When you set a goal and you see yourself achieving it, you get excited. However, how is it that sometimes somebody who has a goal or a dream to make their life better all of a sudden loses their motivation? John Assaraf, one of the leading behavioral and mindset experts in the world, talks about the science behind goal achievement. Join us as we explore the anatomy of the brain and the way the brain works in its decision-making processes.
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The Science Behind Goal Achievement with John Assaraf
I have the amazing, astounding repeated guest, the amazing John Assaraf. John, I’m happy you’re here.
It’s great to be here.
John Assaraf is one of the leading mindset experts in the world and has a unique ability for helping people release the mental and emotional blocks that prevent them from achieving their best in life and business. He was in the movie The Secret. In the last several years, he has written two New York Times bestselling books that had been translated into 35 languages. He’s appeared on Larry King Live eight times and featured in eight different movies including The Secret. John has built five multimillion-dollar companies, including growing RE/MAX of Indiana to 1,500 salespeople and $4.5 billion a year in sales.
He is the Founder of Bamboo.com which grew from inception to $10 million a month in revenue for the first several months and achieved a highly successful IPO on Wall Street. He is the CEO of NeuroGym, which developed some of the most advanced neuroscience-based brain training programs in the world. Helping individuals in corporations maximize the fullest human potential as well as having one of the most amazing online events called the Brain-A-Thon. It helps you over a certain period, usually a weekend, go through and hear all these different experts. He always brings together the most amazing leading edge people. We’re talking about the science behind goal achievement. What are a few of the newest scientific studies that explain why most people don’t achieve goals?A lot of times to avoid pain, we seek out something pleasurable so we don't have to challenge ourselves and we don't have to use energy. Click To Tweet
A lot of the research around behavior and perceptions and emotions that our company focuses on has to do with circuits that turn on or off in the brain. Let me make it simple. Let’s say you’re walking down the street or you’re grocery shopping and you’re in the parking lot and you hear a screeching car come around the corner. Automatically, you jump back. That means the fear circuit in the brain has kicked in. Let’s say you’re watching a movie and there’s a beautiful love scene. Right there you could feel the emotions of whatever’s happening on the screen. Couple holding hands, walking on the beach, some tender caressing and hugging and kissing. You, all of a sudden, feel that. We know that dopamine and oxytocin have been released in the brain, the pleasure circuits fire on. A lot of the questions we pose are why is it that somebody could have a goal to achieve, let’s say more income in their business or to leave their job and start a business or whatever the case might be. They can earn more income and make their lives better. They could have more time off or time for charity, more choice, financial freedom and all the things that come with that.
What we’re discovering is there’s a part of the brain that makes these choices. It’s using imagination. It’s using deductive reasoning, choosing, “Here’s what I want, here’s what I don’t want. My life could be so much better if I did this and had this.” What we notice in the laboratories now is as soon as somebody does that and dopamine is released, maybe even endorphins are released which are the feel-good, let’s get going neurochemicals. Right behind that, a lot of people’s fear circuits starts to light up. You go, “How is it that somebody who could have a goal, have a dream want to make their life better? Read books, go to seminars, take courses and all that stuff and get all excited all of a sudden loses the motive for the action or their motivation?” The answer is because the way the brain works is a hierarchy of decision-making processes that happen below your level of awareness of the unconscious or subconscious brain.
You set a goal. You see yourself achieving it. You get excited. Right after you do that, the part of the brain called the right prefrontal cortex taps into your memory bank and says, “That seems like a great goal and lifestyle to have but is there any danger with you going after that? Could you fail and be embarrassed, ashamed or ridiculed? Could you lose money and time? Could you…?” Fill in the blank. Anything that is a potentially painful experience emotionally, mentally, financially or physically puts the brakes on your motivation and activates the part of your brain that goes into tress mode, which is fight or flight or freeze. One of those three things kick in. That’s the natural response of the brain, which is the number one priority is safety first.
Number two priority is to conserve energy. If it’s going to take some work for me to make more money, build my business, learn something new, that’s energy. Let me not do that because I can have some fun with my friends. I can watch Game of Thrones. I could do something that’s easy and fun because in the brain, we avoid pain a thousand times faster than we gain pleasure. A lot of times to avoid pain, we will seek out something pleasurable so we don’t have to challenge ourselves and we don’t have to use energy. The new science of goal achievement and of having a goal, which happens in one part of the brain, is also all about learning to recognize the triggers that cause you to deactivate the motivational center. The things that trigger your fear center, whether it’s fear of being embarrassed, ashamed, ridiculed, losing money, failure, success, disappointing yourself again or fear of disappointing your children or significant other person again causes the fear center to light up. When that lights up, you will not take action.
Now, we are finally able to go into the anatomy of the brain to see fear circuits lighting up right after motivational circuits lighting up. There aren’t spiritual circuits, but areas in the brain where we feel inspired and so connected. We’re learning how to activate and deactivate circuits in the brain no differently than you can go to the gym to work on your physical muscles. You can go to your internal gym and innercise instead of exercise to work on your neuro muscles. That’s what we’re discovering. What holds people back? How do you deactivate the stuff that holds people back? How do you activate the stuff that causes people to go forward? That’s the fun part. Those are the reasons why I decided to put on the Brain-A-Thon. We’ve got an amazing one coming up with seven other world-renowned experts and it’s free to give people these insights but then to give them the tools on what do I do if I’m a failure.
You’re passionate. You’re full of life. I love the way you’ve set up the Brain-A-Thon because you don’t have these mind-blowing things or awareness of why someone avoids being disappointed or why someone avoids being fearful. Being able to go in there and rewire their brains, you have these different experts that give them the tools to do that. You’ve been doing this successfully for years now.
This coming Brain-A-Thon is our sixth annual Brain-A-Thon. Last time, 77,000 people signed up for it and watched it online. We had over 500,000 people watch it in the last several months, which is the last time’s version. We’ve got the new one coming up, which will be live and we’ll give everybody information. One of the individuals that will be on the Brain-A-Thon is Dr. Sarah McKay. She is a neuroscientist from Oxford University, which is the number one university in the world. She came up with this amazing term and process that she calls refire to rewire your brain. She is a leading neuroscientist and she’ll be sharing how do I refire certain circuits in my brain so I could rewire my brain to have higher levels of performance? How do I get myself more empowered? How do I reduce the fear? How do I have more confidence, more certainty and more personal power? She’s going to be talking about it and I’ll be interviewing her specifically on how do you refire your brain to rewire it?
People that are reading may go, “What do you mean refire my brain to rewire?” I want everyone to think of it this way. When we are born, we’re born with about 100 billion brain cells. Think about 100 billion marbles. Imagine when you learn a new language. These marbles make these connections between themselves. You learn the English language and you learn A, B, C, D, D, A, D, M, O, M. We create these patterns in the brain. Cells of recognition get created in the brain. By the time we are ten, eleven, twelve years old, many of our patterns are already created then we are operating on autopilot. All of the research shows that 96%, 98% of all of our thoughts, emotions and behaviors are being driven by the software, the wiring we’ve accumulated over the years. Let’s say you have a belief that you’re not good enough or not smart enough or not worthy, which hopefully nobody who’s reading has that, but maybe some do. That’s a pattern in the brain. That pattern fires automatically because it’s been firing that way for ten to 60 years.You can use stress as your fuel for success. Click To Tweet
The whole idea behind refire to rewire is there are some new methods that you can use to create a new pattern of firing in the brain like it did when you were a child. With space repetition and a variety of different methods, you can deactivate the old pattern of, “I’m not good enough, not worthy, not smart enough,” so it doesn’t fire automatically and you fire this new pattern. That pattern becomes connected and solidified. What we’re learning through the laboratory work and the research and being able to look inside the brain is that regardless of what pattern you have, regardless of what triggers your fears, regardless of what causes you to feel like you’re not good enough, you’re going to be embarrassed or ashamed or ridiculed and disappointed. Regardless of what that pattern is, you can learn how to recognize it, create a new pattern using technology and evidence-based methods, science-based methods. You can create a new pattern that starts to work for you instead of against you.
The research that they’re doing was only a theory before. A possibility is now being scientifically measured. Now, we have tools to know how to rechange those or change them.
We use telescopes to look deep into space. We use microscopes to look deep into atoms and nuclear microscopes. Now, we’re finally able to look into the human brain, take an image of it, seeing what’s happening when we’re stressed, when we have fear and anxiety, when we’re motivated, when we’re excited. We could see more now than in the history of humankind. Humans have been walking on Earth in one capacity or another for 2.5 million years. It’s only in the last several years that we can finally look in. Technology is giving us the ability to change neurology.
Being in this time on this leading edge is great. I’m appreciative of your work and transformation in this area on brain research. You have a gift and you’re going to give everybody a bonus video they’ll receive once they register for the Brain-A-Thon. You’ll receive a bonus training video from John. The training videos are Three Reasons Goal Setting Doesn’t Work, Reasons Why People Set Goals but Don’t Actually Achieve Them, and How to Retrain Your Brain When It Comes to Goal Setting so that You Successfully Achieve Your Goals. It’s a new science of goal achievement. We all are in this human experience and no matter how much work you’ve been doing on yourself, there’s always a new level to expand into. John, anything else you want to say or share?
What I’d like to share with everybody is the reason we do the Brain-A-Thon is to bring people the latest research and science-based methods to transform their lives for the positive. The speakers that I have, the experts that I have on, they’re not people that you listen to on any other platform. They’re researchers. I’ve got Dr. Sarah McKay, Oxford. Dr. Srini Pillay, one of the leading Harvard psychiatrists in the world. Dr. Shelley Carson, one of leading creativity and brain experts in the world on unlocking your creator brain so you achieve more income. Dr. Heidi Hanna on how do you understand stress so that you can use stress as your fuel for success. Dr. Jeff Spencer, how do you bring out the champion and he works with Olympic athletes. Mary Morrissey, Mark Redmond, amazing individuals who are giving us their time.
The event is there. You can come for an hour and 90 minutes or stay for the whole day and learn with everybody. It’ll be an amazing day. It’s free. You can watch from your computer, laptop. You’ll have the tools you need to be able to transform anything that’s holding you back, whether its mindset, emotions, motivation, fears, doubts, stress. Whatever the case is we’ll be able to help you on the Brain-A-Thon. I’ll give you an amazing gift to help you understand between setting goals and achieving goals and why it works so well in the brain when you understand how to use a couple of the different mechanisms in the brain. Right off the bat you’ll get some great training with me.
I appreciate the work that you do in the world. Register for the Brain-A-Thon. I know I will be there and I’ll be soaking up the information. Anytime I get an opportunity to sit at the feet of the amazing John Assaraf, I do so because you’re brilliant. I’m thankful for your time. Go ahead and leave us a comment. I know John’s brilliance and everything he said. I’d love to know what a-has you are taking away from this. Please let me know after you’ve gone to the Brain-A-Thon what your thought was and what shifted for you, what you learned because I love when you can. I’m selective who I share with my family. It’s only people like John Assaraf that I say that, “You’ve got to go hear what he’s got to say and go join his program because he’s the real deal. I 100% recommend him and his program.” I’m thrilled to serve next to John. Leave me a comment, let me know.
- John Assaraf
- Dr. Sarah McKay
- Dr. Srini Pillay
- Dr. Shelley Carson
- Dr. Heidi Hanna
- Dr. Jeff Spencer
- Mary Morrissey
- Mark Redmond
About John Assaraf
Born in 1961, John Assaraf spent his early years in Tel Aviv, Israel, where it was anything but peaceful. When he was 6, his family moved to Montreal, Canada, and there he faced all sorts of new challenges.
He had a tough time learning to speak both French and English and quickly became the target of bullies. Math and English were a struggle for him. Making friends was even harder. By the time he became a teenager his self-esteem was at rock bottom, and his only friends were thugs and trouble makers.
He was a regular in the school principal’s office, but that was nothing compared to the beatings he got at home because of his bad behavior. It was a loving family, but his hot-tempered father was a taxi driver, and every time he got called to the school meant lost time picking up fares. He dealt with is anger by taking it out on his son, physically. (John tells the story of his childhood in more detail in his book “Having It All”.)