Friday Roundup – 9.1.23 Edition

Each and every Friday — I outline a few of the articles and/or books that I have read over the last week or two that are worth taking a look at.

Designing the Mind: The Principles of Psychitecture By Ryan Bush

A bold and fascinating dive into the nuts and bolts of psychological evolution, Designing the Mind: The Principles of Psychitecture is part philosophical manifesto, part practical self-development guide, all based on the teachings of legendary thinkers like Marcus Aurelius, Lao Tzu, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Abraham Maslow. The ideas and techniques it offers are all integrated into a vital theory for helping individuals scale the heights of self-mastery and lead great lives. “It has already changed my life, and I know it will change others as well” – Aaron T. Perkins, Executive Leadership Coach 

This visionary guide argues that the mind can be compared to software, made up of many interwoven algorithms which were originally programmed by natural selection. Though most never learn to alter their default programming, it is possible to rewire cognitive biases, change ingrained habits, and transform emotional reactions. The process of psychitecture enables you to unplug from your own mind, identify its underlying patterns, and become the architect of your own enlightenment

Go here to get a copy of this great book:

We’re Always Training For Something

Every day, we go through a set of actions that is training our minds in the long term.

Sometimes we’re training intentionally: we meditate, practice focus, get ourselves to start a workout, resist temptations, etc.

Mostly, though, we’re training unintentionally: when you press snooze on the alarm clock, look at social media for 30 minutes, beat yourself up for something you’re not doing … these are probably things you’ve already trained yourself to do, and you’re reinforcing them each time you do them.

I’m not pointing this out to make anyone feel bad — this isn’t about making ourselves wrong for how we’re training ourselves. Goodness knows we do that enough.

I’m pointing this out because it gives us an opportunity — we can put awareness and intentionality into what we’re training, every day. This can change how we do everything, which can create a different way we’re showing up for our lives, and a different set of results.

For example:

  • If I wake up and check messages and social media … would I like to spend that time in meditation and journaling instead? Or perhaps create a planning session and stretching to start my day?
  • If I take breaks by watching videos, would I like to spend those breaks going for brief walks and stretching instead? Or reading a book if I’ve been meaning to read more?
  • If I go about my daily tasks by constantly switching between tasks and multiple distractions … would I like to train myself to enjoy singular focus instead?
  • If I toss my clothes on the ground after I take them off to shower or change … would I like to place them where they belong, and start to take care of my life?
  • If I rush through everything as if I can’t wait to be done with it all … would I like to spend more time actually caring about each task and activity, giving it my full attention?
  • If I treat people as annoying interruptions from my work … would I like instead to turn towards them with full attention and love?
  • If I stew in frustration about what someone else said or did … would I like to take care of my emotions and see the light in the other person instead?
  • If I put off my most meaningful tasks and projects for busywork … would I like to prioritize them and find the structure that will actually help me turn towards those tasks?
  • If I eat mindlessly whenever I’m stressed … would I like to bring compassion to my stress instead, and eat slowly and mindfully and joyfully?
  • If I treat my workouts like a chore to be put off or rushed through … would I like instead to treat them as sacred sessions to take care of my miracle of a body, and to bring joyful health into my life?
  • If I’m judgmental about others … would I like to bring curiosity and compassion instead?
  • If I complain about the world around us (including ourselves) … would I instead like to find gratitude for the miracle of life?

You can see that this is an opportunity to shift everything we do … and more importantly, shift how we do everything.

It takes a great degree of awareness of what we’re doing and how we’re doing it, but it’s an awareness we can develop with intention and practice. Which is exactly how we train something new: intention and practice.

What would you like to train in this moment?

Overcome Mistakes Like an Elite Athlete

Elite athletes think differently. To play at peak level, you have to play aggressively. You have to take risks, and you are going to make mistakes. It’s unavoidable. Elite athletes understand that errors are part of high performance and a necessary way to learn new skills and strategies. Instead of spending time and energy trying to avoid mistakes, elite athletes learn how to bounce back quickly from errors.

The “4Fs” Strategy

Years ago I went to a conference and heard an insightful presentation by Dr. Nicole Detling, a renowned mental performance consultant. She discussed a strategy called the “4Fs” for bouncing back to high performance after making a mistake (originally described in Owens and Kirschenbaum, 1998).

I forgot about this technique for years but was reminded of it when I was helping a team quickly recover from mistakes. The 4Fs framework involves four steps after making a mistake: Fudge, Fix, Forget, and Focus. When I teach this framework, I use five steps: Frick, Finish, Fix, Focus, and Forgive.

Let me elaborate.


Ah, shoot. You just made a mistake. Bummer. Your immediate reaction is to say: “Frick!” Or some other version. It’s important to allow yourself to feel the frustration in that moment. To say, “Ah, darn, that wasn’t what I meant to do.” Acknowledgment as a first step can help you actually move on (rather than pretending it didn’t happen).

Go here to finish reading:

Strategies to Not Worry

Do you worry?

Congrats, you’re human. 😁  

When I do a deep dive with a client, I survey them. Every single one has said they worry about their business. 

If you worry about your business (or life), know that you are not alone.

I worry. 

My goal today is to give you some strategies to implement to help you NOT worry about your business. Or help you worry less. 

“It’s not things that upset us; it’s our opinions about things.” – Epictetus. 

“He who suffers before it is necessary suffers before it is necessary.” – Seneca. 

“Today, I escaped my anxiety, or no, I discarded it. Because it was within me.” – Marcus Aurelius. 

Worry comes from an internal story or perspective that we tell ourselves. It could be true. If so, we need to problem-solve. Many times, it’s not, and if so, we need to shift our thinking.

Go here to finish reading:

Hope you enjoy these articles and books. Have a great rest of your Friday an amazing weekend.