For many years, I was a huge skeptic of the Law Of Attraction. After all, neuroscience has never discovered a location in the brain for spiritual “mind.” In all fairness, neuroscience has also never discovered a location in the brain where emotions reside. And most people would agree that emotions are not a figment of our imagination.
The Law of Attraction comprises of three steps. Ask the Universe, receive from the Universe, and being in the vibration of allowing. For most people, the first two steps are easy. However, most people do not manifest what they desire because they are not in the vibration of allowing.
The more I studied neuroscience, I began to become aware of the dogmas in neuroscientists. Currently post-Galileo, the science dogma can be classified as Materialism. Galileo demarcated the natural sciences away from consciousness… and so science today believes that anything non-material cannot really exist.
This is all fine and dandy except when it contradicts the scientific research. Quantum mechanics is considered the “holy grail” of science as it’s finding predict the empirical results with some of the highest degrees of certainty (yes it’s a bit of a pun lol) in the study of science.
If you’re not familiar with superpositions in quantum mechanics, watch this Schrodinger’s Cat cartoon.
Quantum mechanics oddly have lead scientists to two bizarre possibilities to explain why a conscious observer must be present for the cat to be either dead or alive.
The first possibility are infinite numbers of parallel universes… in one universe the cat is dead, in another universe the cat is alive. Scientists prefer this possibility because they dogmatically consider the second and alternative possibility of panpsychism preposterous.
Panpsychism can be be explained by recalling Master Yoda and the Force that lives in all live things.
We can’t prove the Law of Attraction with quantum mechanics, but the bizarre world of the quantum entanglement also does not refute the Law of Attraction.
So let’s narrow this discussion with a closer view in modern neuroscience. Lisa Barrett’s book “How Emotions Are Made” has been causing a scientific revolution in neuroscience and definitely damaging the materialistic dogma.
We now know that emotions are not reactions based on triggers to the amygdala. Emotions are cognitive functions known as goal-based concepts. No other animal experiences human emotions…. your brain requires the conceptual understandings of fifty shades of anger before it can experience the emotion of anger.
In other words, we can consciously experience the world without emotions. Without emotions, we are unable to think. Without emotions, we would not have this human experience.
The Law of Attraction states that we manifest what we desire when we have higher vibrations of emotions. Be in a constant state of gratitude and you’ll be connected to the “Source” or the energy that creates universes.
Again, neuroscience does not prove that the Law Of Attraction is true, but Lisa Barrett’s discoveries about neuroscience definitely align with the Law of Attraction.
So to revisit the question posed by this blog post “Is The Law Of Attraction A Scam?” I’d answer conclusively that science aligns with Law of Attraction. However, science will never prove the Law of Attraction. That’s by definition impossible ever since Galileo removed consciousness from the field of science.
So the big question is this… if you grew up poor or middle class, how do you rewire your brain to attract massive amounts of money into your business?
My Uncle Jerry grew up in a poor middle class family in Hawaii. His first marriage ended in dismal failure and it seemed like Uncle Jerry lost his way. He went from meaningless job to meaningless job and ended up in Colorado Springs. In his mid 40s, a light bulb seemed to go off in Uncle Jerry. He started to read books and attend seminars like Tony Robbins. Uncle Jerry changed careers into sales. He remarried Nancy who thinks like a successful woman and he surrounded himself with successful people. Today, Uncle Jerry is considered rich. He worked his way up the corporate ladder to become VP in Sales at a major pharmaceutical company and lives on a mansion on the beach in Kailua, Hawaii.
From my observations in history, money seems to always go to those in power. The history of mankind has been a power struggle that includes wars (military build up and intelligence) and fierce competition to control monopolies. Somehow, Uncle Jerry went from being a man with no power to a man with power.
Schmid Mast defines power as “an individual who exerts or can exert control or influence over another person.” French and Raven explain “six bases of power” including coercive power (aka power by force), reward-based power (such as the ability to pay employment wages), structural legitimate power (like a government body), referral and influencer power, expert power and knowledge power (control over highly desired information). Uncle Jerry gained power by building his referral and influencer power, expert power and knowledge power.
Power attracts money.
However, studies have shown that power comes with negative effects as well. According to Deborah Gruenfeld at Stanford University, the feeling of power in ordinary people tends to reduce their empathy and leads to behavior where they objectify other people. These studies seem to validate the cliché that “power tends to corrupt.” Such is the sad state of our world where those in power more than anyone need more empathy. Yet power seems to reduce empathy in the brain.
Neuroscientists discovered that empathy and the social instinct derive from mirror neurons and spindle neurons in the brain. Darach Keltner found that power alters the neurotransmitter dopamine and noradrenalin.
One of the ironies of power is that the skills that gain power such as empathy and critical thinking diminish as a result of power.
In Barbara Tversky’s “Mind In Motion: How Action Shapes Thoughts,” the author shows that empathy and awareness of your environment like the non-verbal gestures of other people not only make you better communicators but also better critical thinkers. Thinking does not just occur in the brain, but rather in both the brain and the body. Tversky refutes the idea that thinking derives from language. She focuses on a variety of communication systems that transcend language, such as gestures, signs, maps, accounting, and music. For example, gestures from the body actually help us think. Abstract thought happens because of our ability to imagine the layout of objects in space. In other words, spatial thinking enables abstract thinking.
I’ll discuss more about the relationship between power and money on this blog. So this would be the first of many discussions on the topic to come. If you want to be a successful founder, you’ll have to master the art of gaining power. And hopefully, you won’t lose your empathy along the way. The world needs more powerful people who also have empathy. Regarding Uncle Jerry, I still can’t decide whether he lost empathy as a result of gaining money and power.
As a founder, how do you increase your chances for financial success? After all, a lot of self-development content out there is a bunch of bullshit… rah rah garbage getting hyped up by a charismatic speaker. In fact, modern paradigms in law, politics, medicine, science, economic and psychology are so flawed that I’ve learned to be agnostic about everything.
Since Plato, most people have viewed our “humanness” as logical thinking that must suppress our “animalistic” emotions. Scientists from the 1950s explained that our logical thinking occurs in the neocortex, our emotional reactions occurs in our limbic system (which includes the amygdala), and our subconscious habits occurs in our “reptilian” brainstem. These are dangerous ideas because they are completely false.
Thinking, subconscious habits and emotions actually are pretty similar. They are all simply our brain’s prediction machine. External sensory data including our visual cortex getting processed in the occipital lobe, our olfactory (smell) cortex, our motor cortex, our auditory cortex, and our somatosensory cortex (taste and touch) combine to form an auto-correction machine. We don’t learn, experience or simulate the world from our external sensory inputs. The brain’s prediction machine is like a scientist who makes billions of hypthosis; our external sensory input is like the research data that tests the hypothesis.
When the sensory cortexes fire together in different regions, they wire together. This is called neuroplasticity and it is mostly predetermined by our epigenics. Our epigenetics is the combination of our genetic predispositions plus the culture, concepts, values, self-identity and beliefs of our parents. Humans are the only species capable of goal-derived concept learning. Language adds even more richness to our concepts.
Modern neuroscience provides us with the scientific research that emotions are constructed. Animals don’t have emotions; they have survival circuits based on body budget management. In humans and only in humans, goal-derived concepts always proceed emotional experiences.
As an example, let’s take a red apple. So you grab an apple out of the basket and take a juicy bite. Clearly, the 🍎 is real, right? The truth is that your brain tricks you. In milliseconds, a human adult has the concept of an “apple” and of “red.” Based on our past neuro associations, our brain makes predictions about what our experience with the red apple will be. If your past neuro associations is that red apples always have worms, your brain will predict a “worm taste” 🐛 when you bite.
Ladies and gentlemen… we live in the Matrix. The red apple is simply a virtual reality simulation created by our brain. All emotions are constructed based on predictions upon past neuroassociations and auto-corrected by external sensory data.
Humans have a natural tendency towards hallucinations. The schizophrenic person hearing voices has an unbalanced body budget featuring underperforming external sensory data auto-corrections. The hallucinations are the brain’s prediction machine at work but the system fails without external sensory autocorrections. Other mental illnesses like anxiety and depression works exactly the same derived from unbalanced body budgets. On the other end of the unbalanced body budget spectrum, mental illnesses such as autism work exactly the opposite. In autism, the brain’s prediction machine fails and so a non-functioning autistic child only experiences external sensory data without prediction concepts.
Emotions, logical thinking and subconscious habits are all the brain’s prediction machines. When someone cuts you off on the freeway, your amygdala is not reacting with road rage. Your brain comes loaded with a pre-mapped instruction manual (it’s concept) of how your body should respond if your “boundaries” get crossed. The amygdala did not create this emotional reaction. The brain’s prediction machine created the emotion based on your concept and the amygdala executed it’s signals to the rest of the body.
What does all this jargon-laden neuroscience have to do with succeeding as a tech start-up? Well, I believe it has everything to do with your success. Successful startups come from successful cultures. Culture predetermines how we build our prediction machine concepts. It is not a coincidence that 85% of the US-based “unicorns” (aka the $1 billion companies) come from the San Francisco/Silicon Valley Area. Who we hang around and surround ourself with matters.
Our epigenetics matter. If you’re like me and grew up in a poor and emotional abusive environment, you’ll likely struggle and fail a lot more than a “tech bro” from Atherton who was walked into Stanford. In fact, I’ve come to the conclusion that Bay Area tech startups don’t have more talent than non-Bay Area companies. They simply have better connections to the right mentors and access to way more capital.
For those that don’t have the access to the “tech bro” epigenetics, I’ve devoted my life to researching and developing resources to help you rewire your neuro associations. Unless you learn how to rewire your wealth self-identity (spindle neurons), emotion constructions, thinking, beliefs, values, subconscious habits and all other neuro associations, you will likely fail as a tech founder.
Venture capitalist are in the business of making predictions about your success. If they make wrong predictions, they lose other people’s money.
When living in a brand new apartment complex in Tacoma (WA) over fifteen years ago, I frequently visited their state-of-the art movie room with surround sound and theater seating. In this cinematic setting, I could really feel, hear, see and experience the movie “The Secret.” In fact, according to “The Secret,” you unlock the Law Of Attraction by feeling a desired outcome as if it already existed. For the last 27 years of my life, I’ve also been a huge disciple of SMART (Specific Measurable Actionable Relevent and Time Sensitive) written goals.
But here’s the problem. Have you tried written SMART goals and/or invoking the Law Of Attraction but have NOT gotten results? In today’s post, I will share with you a better approach based on neuroscience that works better than written SMART goals and/or invoking the Law Of Attraction.
In the last ten years, widely held old paradigms in neuroscience have been disproven with scientific research. For example, it was previously believed that we had a subconscious mind in our brainstem (aka the Reptilian brain). This is the bottom of the brain area. Neuroscience has now discovered that conscious corticals and subconscious corticals occur in the same regions of the brain. In other words, there is no such thing as a subconscious area of the brain.
Let me explain how the brain actually works. As humans, the auditory cortex, the somatosensory correx, the visual cortex and the smell cortex all wire together as they fire together. The brain through neuroplasticity gets shaped and reshaped through sensory experience AND imagination. As a side note, modern fMRIs show that the various cortexes fire from just visualization and imagination. During subconscious dreaming, whatever we focus on gets the reinforcement attention. We tend to give attention to stimuli that match our self-identity. For rewiring your “self-identity” spindle neurons, the best system is to review your Habit Goals (to be explained below) right before sleeping and right after waking.
In addition, neuroscience now shows that feelings don’t come from the limbic system. It turns out that there is no limbic system. For example, it used to be believed that fear and the “fight or flight” reaction derived from the amygdala in the limbic system. Neuroscience now understands that the amygdala executes the signals coming from the cognitive areas of the brain. In other words, the emotion of fear is a cognitive activity. Interestingly, we don’t even know that the emotions experienced by other animals resemble the human emotions because animals and humans process cognitive functions differently.
Finally, neuroscience has discovered spindle neurons that form our self-identity ego. Humans are born with spindle neurons and the 200,000 to 400,000 spindle neurons fully develop by the age of 8. The spindle neurons function like a symphony conductor. The sensory input is like the brass, the emotional inputs is like the percussion, the thinking inputs is like the woodwinds, and the subconscious cortical inputs are like the strings. The self-identity spindle neurons are the sum total of the combination of emotions, thinking, subconscious habits and sensory data collected by the age of 8.
The problem with invoking the Law Of Attraction and/or SMART goals is that it insufficiently rewires the spindle neurons that have been hardwired by the age of 8. Written SMART goals won’t rewire your “self-identity” spindle neurons. Feeling like you’ve manifested your desired outcome (by invoking the Law of Attraction) is not enough to rewire your “self-identity” spindle neurons.
I’ve developed a goal-setting process called Habit Goals that might help you rewire your spindle neurons and allow you to put your attention during subconscious reinforcement memory and learning in alignment with your desired outcomes.
Liz Demarco used my Habit Goal method to lose 35 lbs. Robin Lee described a transformation in her relationship with money. Bobbi Schwartz says that Habit Goals allow her to sleep better and make her happier and more joyful. Heather Perdelwitz says the Habit Goals helped her to replace victimization with 100% radical responsibility.
Why do you have a business? Perhaps, your “why” relates to having more money to travel or funding a cause that you’re deeply passionate about.
Watch this step-by-step video on how to develop your Habit Goals to master the art of rewiring your spindle neurons.
What would it cost you if you continue to fail to achieve your goals? Are you frustrated of falling short? Who are you hurting by your inability to attain results?
You cannot afford to skip the link that I posted above. The Habit Goal system could be the missing master key to transform your money, relationships and health.
I was born into poverty and surrounded by a lot of emotional abuse as a child. My hometown in Waianae (Hawaii) has more than 70% of the population on welfare. Less than 10% of the high school graduates go to college, and more than 65% of the teenage girls become single moms before graduating high school. In fact, working at McDonalds in my hometown is considered a career path.
Entrepreneurship is the ultimate challenge in personal self-development. In the start-up world, whatever you don’t know will cause you to fail. I want to share with you eight hard-learned lessons from failing over and over on my journey from poverty to financial abundance.
Money Sabotage #1: Lacking The Neuro Self-Identity Of Wealth. Humans are born with spindle neurons and develop 200,000 to 400,000 spindle neurons by the age of 8. These spindle neurons work like a symphony conductor orchestrating over the sensory cortexes (the woodwinds), the self-state stories (the strings), the frontal lobe consciousness (the brass), and the emotions (the percussions). The spindle neurons formulate your ego and self-identity based on the collective data signals in your brain accumulated by the age of 8.
By the age of 8 when your spindle neurons become fully developed, your brain has already created a self-identity that will predetermine whether you’ll be rich or poor throughout your life. But following this blog will teach you how to neuro rewire your brain!
Money Sabotage #2: Hard Work. Perhaps, your parents taught you that money only comes via hard work. Many people so firmly believe in hard work that it may be very upsetting and controversial for many people to point out that money does not come from hard work. Money is an energy that comes from your self-identity (which is hard-wired in your spindle neurons by the age of 8).
If you want to become wealthy, start by dressing for success. Next, buy the kind of car that successful people drive. Finally, buy a home in an area where successful people live.
In addition, view hard work in terms of work hour units. If you work really hard, you’ll be able to maybe to crank out 100 work hour units per week. Unfortunately, if you’re competing with another company with 40 employees working 40 hours per week. This competing company will be crushing you with 1600 work hour units per week. Making money is about recruiting, hiring and keeping a high performing team who aligns with your core mission.
Money Sabotage #3: Not Surrounding Yourself With “Sapphires.” People may have even more resistance to this money sabotage than the last one. Sapphires are people who make you feel energized, inspired, fulfilled and happy. Because money is made from total working hour units, your business will fail if you don’t hire Sapphires.
To attract Sapphires, you first need to become a Sapphire. If your spouse, friends, or family are not Sapphires, this may cause your company to fail. This maybe controversial but it’s completely true.
Money Sabotage #4: Not Solving A Drowning Point. Successful companies target a niche audience who is drowning in some pain points. If you don’t target and segment a niche audience, it’s nearly impossible to solve a drowning point. Is your company’s product a vitamin (a “nice to have” product) or a pain-killer (a “must have” product)? Successful companies always have pain-killer products.
Money Sabotage #5: Lacking Mission And Purpose. I’ll guarantee one thing in business… you will have set-backs. Without a clear visionary mission and purpose, you will quit your business when times get hard. Successful founders are driven by a mission that they are so entirely passionate about that they’d rather die than quit.
In addition, since successful companies have higher outputs of work hour units, success requires recruiting, hiring and keeping a team of missionaries. A team of mercenaries will quit when times get hard (which is inevitable). Stake your mission and attract missionaries to your evangelical purpose.
Money Sabotage #6: Lacking Both Visionary And Integrator. A visionary sees 5-10 years ahead and sets a clear vision of the company’s product, expansion strategy, and product-market fit. The visionary is the ultimate charismatic sales person and evangelists who recruit clients, strategic partners and employees. The visionary is a rainmaker. On the Meyers-Briggs, the visionaries are often the personality archetypes of INTJ, ENTJ and ENTP.
As a visionary, if you cannot sell then you don’t have a company. Learning how to sell is required before you start your company.
A visionary in most cases becomes their own worst enemy as the company grows. Visionaries tend to do an inadequate job in running the day-to-day operators. Visionaries need to hire an integrator to manage and oversee the execution of the day-to-day operations of the business including operational systems, accounting systems, HR systems, and legal systems. The visionary creates the grand roadmap and the integrator coordinates and oversees the people parts of the business to execute the details of the roadmap. On the Meyers-Briggs, the integrators are often the personality archetypes of ISTJ and ESTJ.
Almost in all cases, the visionary and the integrator are not the same person.
Money Sabotage #7: Lacking A Culture Of Self-Integrity. High performing teams have a culture of self-integrity. People do what they say they will do. The opposite of a culture of self-integrity is a culture of victimization where people blame everyone (or everything) else but themselves. Victims have no control over the world around them. The most important skill for a founder is to develop their self-integrity muscles. If the leader does not have self-integrity, how can there be a culture of self-integrity?
Money Sabotage #8: Lacking Leadership And Emotional Intelligence. Money comes from organizing people. People follow leaders. Some leaders may gain power and control through manipulation, brute force, being cut throat and controlling behavior, but you can’t retain the best of the best teams with this type of leadership. A founder of a company is in the business of people (clients, strategic partners and employees). Emotional intelligence and leadership are both absolutely required in making money.
Even if you grew up in poverty and/or in an emotionally abusive environment, you can still be successful if you eliminate these 8 Money Sabotages. If you don’t eliminate these money sabotages, your company will fail.
I have posts scheduled on this blog every Monday at 9:30 am PST. On the first Monday of each month, I will coach you on Success Habits. On the second Monday of each month, I will share my research and insights about the economy. On the third Monday of each month, I will share my thoughts about software technology with a lot of emphasis on blockchain and product development. On the fourth Monday of each month, I’ll take you behind-the-scenes at negotiations with startups from a VC perspective
So many Americans want to lose weight. On New Years Day, we make a resolution to diet and exercise… through willpower. Yet after three months, we fail. Why does this same pattern keep occurring every year?
I’m writing this blog post from Niagara Falls. The sheer power of the water is breath-taking. It reminds me of why binge diets don’t work. Trying to willpower our way to fitness is like swimming upstream against the current of our nonconscious mind (Niagara Falls).
The human brain consists of three functions (well sorta). Modern neuroscience like the Global Workspace Theory has shown that the triune concept of reptilian, limbic and neocortex are not actually locations in the brain. In other words, all conscious and unconscious activities occur like an on/off switch in both corticol and sub-corticol areas.
The neocortex functions of your brain is where language, meaning, willpower and thinking occur. The limbic functions of your brain processes motions, learning and memory. The reptilian functions of your brain processes reflexes, muscle control, balance, breathing, heart beating, sex, feeding/digestion, and most importantly habits.
The reptilian function nonconscious of your brain is highly suggestible. It is like Aladdin’s Lamp. It always says, “Your wish is my command.” The Buddha suggested that our habits determine our destiny. Habits occur in the nonconscious functions of your brain. The only way to succeed as an entrepreneur is to learn how to reprogram the nonconscious functions and how to master your daily habits towards attracting the energy of money. In our Niagara Falls metaphor, your habits are like the powerful water fall.
In an upcoming blog post, I’ll explain the “goal habit” method that I’ve used to reprogram the nonconscious functions of my brain for financial success.
As a side note, the nonconscious functions explains why celebrity endorsements work so well. Our brain associates the “safe and familiar” celebrity with the new brand.
An entrepreneur also must self-master the limbic functions of your brain which determines our behavior from either pain or pleasure. In the limbic function of your brain, emotions are now understood as a cognitive activity and the amygdala is seen as what executes these cognitive emotions.
Entrepreneurs who have suffered from PTSD may have a harder time being present and getting unstuck from the past. Psychologists refer to this as self-state stories and the wrong stories could undermine your companies success. PTSD and negative self-state stories occur in the limbic function of the brain. Could PTSD and negative self-state stories be another reason why your company is doomed to fail?
A solution to PTSD and negative self-state stories is the habit of quieting your mind throughout daily meditation.
“I think therefore I am” is patently false. Neuroscience is now finding primitive neocortexes in reptiles and birds. Some neuroscientists like Joseph Ledoux speculate that emotions are a higher form of evolution than neocortex consciousness. So it’s slightly more accurate to say, “I feel therefore I am.” But that’s also slightly false. In understanding the reptilian functions of the brain and nonconscious self-identity, the correct statement states, “I have spindle neurons therefore I am.”
Will power, thinking and planning occur in the neocortex function of the brain. However, will power, thinking and planning alone cannot create success if it’s swimming upstream against the powerful water flows of the reptilian functions (habits) and limbic functions (negative self-state stories).
Success is something that requires the character of a successful person and wealth consciousness. A successful company always has a founder who has the BEING-NESS of a successful founder. Without successful BEING-NESS, a founder cannot WILL their company to success.
When picking founders to invest in, I am intuitively assessing their daily habits, how they handle their emotions, and the nature of their self-state stories. I am skeptical that determination alone is enough for a founder to succeed. A founder will not succeed if they are trying to binge diet or swim upstream.