Your Brain Is Being Hijacked
WARNING: What I’m about to tell you is edgy and controversial. I’m making no friends saying what I have to say. But right, wrong, or indifferent, the level of manipulation going on right now is hurting good people and the truth needs to be told by someone on the inside.
In July, I stood up in front of a room of some of the worlds most successful entrepreneurs, and as an expert on marketing and advertising, began to unleash the most profitable attention commanding strategies I have ever shared.
These were strategies responsible for building empires.
For adding millions upon millions of dollars to my client’s businesses.
And in some cases, these exact same strategies were responsible for changing the course of history.
The entrepreneurs in the room were titans of industry and the methods I divulged would enable them to immediately capture and command the attention of whoever they wanted. Whenever they wanted. And then to use that attention to build desire, fabricate demand, and essentially hijack the brains of anyone who come in contact with them.
The power of the information shared that day cannot be overstated.
The Hidden Cost
Fortunately, the entrepreneurs in the room that day were ethical, honest, and had a desire to do good in the world.
So that day at least, the strategies were used for good. To provide value. And to positively impact the lives of those they served.
But even then…
What I was just starting to realize was that even though the attention hacking strategies I had spent years studying, teaching, and using were legal, ethical, and always deployed with the best of intentions – they also came with a hidden (but dangerous) downside.
A downside that was literally eating away at the attention, focus, and mental performance of all who came in contact with them.
And this was the “good guys”. The “bad guys” use these same strategies every day to manipulate, control, and influence everything from politics to the economy… even our health and the future of our kids.
So even though we used the strategies for good we were not off the hook for the damage we were doing.
As the old saying goes, “if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem”
And as part of the modern business world, I was definitely part of the problem.
Continually assaulting my prospects attention with ever flashier and more compelling images, videos, “clickbait” and “irresistible offers”.
And even succumbing myself (often willingly) to the short-term dopamine hits of social media, email, checking my phone, and the countless other distractions and interruptions that are now accepted as normal.
- In fact, the average person now sees an average of 5,000 ads per day.
- The average American checks their phone 80 times a day (once every 12 minutes)
- And if you work in an office, the odds are you’re being interrupted at least 12 times an hour. Good luck getting anything done!
And the damage all of this was doing was painted all over the walls and evident in the dramatically increasing rise and reports of:
- Brain fog
- Inability to focus
- Low confidence
- And more…
All of the above symptoms are signs that our brains are being hijacked.
And all are symptoms of living in our modern, fast-paced, and constantly changing world.
A world where “hustle”, busyness, and action are viewed as the holy grail. And an increasingly competitive world that demands instant response times, “multitasking” (a myth that’s been debunked time and time again) and yet still claims to value productivity, results, and effectiveness.
Efficiency does not equal effectiveness. Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things. The danger is being efficient and doing ineffective things.
But it gets worse…
The bad news is while our world has evolved, our standard internal hardware (our brains) are still grossly under-equipped to handle the new cognitive loads being placed on them.
This is obvious in the evidence of the increasing rates of all the symptoms listed above…
As well as a boatload more health-related issues and diseases we don’t even have time to get into now.
And nobody is immune.
In fact, the more I dug into it, the more I found these symptoms greatest in those operating at the highest levels of industry.
Especially among entrepreneurs, whose daily cognitive load (ie how much thinking they have to do) and overall stress level is (far) greater than most.
The higher the cognitive load the higher the incidence and severity of symptoms. Add a bit of stress to the mix and you have a recipe for mental disaster.
Like ticking time bombs they knew something was wrong but didn’t know how to fix it.
(We’ll discuss how to fix it later, as when we reduced or eliminated their symptoms, their success, productivity, and fulfillment skyrocketed)
So what’s going on?
Your Brain Is Under (Constant) Attack
Our world is changing faster than ever. But our biology hasn’t kept up.
Specifically, our ability to process, integrate, and deal with everything that’s going on around us.
Even more specifically, our ability to differentiate between the stuff that’s trying to kill us and the stuff that’s now just part of everyday life.
While we’re now living with 21st-century technology like cell phones and laptops but we’re still working with old brain hardware (I call this “The Standard Brain”) that’s thousands and thousands of years old.
You see our brains literally cannot tell the difference between the perceived stress from an urgent email or an angry client or stress our ancestors had to face running from a saber-tooth tiger trying to hunt us down for dinner.
Both lead to increases in adrenaline and cortisol (ie stress hormones)
With the result is being in a constant state of “fight or flight”.
The fight-or-flight response (also called hyperarousal, or the acute stress response) is a physiological reaction that occurs in response to a perceived harmful event, attack, or threat to survival. – Wikipedia
When EVERYTHING needs our attention RIGHT NOW… Focus becomes impossible.
And our brains ping pong all over the place constantly trying to search for threats.
- An email arrives – possible threat
- A text message arrives – possible threat
- A call comes in – possible threat
- An advertisement appears – possible threat
- Someone knocks on the door – possible threat
And all of these things happen hundreds, if not thousands of times. Every. Single. Day.
Sure, we’re productive enough.
After all, what needs to get done gets done.
But as I discovered a long time ago surviving is very different from thriving.
And there’s an entirely new level of high performance available to those who willing to do something about it.
Fortunately, there is a “secret” to peak mental performance.
And to the bold few who learn and apply it – the future is theirs for the taking.