Great Sociology Hack, Activating Genius IQ, Steve Jobs & Location Anchoring (1)

The newsletter which curates & delivers the best mind hacks, mental health tips & high performance strategies to you every single week.

🚀 LIFE HACK

'Weak Ties' (Or... The Approach Proven To Broaden Perspective, Unlock Creativity & Boost Success In Work & Life!)

In 1973, a young sociologist named Mark Granovetter penned a groundbreaking paper titled "The Strength of Weak Ties", which has since become the most cited paper in the entire field of sociology...

And to kickstart this week's newsletter, we're going to dive into this idea of ‘weak ties' & it's incredible applications for unlocking your creativity, thinking differently (as Steve Jobs encouraged so strongly!) & achieving more in life...

Consider this: the people who have been with you through thick & thin… who are either family to you or feel like they are... these people are your so-called "strong ties"...

And these people are very important, especially for emotional wellbeing, happiness as well as health & physical wellbeing...

Studies of centenarian living in 'blue zones' for example, show that strong social bonds are amongst the most important factors for living longer!

However, when it comes to creativity, innovation, coming up with novel solutions, doing things differently, changing your life, or changing the world as a whole... just spending time with these people (close friends, family, etc) is not such a good idea…

Why?

Well, it's all about the sameness you would experience…

If your lives have been parallel tracks – same school, same experiences, same hangouts, etc – it can become a creativity vacuum.

There's just not enough novel input...

Now, compare that to meeting & discussing with someone from a different culture, different upbringing, wildly different life experience, during a visit to a foreign land where you experience great 'culture shock' as the expression goes...

This person has had a life so different from yours that their perspectives & experiences can feel like a breath of fresh air, offering wider perspective & greatly stimulate your creativity too (& you on their life - the benefits are on both sides!)

And that's exactly what happens...

A good example of this are immigrants...

History, for example, is packed with creative geniuses who were 'immigrants'.

Even today, 1/5th of 21st-century geniuses are first-or-second-generation immigrants; immigrants bring with them a cultural diversity that often leads to breakthroughs.

It's not just immigrants who benefit, though...

The places that welcome them also thrive creatively.

Silicon Valley, for instance, sees nearly 50% of startups with at least 1 co-founder born outside the United States - that's diversity breeding innovation right in your backyard.

Now, here's the real twist: ‘weak ties’ thrive on disagreement, even offence.

Think about it: when you don't know someone well, you might be more willing to share controversial views or disagree with them…

And this friction of ideas, the clash of perspectives, is precisely what creativity also feeds on... it's the spark that lights the creative fire.

Studies have backed this up too...

- Researchers found that those with more "weak ties" tend to produce more creative & high-impact work...

- Artists with extensive networks of "weak ties" are more likely to create groundbreaking art...

- And in the world of entrepreneurship & business, those with diverse "weak ties" are better at innovation & problem-solving.

Of course, we are NOT suggesting you ditch your close friends & loved ones (they're your support system, your emotional anchors, our source of happiness in life!)...

But what we are suggesting that if you want to be more creative, think differently, understand the world deeper & achieve more in your life, you’ll want to…

…expand your circle to include those who bring fresh perspectives, can disagree with & can stimulate creativity!

Seek out people who are very different from you, who've had unique life experiences different than your own & get to know their perspectives - doing so will challenge your own thinking & help your creativity soar!

So, here's your creativity hack for the week: embrace the strength of weak ties.

Open yourself up to new encounters, engage with people from diverse backgrounds & don't shy away from a little creative conflict. It's the recipe for unleashing your full creative potential 💡 

🎁 FREE GIFT

If you’d like to learn insights & frameworks to help you strategically & methodically select the right skills to develop to earn more, elevate your career & thrive in life…

Specifically, inside the series, you'll learn...

  • The 2 considerations & 3 critical factors to evaluate all new topics & skills through... (note: understanding this can save you decades of trial & error... or heading down the wrong paths!)

  • 12 examples of the exact 'high value skills' you can start developing right away to... build a great career, earn a lot more & generate wealth!

  • The special bonus strategy (as used by Elon Musk & many other high achievers now & throughout history)... that allows you to create your own niche, differentiate yourself from the competition, stand out... & earn a lot more as a result!

And a whole lot more...

🧠 MIND HACK

Gazing Out Into The Distance (Or... A Stupidly-Simply Way To Calm Stress, Reduce Anxiety & Further Enhance Insight!)

We covered the 'Cathedral Effect' in a previous newslettera phenomenon that explains that looking up and/or being in an environment with high ceilings (like a cathedral) can prime your brain to think bigger/loftier & help you to have more creative ideas...

Well, another dimension of physical reality (& it's effect on the mind, mood & creativity) we want to explore is not height, but distance...

That's right, there's also amazing research that shows that gazing out further into the distance (e.g. standing on the balcony overlooking the city, sitting in the park watching the sunset or gazing at the mountains in the background) can also prime your brain to operate a little differently than normal…

Specifically, what the research has confirmed is that what looking out into the far distance does is that it makes you think further out into the future as well (more long-term thinking)...

It also expands your range (just like height & the ‘Cathedral effect’) helping you to think bigger/loftier & be more creative too...

Also, based on the fact that stress, anxiety, or tension generally comes from focusing closely on events now or in the future… looking out into the distance gives you more perspective & calms down stress, alleviates anxiety & boosts your emotional mood.

This also provides yet another explanation for why spedning time in nature or hiking tend to be very calming & relaxing activities & great for boosting mental health!

So, the next time you’re feeling stressed, anxious or you need to think more broadly/abstractly/creatively, you can use this simple hack of simply gazing out into the distance.

Both the ‘weak ties’ idea & this gazing into the distance ‘mind hack’ here can help you to boost your creativity, amongst other benefits…

If you’d like to learn more about creativity specifically & how to unleash yours, check out the complete Potencia course, titled:

💭 QUOTE OF THE WEEK

Here’s a reminder of just one of the quote we were referring to when we shared that Steve Jobs encouraged ‘thinking differently’ at the start of this week’s newsletter:

“When you grow up you tend to get told the world is the way it is and you're life is just to live your life inside the world.

Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family, have fun, save a little money.

That's a very limited life.

Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use.

Once you learn that, you'll never be the same again.”

Steve Jobs

Or, you can watch Steve say it himself here:

🔁 HABIT HACK

In another previous newsletter, we covered the value of using specific times as cues for building good habits (‘time triggers’ or ‘time anchoring’)…

For example, if you tell yourself you're going to run at 8am every morning, you're more likely to build that habit than if you just tell yourself you're going to go running but without picking a specific time/timeframe...

Building on that & to wrap up this week's newsletter, we're going to cover a similar 'habit hack' which is 'location anchoring'...

To start & as we alluded to with the 'gazing into the distance' hack, you want to always consider your environment whenever you’re doing anything; your 4-dimensional reality…

Your physical environment is more than just a backdrop; it's an active participant in shaping your behavior...

And what you want to do is take new habits that you want to build & also assign them a location (as well as a time) if possible.

The formula is something like:

"At this (TIME), in this (LOCATION), I'm going to (HABIT)."

^ in one study, getting clear on just these 2 things (time, location) for a specific task or habit increase implementation by approx. 250% ^

Another distinction here (as written about in James Clear's hit book, 'Atomic Habit') is you then want to take your environment & make good cues for positive habits more visible & bad cues/bad habits invisible...

Let's dive into some actionable examples:

1. Making Bad Habits Physically Invisible:

  • Conceal tempting items, like moving alcohol to the back of the fridge.

  • Create friction by placing hurdles between you & the habit (e.g. having no alcohol in the house & therefore having to go out/to the store to have a drink).

2. Amplifying Good Habits:

  • Make your gym bag visible, encouraging regular workouts.

  • Keep instruments or tools for desired habits in plain sight, like your guitar in the living room.

  • Place healthy snacks prominently in the kitchen to boost your fruit intake.

  • Display books you want to read on your nightstand for a daily reminder.

3. Optimize Your Environment:

  • Assess your spaces – home, office, workspace, digital devices.

  • Ask yourself: How can you tweak my surroundings even further to make bad habits less visible & good habits more obvious?

  • Aim to create an environment that nudges you toward positive actions effortlessly!

This is where habit science meets everyday life...

By assigning habits not just a time (as we covered in that previous newsletter) but also a place, you're architecting a conducive environment for growth, success, happiness & the life you've always wanted!

Remember: small shifts in your environment can yield significant changes in your habits & your life as a whole 😃 

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