How to Transform Your Brain, Overcome Trauma, and Live in the Moment | Conversations with Tom

Last updated: Jun 1, 2023

The video is about a conversation between Tom and his guest on creating a new show format that allows for more free-flowing, longer format, and intimate conversations to advance their own thinking in real time.

The video is an episode of "Conversations with Tom" featuring guest Jason Silva. They discuss the creation of the show and the importance of intimacy in conversation. They also talk about personal growth and overcoming resistance to personal branding and being in front of the camera. They touch on the ego and how it can be a trap in thinking that someone else's success diminishes one's own capacity to shine.

  • The new show format will be more intimate, longer, and free-flowing.
  • Tom wants to create a level of intimacy that is missing from his current show, Impact Theory.
  • Tom reflects on how our sense of self can get agitated when we witness someone else's excellence.
  • Mindfulness and meditation are important in overcoming trauma and transforming the brain.
  • Living in the moment and finding purpose are crucial for happiness and fulfillment.
  • Comparison can be healthy if it inspires you to do better, but not if it makes you bitter.
  • The process of osmosis and mutual mental mirroring can affect personal growth.
  • Choosing to value scale is a personal choice that can impact a lot of lives.
  • Sharing personal experience and giving instruction can positively impact others.

How to Transform Your Brain, Overcome Trauma, and Live in the Moment | Conversations with Tom - YouTube

How to Transform Your Brain, Overcome Trauma, and Live in the Moment | Conversations with Tom 001

Introduction

  • Tom and his guest are discussing a new show format that allows for more free-flowing, longer format, and intimate conversations to advance their own thinking in real time.
  • The idea for the show came from a conversation they had with Jamie Wheel in the Petit ermitage.
  • Tom wants to create a show that allows him to explore his thinking in real time and push his ideas that are at the edge.
  • The new show format will be more intimate, longer, and free-flowing.
  • Tom wants to create a level of intimacy that is missing from his current show, Impact Theory.
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Tom's Growth and Impact Theory

  • Tom's guest praises him for his work and impact on the world.
  • Tom talks about his initial resistance to social media and being in front of the camera.
  • Tom's chief marketing officer convinced him that personal branding is important for marketing.
  • Tom was inspired by Jason Silva's Shots of Awe and realized he could push his skill set.
  • Tom reflects on how our sense of self can get agitated when we witness someone else's excellence.
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Overcoming Trauma and Transforming the Brain

  • Tom's guest talks about his experience with trauma and how it led him to study the brain and psychology.
  • He discusses how trauma can change the brain and lead to negative patterns of behavior.
  • He talks about the importance of mindfulness and meditation in overcoming trauma and transforming the brain.
  • He emphasizes the need to focus on the present moment and not get caught up in negative thoughts and emotions.
  • He discusses the power of psychedelics in helping people overcome trauma and transform their thinking.
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How to Transform Your Brain, Overcome Trauma, and Live in the Moment | Conversations with Tom - YouTube

Living in the Moment and Finding Purpose

  • Tom's guest talks about the importance of living in the moment and finding purpose.
  • He discusses how people often get caught up in the past or future and miss out on the present moment.
  • He emphasizes the need to find purpose and meaning in life to truly be happy and fulfilled.
  • He talks about the power of psychedelics in helping people find purpose and meaning in life.
  • He discusses the importance of community and connection in finding purpose and living a fulfilling life.
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The Influence of Comparison and Proximity

  • Comparison can be healthy if it inspires you to do better, but not if it makes you bitter.
  • Proximity plays a huge role in comparison, as you compare yourself to the people you see every day.
  • People have to be careful with who they follow online and how they cultivate their online world.
  • Curating a feed of people who are extraordinary at what you want to be can be inspiring but also diminishing to your sense of self.
  • Graduating high school allows for the liberation of finding your voice in a bigger world where there is enough room for everyone to be who they want to be.
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The Illusion of Comparison on Social Media

  • Scrolling through social media can give the illusion that the world and marketplace are smaller than they actually are.
  • Comparing yourself to others on social media can make you feel like someone else is eclipsing your capacity to have a voice or integrity in your work.
  • It's important to realize that the trappings of comparison on social media are an illusion.
  • When you get yourself out of the matrix of social media, you can remember the power of reaching even one person in real life.
  • Do the content because it fulfills you and trust that it will find those it needs to find.
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The Process of Osmosis and Mutual Mental Mirroring

  • The process of osmosis occurs when you interface with other humans, and you mirror and/or acquire the qualities of those you surround yourself with.
  • You become the people you hang out with, and this is why it's important to be careful with who you surround yourself with.
  • Mutual mental mirroring occurs when you interface with other humans, and you can't help but mirror their qualities.
  • Comparing yourself to the people you're around can be oppressive in a constrained environment like high school.
  • Graduating high school allows for the liberation of finding your voice in a bigger world where you're free to be who you want to be.
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The Power of Physical Encounter

  • When you go from the internet to the meet space, you realize the power of physical encounter.
  • Seeing two thousand individuals in person can be more powerful than two thousand views or comments online.
  • There is freedom in realizing that you have to do the content because it fulfills you and trust that it will find those it needs to find.
  • Work to scale and grow your content, but also remember the power of reaching even one person in real life.
  • At the end of the day, you know your capacity to make a difference in someone's life.
How to Transform Your Brain, Overcome Trauma, and Live in the Moment | Conversations with Tom 012

Worldview and Value System

  • Worldview and value system determine how one acts in the world.
  • It is okay if someone's worldview says it's enough to impact one person.
  • Choosing to value something new is critical to personal growth.
  • Most people's desire to value things happens based on proximity and culture.
  • Identifying why one acts in the world the way they do is important.
How to Transform Your Brain, Overcome Trauma, and Live in the Moment | Conversations with Tom 013

Choosing to Value Scale

  • Choosing to value scale is a personal choice.
  • Reinforcing the choice in one's mind creates a neurochemical response.
  • Deploying energy against a vision or achievement is important.
  • Helping one person is beautiful, but it isn't the value system for everyone.
  • Deploying a different strategy is necessary for impacting a lot of lives.
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Psychological Immune System

  • Most people's psychological immune system kicks in when they fail.
  • Teasing out the psychological immune system would take a whole episode.
  • Even if one fails, it's okay.
  • Reaching as many people as possible is a beautiful endeavor.
  • What is ultimately shared with others should positively impact their lives.
How to Transform Your Brain, Overcome Trauma, and Live in the Moment | Conversations with Tom 016

Sharing Experience and Giving Instruction

  • Sharing personal experience can positively impact others.
  • Sharing experience becomes a meme that can pay it forward.
  • Sharing an instruction manual on how to do it is important.
  • Personal growth is a two-step process.
  • Identifying why one acts in the world the way they do is important.
How to Transform Your Brain, Overcome Trauma, and Live in the Moment | Conversations with Tom 017

Personal Transformation and Passing it On

  • The speaker had a moment of realization that he failed someone in the past.
  • He has since undergone a personal transformation and wants to pass it on to others.
  • He had trouble codifying his experience and passing it on to others.
  • He realized that the first layer is inspiration, motivation, and spiritual entertainment.
  • He noticed that he had a two-hour declining impact on people's lives.
  • He wants to be careful not to induce inauthentic catharsis in his audience.
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The Danger of Staged Experiences

  • Catharsis can be induced or mediated by an experience.
  • Staged experiences of transformation can be powerful, but the audience must be careful not to get caught up in the frenzy.
  • Motivational speakers can lead workshops that induce saccharine catharsis.
  • Psychedelics can give glimpses of what is beyond the known, but integration and implementation of changes are necessary for lasting transformation.
  • The audience must have follow-through and practices to make lasting change.
  • Real catharsis involves cracking oneself open and implementing changes in one's life.
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Overcoming Trauma and Creating Lasting Change

  • Artificially induced catharsis has no lasting impact.
  • The book is a step-by-step guide to creating lasting change.
  • Integration is key to making catharsis a part of you.
  • There must be a daily or weekly practice to maintain change.
  • Being present in the moment is a powerful healing insight.
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Practices for Revisiting the Present

  • Practices that allow revisiting the present include meditation, yoga, and aesthetic experiences.
  • Building an environment that broadcasts desired qualities is also helpful.
  • Novelty and travel can be powerful experiences for revisiting the present.
  • Michael Pollan's book "How to Change Your Mind" is recommended for exploring psychedelics and healing.
  • The brain defaults to future tense with a low-level hum of anxiety.
How to Transform Your Brain, Overcome Trauma, and Live in the Moment | Conversations with Tom 022

Chasing Aesthetics and Novelty

  • Aesthetics and novelty are important for revisiting the present.
  • Travel and experiencing different cultures can be powerful for aesthetic experiences.
  • Michael Pollan's book is recommended for exploring psychedelics and healing.
  • The brain defaults to future tense with a low-level hum of anxiety.
How to Transform Your Brain, Overcome Trauma, and Live in the Moment | Conversations with Tom 024

Creating Lasting Change Through Daily Practice

  • Creating lasting change requires daily or weekly practice.
  • Integration is key to making catharsis a part of you.
  • Being present in the moment is a powerful healing insight.
  • Practices that allow revisiting the present include meditation, yoga, and aesthetic experiences.
  • Building an environment that broadcasts desired qualities is also helpful.
How to Transform Your Brain, Overcome Trauma, and Live in the Moment | Conversations with Tom 025

The Brain as a Prediction Machine

  • The brain takes in data from the present and compares it with data from the past to make inferences about the future.
  • This makes the brain a prediction machine that mitigates against future threats.
  • The problem is that this behavior also prevents delightful surprises and engagement with the present moment.
  • People who are too future-oriented can become stale and bored.
  • Low-level anxiety is the default setting for the brain.
How to Transform Your Brain, Overcome Trauma, and Live in the Moment | Conversations with Tom 026

Knocking Off Future Modeling

  • Travel, novelty, and certain drugs can knock off the automatic future modeling of the brain.
  • This allows for a flow of the present that is wonder-full.
  • The adult brain has closed itself off to this sense of first sight.
  • Encounters with experiences that violate expectations can help to thwart the default future modeling of the brain.
  • Boredom and banality are techniques that the educated mind employs against experience.
How to Transform Your Brain, Overcome Trauma, and Live in the Moment | Conversations with Tom 028

Engaging with Mystery

  • Adult arrogance and assumption can be a way of protecting against engaging with a world that is full of mystery.
  • Seeking out experiences that violate expectations can help to engage with the present moment and find out who we are in that moment.
  • Regular access to these experiences can provide new data for integration into our lives.
  • The process of integration involves putting into practice practices that hurl us into the present moment.
  • Knowledge from these experiences is not enough; we must actively engage with them to benefit from them.
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Overcoming Trauma

  • Experiences that violate expectations can also help to overcome trauma.
  • Psychedelic drugs have been shown to be effective in treating PTSD.
  • These drugs can help to break down the barriers that prevent engagement with the present moment.
  • Therapy can also help to overcome trauma by providing a safe space to process and integrate experiences.
  • Engaging with the present moment can help to rewire the brain and create new neural pathways.
How to Transform Your Brain, Overcome Trauma, and Live in the Moment | Conversations with Tom 030

Obsession and Integration

  • Obsession is a key factor in being successful in business.
  • Constantly worrying over a problem is necessary to solve it.
  • Integration is about how to integrate ideas that we have.
  • Integration is about getting yourself out of context.
  • Integration is about violating your ex-mutation.
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Finca-tating and Cognitive Place

  • Finca-tating is taking the alpha wave brain state and deploying it against a problem.
  • Hot showers put you in a certain cognitive place.
  • Cold showers put you in a meditative state.
  • Creating moments where you're putting yourself in a certain cognitive place is important.
  • Obsession and integration are important in creating moments where you're putting yourself in a certain cognitive place.
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Diseases of Personal Crisis

  • Diseases of personal crisis are diseases of mental distress and mental health.
  • Personal crises stem from too much anxiety and depression.
  • Personal crises stem from getting too caught up in our own narrative about who we are and what we're doing here.
  • Personal crises stem from not feeling successful enough.
  • Personal crises stem from not understanding the meaning of life in the face of being a mortal being.
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Creating Space for Your Mind

  • You have to create space for your mind.
  • Creating space for your mind is important in understanding obsession and integration.
  • Creating space for your mind is important in overcoming personal crises.
  • Creating space for your mind is important in transforming your brain.
  • Creating space for your mind is important in living in the moment.
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The Dangers of Over-Identifying with the Ego

  • Self-consciousness and excessive rumination can lead to becoming overly identified with the voice in your head or the ego.
  • The ego is necessary but when it becomes overly caught up with itself, it becomes a tyrant that creates excessive mental chatter.
  • People who suffer from depression and anxiety have brains that have become too ordered and obsessive thinking.
  • Regular encounters with experiences that shake the snow globe are needed for healing.
  • Shaking the snow globe resets the system and offers encounters with modalities of awareness in which all those obsessive intrusive thoughts aren't there.
How to Transform Your Brain, Overcome Trauma, and Live in the Moment | Conversations with Tom 037

The Importance of Humbling the Voices in Your Head

  • Regularly exposing yourself to situations that humble the voices in your head is necessary for healing.
  • It allows you to merge with your environment and become enmeshed or entangled with a majestic encounter with nature, a beautiful song, or a lovemaking session with a lover.
  • Enmeshed means losing track of your own boundaries and forgetting yourself for a while.
  • Highly disciplined, driven, and ambitious people can create a kind of rigid wall that prevents them from becoming enmeshed with their environment.
  • Humbling the voices in your head and becoming enmeshed with your environment can be very healing.
How to Transform Your Brain, Overcome Trauma, and Live in the Moment | Conversations with Tom 038

The Entropic Brain Theory

  • The entropic brain theory is based on fMRI scans that show people who suffer from depression and anxiety have brains that have become too ordered and obsessive thinking.
  • Regular encounters with experiences that shake the snow globe are needed for healing.
  • Shaking the snow globe resets the system and offers encounters with modalities of awareness in which all those obsessive intrusive thoughts aren't there.
  • Flow or the meditative trance of finding freedom from your own voice can be very healing.
  • Exposing yourself to situations that humble the voices in your head is necessary for healing.
How to Transform Your Brain, Overcome Trauma, and Live in the Moment | Conversations with Tom 040

The Role of the Ego

  • The ego is necessary and gets the book written, takes care of the machinery, and makes sure that you get enough rest, feed yourself well, and put yourself in a comfortable shelter.
  • When the ego becomes overly caught up with itself, it becomes a tyrant that creates excessive mental chatter.
  • People who suffer from depression and anxiety have brains that have become too ordered and obsessive thinking.
  • Regular encounters with experiences that shake the snow globe are needed for healing.
  • Shaking the snow globe resets the system and offers encounters with modalities of awareness in which all those obsessive intrusive thoughts aren't there.
How to Transform Your Brain, Overcome Trauma, and Live in the Moment | Conversations with Tom 041

Experiencing Humbling Incomprehension

  • Our brains rely more on our own thoughts than on our experience with something outside of ourselves.
  • Losing track of your own boundaries temporarily can be like a vacation from yourself.
  • When you find yourself porous and unguarded, you can be struck by something magnificent that takes your breath away.
  • Experiences of eternity take place in a liminal space outside of time.
  • We need to experience humbling incomprehension on a regular basis.
How to Transform Your Brain, Overcome Trauma, and Live in the Moment | Conversations with Tom 042

Needing New Material

  • When you pop out on the other side of experiences of eternity, you get new material.
  • Experiencing something unexpected allows for a new "aha" in everything.
  • We need to experience something that haunts us on a regular basis.
  • Genius is a young man's game, but we can keep the window open forever.
  • Our opportunity for genius is to keep experiencing humbling incomprehension.
How to Transform Your Brain, Overcome Trauma, and Live in the Moment | Conversations with Tom 044

Going Back to the Wishing Well

  • Our integration practice is simply realizing that we have to go back to the wishing well.
  • Experiencing something that haunts us needs to be part of our diet on a regular basis.
  • Otherwise, our tendency is to collapse back into patterns that eventually become problematic.
  • Studying people who've won Nobel Prizes shows that they almost always get the prize in their 60s for work they did in their 20s.
  • Genius is not just a young man's game, as long as we keep the window open forever.
How to Transform Your Brain, Overcome Trauma, and Live in the Moment | Conversations with Tom 045

Being Okay with Being a Late Bloomer

  • Being a late bloomer is a part of our identity.
  • It took us a long time to develop self-awareness and wrap our heads around things.
  • We've always felt like we're just a step slower than a lot of people.
  • As long as we can keep the window open forever, our opportunity for genius is still there.
  • Our sense of self is not damaged by being a late bloomer, as long as we keep experiencing humbling incomprehension.
How to Transform Your Brain, Overcome Trauma, and Live in the Moment | Conversations with Tom 046

Brain Plasticity and Openness to New Experience

  • Brain plasticity diminishes over time, but it never drops to zero.
  • Profound work is often done in one's 20s because the brain has developed in a highly usable way, but it's not yet calcified.
  • At this moment, people are competent but still open to new experiences.
  • Shaking the snow globe is a way to remain open and avoid calcification.
  • The risk is that patterns that serve you can become patterns that trap you if they metastasize.
How to Transform Your Brain, Overcome Trauma, and Live in the Moment | Conversations with Tom 048

Shaking the Snow Globe

  • Shaking the snow globe is a necessary reboot to defragment the hard drive of the brain.
  • Robbing Cart Hart Harris from Imperial College of London refers to psychedelic experiences taken in controlled environments that introduce disorder into the brain temporarily.
  • By flooding the brain with disorder, people have a temporary experience of egoless communion with the divine.
  • The afterglow comes from shaking the snow globe and popping out on the other side feeling like you just went through something that called into question many certainties in your life.
  • It's a ping-pong back and forth between highly ordered and disciplined states and absolute ecstatic surrender.
How to Transform Your Brain, Overcome Trauma, and Live in the Moment | Conversations with Tom 049

The Overlap of Discipline and Surrender

  • A Venn diagram from the Imaginary Foundation shows that discipline and surrender overlap in the middle and create flow.
  • Another term for it is accepting limitations is liberation.
  • The same governing mechanics that underlie the ordering processes of the ego can become metastasized when people suffer from the pathologies of anxiety and depression.
  • The patterns that serve you can also lead to patterns that trap you.
  • Accepting limitations is a way to liberate yourself from patterns that trap you.
How to Transform Your Brain, Overcome Trauma, and Live in the Moment | Conversations with Tom 050

The Importance of Defragmenting the Brain

  • Shaking the snow globe is a way to defragment the hard drive of the brain.
  • It's important to defragment the brain every once in a while to avoid calcification and remain open to new experiences.
  • Psychedelic experiences taken in controlled environments can introduce disorder into the brain temporarily and create a temporary experience of egoless communion with the divine.
  • The afterglow comes from shaking the snow globe and popping out on the other side feeling like you just went through something that called into question many certainties in your life.
  • Accepting limitations is a way to liberate yourself from patterns that trap you.
How to Transform Your Brain, Overcome Trauma, and Live in the Moment | Conversations with Tom 052

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