The prime directive of the human mind (Marissa Peer)

“Your mind does what it truly thinks you want it to do and what it truly believes is in your best interest”

Marissa Peer on the 3 things the mind does

The way you feel about any event and the way your mind responds is the result of just 2 things

  1. The pictures you make in your head; and
  2. The words you say to yourself

To succeed at anything you have to make the unfamiliar familiar and the familiar unfamiliar

The mind does what it truly believes is in your best interests

What the mind truly believes and what you really want are not always the same thing.

The problem is that the mind might think you want something that you don’t really want. You might actually want the opposite.

In Marvel movie terms, think of the character of Drax the Destroyer from Guardians of the Galaxy:

“His people are completely literal. Metaphors go over his head.”

Nothing goes over my head…! My reflexes are too fast, I would catch it.”

It’s a bit like an unthinking older brother who sees his sister talking to a boy and he charges in knocking the boy over without thinking.

It is probably a completely innocent scenario and he’s just caused harm to someone who didn’t deserve it.

Marissa Peer Puts it this way

The brain has no sense of humour and only picks up words, and thinks they’re real

The mind says ‘this is literal’ ‘this is real’ ‘you mean it’

We think our minds job is to make us happy – it really isn’t, it’s to make us survive against what we’re once really pretty bad odds

Your mind will always remember what hurts you because it’s job is to keep you alive by making sure you don’t get hurt and it doesn’t know what hurt you until you say

Marissa Peer

So we really need to take care with what we say to ourselves.

The remedy is to use this tendency for the good

We tell ourselves all this crazy stuff and we wonder why we feel so crazy

“All we have to do is tell ourselves better stuff”

3. To succeed at anything you have to make the unfamiliar familiar and the familiar unfamiliar

The way this last point is expressed makes me think of a couple of things

a. Lean into the chaos

sketch depicting I love chaos


b. We have used up our current skills and abilities getting to where we are now so in order to move forward we must learn new skills and abilities and/or extend upon those we already have.

Either way, this will involve moving into new territory.

And that’s something that the mind is unfamiliar with (and maybe even perceive as a threat).

Therefore we have to get comfortable with the notion that we are going to have to enter into unfamiliar territory.

Related Items

Marissa Peer hypnotises the audience 

Marissa Peer with Lewis Howes – an excellent discussion where she explains all of her ideas and practices.

Marissa Peer talks to Lewis Howes about her life and lessons

This one is full of great advice.

5 ways to respond to mean criticism:

  1. Say ‘Thanks for sharing …’
  2. Calmly ask the speaker to ‘please repeat that slowly …’
  3. Say, ‘Oh, are you trying to make me feel bad about myself?’
  4. Just don’t let it in. ‘That won’t work because I’m not letting that in’
  5. Adult bullying: “Since we’re sharing here, you do know that people who are critical have so much criticism reserved for themselves. They actively dislike themselves. You are actively showing yourself and everyone in this office that you don’t like yourself.”

When you can teach people to come back from criticism, you haven’t let it in and what doesn’t get in, doesn’t hurt you.

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