a walk or even just getting up from watching TV and taking a drive in the country or through your own or a new neighborhood.  I know if I push myself to take even a short hike in the mountains or on the beach it gives my brain a huge mood boost. Ditto by doing a few push-ups, sit ups or jumping on the stair master for 15 or 20 minutes

There is a great quote in “Super Brain” that I love. It says it all–“Inertia is depression’s best friend.”  Simple but true.

So, remember, action is the KEY!  Keep moving and make a point to do so every day.  Let me give you just a few of the benefits you’ll get from being active.And  I hope you will add to this list the things you’ve learned from your own experience.


  • Feeling increasingly better the more you stay in motion- and that is for physical and mental activity.
  • Getting a whole bunch of stuff done—financially, socially, spiritually, helping others, etc.
  • Overcoming depression and bad moods without drugs.
  • Losing weight.
  • Staying in shape and having overall better health.
  • Helping others by your example.
  • Slowing the aging process.
  • Increasing brain cells and brain activity.
  • Greatly reducing the chance of dementia.

Do think about action and movement and please challenge yourself to do more in that direction. You’ll see how much difference it makes to your happiness, your mood and your satisfaction in your life.