This Neuroscientist Shows You the Secrets to Obtaining A Growth Mindset | Andrew Huberman

Last updated: Jun 1, 2023

The video is about a neuroscientist, Dr. Andrew Huberman, discussing the concept of growth mindset and how the nervous system is responsible for all aspects of our life experience.

The video features an interview with Dr. Andrew Huberman, a neuroscientist and professor at Stanford University, who discusses the concept of a growth mindset and how the brain works. He explains that the nervous system is responsible for everything that happens to us, including sensation, perception, emotions, thoughts, and actions. He also discusses the importance of stress and how it can be beneficial if we lean into action instead of trying to quiet it. The video provides insights into the neuroscience behind personal growth and development.

  • Agitation and stress are designed to get us up and move us.
  • The nervous system is responsible for sensation, perception, emotions, thoughts, and behaviors.
  • The nervous system is responsible for all aspects of our life experience.
  • Growth mindset is the belief that our abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work.
  • The brain creates an abstract representation of everything in the world.
  • The neural retina senses light events in the environment and tells the rest of the brain and nervous system when to be alert and when to be asleep.
  • Having a growth mindset can help us overcome obstacles and achieve our goals.
  • The reward system creates rewards for doing the right things that move you in the direction of general adaptation and wellness.
  • There are circuits in the brain that are pro-depressive, and disappointment triggers the pro-depressive circuit.

This Neuroscientist Shows You the Secrets to Obtaining A Growth Mindset | Andrew Huberman - YouTube

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Introduction

  • Agitation and stress are designed to get us up and move us.
  • Trying to quiet stress can be problematic.
  • The nervous system is responsible for everything that happens to us from birth to death.
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The Five Responsibilities of the Nervous System

  • The nervous system is responsible for sensation, which involves sensing physical events in the environment.
  • Perception involves taking sensations and perceiving certain ones and not others.
  • Emotions are designed to push us down particular avenues of perception.
  • Thoughts have a lot to do with what we're perceiving and the way we're organizing those perceptions.
  • Behaviors or actions encompass all of our life experience.
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The Importance of the Nervous System

  • The nervous system is responsible for all aspects of our life experience.
  • The brain creates a virtual reality environment that we engage in.
  • The nervous system is responsible for telling the immune system when to be active.
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This Neuroscientist Shows You the Secrets to Obtaining A Growth Mindset | Andrew Huberman - YouTube

The Neuroscience of Growth Mindset

  • The study of neuroscience is really about what the nervous system does.
  • The nervous system is responsible for everything that happens to us from birth to death.
  • Growth mindset is the belief that our abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work.
  • The brain is plastic and can change throughout our lives.
  • Neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to change in response to experience.
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The Brain's Abstraction of Reality

  • The brain creates an abstract representation of everything in the world.
  • Life experience is an abstraction.
  • The brain has a language for creating these abstractions.
  • Abstractions converge on common meaning.
  • There are rules we learn early on that are obvious, but others are less obvious.
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The Neural Retina and Light

  • The neural retina is outside the skull and is not attached to the brain.
  • The neural retina senses light events in the environment.
  • The neural retina tells the rest of the brain and nervous system when to be alert and when to be asleep based on the amount and quality of light.
  • Morning and evening sunlight is fundamental for instructing the brain.
  • The contrast between yellow and blue light is important for relaying information to the brain.
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The Brain and Nervous System Working Together

  • The brain and nervous system need to work together.
  • Viewing morning and evening sunlight anchors everything that goes on from the top of the skull to the bottom of the feet.
  • When to be alert and when to be asleep is a basic function of the brain and nervous system.
  • Screens and bright light activation between 11 pm and 4 am can have negative effects on the brain and nervous system.
  • Bright light activation between 11 pm and 4 am can suppress dopamine and kick off a disappointment circuit.
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The Importance of Growth Mindset

  • Growth mindset is the idea that we can develop our abilities through hard work and dedication.
  • Growth mindset is rewarding and can lead to creativity.
  • Having a fixed mindset can be limiting and lead to a fear of failure.
  • Having a growth mindset can help us overcome obstacles and achieve our goals.
  • Having a growth mindset can help us learn from our mistakes and improve.
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The Brain's Reward System and Growth Mindset

  • Every circuit in the brain has a push and a pull, including the reward system.
  • The reward system creates rewards for doing the right things that move you in the direction of general adaptation and wellness.
  • The punishment signal suppresses dopamine when human beings or animals view bright light in the middle of the dark phase of their circadian cycle.
  • Nature creates rewards for pursuing a goal, not just achieving it.
  • Growth mindset is the attachment of reward systems to the effort process and not just to obtaining a reward.
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The Dopamine Reward System and Pursuit of Goals

  • Dopamine is a misunderstood molecule that is often talked about only in the context of reward.
  • Dopamine is secreted enroute to rewards while you pursue rewards.
  • The ability to tap into the dopamine reward system in pursuit of goals is an absolute game changer.
  • Growth mindset is the attachment of reward systems to the effort process and not just to obtaining a reward.
  • Reward prediction error says if you can dose the dopamine subjectively as you go through the pursuit of something, it's very likely that you're going to reinforce that circuit.
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The Pro-Depressive Circuit and Disappointment

  • There are circuits in the brain that are pro-depressive, and light viewing from 10 pm to 4 a.m kicks off a pro-depressive circuit.
  • Dopamine is involved in the pursuit of rewards, and disappointment triggers the pro-depressive circuit.
  • As you reach a milestone or tell yourself you're on the right track, this friction you're feeling is the dopamine reward system.
  • The brain only does five things, and we get to decide which of those sensations and perceptions have relevance and which ones don't.
  • Growth mindset is the attachment of reward systems to the effort process and not just to obtaining a reward.
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The Discovery of Growth Mindset

  • The discovery of growth mindset is worth thinking about.
  • Carol Dweck's discovery was that some kids like doing math problems even though they knew they couldn't get the answers right.
  • Growth mindset seems like there's some attachment of the reward systems of the brain to the action or the pursuit of a goal, not just achieving a goal.
  • Growth mindset is the attachment of reward systems to the effort process and not just to obtaining a reward.
  • The ability to tap into the dopamine reward system in pursuit of goals is an absolute game changer.
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The Power of Subjective Insertion

  • Subjective insertion is a powerful concept in neuroscience.
  • It involves inserting a subjective meaning or abstraction to a task or goal.
  • When dopamine is released to these subjective meanings, there is no limit to the number of things you can do or the energy to do them.
  • Dopamine has the capacity to buffer adrenaline, which is always secreted when we're in effort and pursuit.
  • High performers attach a reward to specific behaviors in subjective ways.
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Attaching Meaning and Reward to Effort

  • Growth mindset and dopamine rewards are not about attaching your sense of reward to the ultimate goal.
  • It's about attaching your sense of reward to the fact that you're making action steps that are generally in the right direction.
  • The more you can reward the effort process, the better off you are at building neural circuits and tendencies to lean into anything challenging.
  • Realizing that adrenaline is a limited resource and dopamine can push back on it neurochemically.
  • Implementing dopamine and epinephrine type neurochemical events involves setting self-designated milestones and pausing to tell yourself that you're heading in the right direction.
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The Role of Dopamine in Effort

  • Dopamine has the capacity to buffer adrenaline and suppress sensations of wanting to quit.
  • It replenishes a neural bank account and allows you to get action steps without depletion.
  • You can control the dosing of dopamine and use it to build a foundation upon which you can lay another foundation.
  • It's about getting those little pulses of dopamine that allow you to push through challenging tasks.
  • It's a process of rewarding effort and building neural circuits that allow you to lean into anything challenging.
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Concrete Steps to Implementing Dopamine Rewards

  • Set self-designated milestones and pause to tell yourself that you're heading in the right direction.
  • Attach a reward to specific behaviors in subjective ways.
  • Replenish your neural bank account with dopamine.
  • Control the dosing of dopamine and use it to build a foundation upon which you can lay another foundation.
  • Get those little pulses of dopamine that allow you to push through challenging tasks.
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The Capacity to Build More Reward

  • Small, simple physical steps in the real world can build reward circuitries without depleting you.
  • Elite special forces know how to make these small steps and move the horizon in very close.
  • Moving the horizon to something you know you can complete and rewarding that can make you stronger.
  • The ability to control internal reward schedules is everything.
  • People can build on reward circuitries without getting delusional about how they're doing.
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Acetylcholine and Neural Plasticity

  • Acetylcholine is the neurochemical that we want to think about when talking about neural plasticity and attentional states.
  • It acts as a spotlight in the brain, making certain synapses more active and more likely to be active again than others.
  • Neuroplasticity focused on unlearning is necessary for traumatic or negative events.
  • Most therapies for unlearning involve bringing the person into a state of heightened alertness and focusing their attention on the event.
  • Pairing the negative event with something new can rewire circuitries.
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Therapies for Unlearning

  • Traditional psychoanalysis and psychotherapy, somatic embodied release, and eye movement desensitization reprocessing are designed to bring the person into a state of heightened alertness.
  • Pairing the negative event with something new can rewire circuitries.
  • Eye movement desensitization reprocessing involves moving the eyes laterally while recounting traumatic experiences to separate out negative emotions.
  • Therapies can take a lot of time and visits to the therapist, which not everyone has access to.
  • Not everyone has access to these resources, but they can still work.
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