Freedom, Energy, Commitment and Optimistic Spirit

FREEDOM, Energy, Commitment and Optimistic Spirit

By Bob Davies

Think back to a time in your life when you gave everything you had to the accomplishing of a goal and felt absolutely exhausted and satisfied, even exhilarated. Think of the camaraderie between all on your team.

How far back did you have to go? I’ll bet that for a lot of people this brought them back to some type of athletic event as a participant. It did for me. I think back to my time as a football coach at Cal State Fullerton.

 Our staff and team had several things in common. First, we faced adversity. It was us, the little guys from a small school versus the big guys from the big conferences with the big budges and facilities. It became anUSversus THEM scenario.

 I can remember all of the hard work, time and effort that we all gave to our program. I can also remember the love and tight inclusive camaraderie between the players and staff. This is the result of an “all in” effort towards the accomplishment of a shared goal.

You just don’t find this in businesses today. Somehow people have become independent, out for themselves without regard for the total picture. Businesses have evolved to an environment where theUSversus THEM might be the employees versus management rather than the company versus the outside elements.

Whatever happened to maximum effort in a “whatever it takes” commitment? Whatever happened to an individual’s intense desire to grow, improve and learn? Benjamin Barber, an eminent sociologist, once said, “I don’t divide the world into the weak and the strong, or the successes and the failures…I divide the world into learners and nonlearners.”

What on earth would make someone lose their intense desire to compete, to grow, to have passion for their life? Everyone is born with an intense drive to learn and improve. Infants are examples of this. They are stretching their boundaries daily. They never decide that learning to walk and talk is just too hard and not worth the effort.

Babies don’t worry about making mistakes or humiliating themselves. They walk, they fall, they get up. They just keep on keeping on.

What could put an end to this exuberant passion for learning and improvement? It’s language. As soon as children become able to evaluate themselves and to express themselves with language then the decline begins. It’s the stories we tell ourselves that either creates or denies access to behavior.

I’m writing this on the 4th of July weekend. The 4th is an American celebration of freedom. This freedom we many times take for granted. The past few months have accentuated the difference between our democracy and every other form of governance.

Our police don’t shoot protesters. Our news reporters don’t disappear when they are critical of the current administration. Our elections, scandal free for the most part, reflect the true will of the people. In short, we are free. 

Every person has the opportunity to create their own mindset, their own set of circumstances and then apply enough energy to turn their desires into reality. Our economy is not perfect and never will be. There have always been cycles of the ups and downs. However, in the end, the freedom to make choices in business, the freedom to reinvent, change direction, whatever it takes, has always gotten us through. Not only that, times like these have made our country stronger.

Einstein gave us the answer to our problems when he declared E equals MC squared. This means that if you put enough energy into the system then you will create mass or in this case business results.

Prior to Einstein Charles Darwin made a significant contribution when he said that nature selects those organisms that are able to adapt to changes in a way that favors survival.

What adaptations do you need to make? Do you need to learn and sell a new product? Do you need to develop relationships with other experts and serve each others clients? Do you need to upgrade your education, certifications and licensing? What adaptations to the changing marketplace do you need to make?

If you can work your way out of a problem then you don’t have a problem. You have the freedom to control your focus, your preparation and your effort. Or, you can give that freedom away to others and allow them to dictate your state of mind for you.

I hope you take the time in your celebration of the Fourth of July to remember that at your business, your home, at the ballot box, you are free to make choices. There are not many in the world who can say that!

High Performance Training, Inc. Bob Davies, M.Ed. Psychology, Springfield College, B.S. Health, Rutgers University MCC Master Certified Coach International Coach Federation 

20992 Ashley Lane,Lake Forest,CA92630-5865

949-830-9192 fax 949-830-9492 Email: Website: On-Line coaching


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Bob Davies, named in the top 100 greatest minds of personal development world-wide by Excellence Magazine.



Permission granted to publish this article with Resource information included: Bob Davies High Performance Training, Inc. 949-830-9192  Permission also granted to edit this article.


Bob Davies

High Performance Training, Inc.

20992 Ashley Lane

Lake Forest, Ca 92630



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By Bob Davies, M.Ed.
Psychology, B.S. Health


A friend
of mine knows that I am writing a new book on weight control. In fact, he is
creating the cover. He sent me an article titled, “MSG, a Slow Poison” which is
about MSG causing obesity and he wanted to know my opinion about the article.


Here are
some of the article highlights.

The food
additive MSG (Mono-Sodium Glutamate) is a slow poison. MSG hides behind 25 or more names, such as
Natural Flavoring.” MSG is even in your favorite coffee from Tim Horton’s and Starbucks
coffee shops!

I wondered
if there could be an actual chemical causing the massive

epidemic, and so did a friend of mine, John Erb. He was a research assistant at the University of Waterloo
in Ontario, Canada, and spent years working for the government. He
made an amazing discovery while going through scientific journals for a book he was writing
called “The Slow Poisoning
of America”.

In hundreds
of studies around the world, scientists were creating

obese mice
and rats to use in diet or diabetes test studies. No strain of

rat or mice
is naturally obese, so scientists have to create them. They

make these
creatures morbidly obese by injecting them with MSG when they are first born.

triples the amount of insulin the pancreas creates, causing

rats (and
perhaps humans) to become obese. They even have a name for the fat rodents they create:
“MSG-Treated Rats.”

When I
heard this, I was shocked. I went into my kitchen and checked

cupboards and the refrigerator. MSG was in everything – the Campbell’s soups,
the Hostess Doritos, the Lays flavored potato chips, Top Ramen, Betty Crocker Hamburger Helper,
Heinz canned gravy, Swanson frozen prepared meals, and Kraft salad dressings, especially the
“healthy low-fat” ones.

The items
that didn’t have MSG marked on the product label had

called “Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein,” which is just another name
for Monosodium Glutamate.

It was
shocking to see just how many of the foods we feed our children

are filled with this stuff. MSG is hidden under many different

names in
order to fool those who read the ingredient list, so that they

don’t catch
on. (Other names for MSG are “Accent, “Aginomoto,” “Natural
Meat Tenderizer,” etc.)

But it
didn’t stop there….however I will. The article continued to say that the food
manufacturers are aware of the scientifically proven addictive properties of
MSG and in fact that is one of the reasons that they use this ingredient, to
get people addicted to their product.

This blog is
not about the ill effects of MSG. This blog is about accountability. The
information about MSG supports a person going victim and blaming food
manufacturers for their obesity.

My response
to my friend was the MSG is not the cause of obesity. YOU are! Obesity is a
behavioral issue. It’s about your habits, how much food you eat and whether you
exercise or not.

I am not
making a statement about MSG. My statement is about taking full responsibility
for the results in your life. You are the cause of all that you experience, not
Mac Donalds or food manufacturers.

Now I’m not
saying that this should be allowed to continue. Of course we need to have
protection for our food supply and to ensure compliance with healthy
ingredients. However,


Yes, I said
it. This doesn’t stand for Why the Face or Where’s the Food. It stands for
“What’s the Focus?”

If the
focus is on blaming food manufacturers, or fast food chains, or the media then
it’s not likely that you are going to take full responsibility for the results
that you are creating in your health.

recommend that you apply W T F to every aspect of your life. What is your focus
in your business? Are you focusing on the economy, the scandals and frauds that
are happening, the problems in Europe? Are you
focusing on world events, interest rates, the real estate market, inflation,
the job market, consumer buying or any other “indicators”?

The focus
needs to be on the most productive “required daily activities” that you need to
be doing to give you the highest probability of predicted results, period.

When I
asked the attendees from an elite level conference that I recently presented
to, the International Forum, now Forum 400, what their biggest challenge was
they said seeing enough people. That’s what they were focused on!

At the end
of your day ask yourself the question, “what did I focus on for most of the
day?” If the answer is your most productive actions then the results are a

Don’t get
seduced into being a victim and get sidetracked in terms of what you are paying
attention to. Take full responsibility for the results in your life. Take full
responsibility for what you pay attention to on a moment by moment basis. Your
family and the families of your clients will thank you!

Coach Bob

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How to Make Disappointment Hurt Less.

How to Make Disappointment Hurt Less

Would it be of value to you to learn how to influence your perception in such a way that your many disappointments just aren’t as severe as they may possibly be? For most the answer is yes.

Noted biologist, Benjamin Lipton, states that “reality is in the mind of the observer”.  This means that you have the choice to decide what meaning you will give to everything that happens to you.

 You can make up any “story” about what happens. Quantum theory supports this stating that reality exists only in states of potential outcomes, possibilities, and that it is up to you to select the outcome interpretation of your choice. Once that selection is made all other possibilities cease to exist.

Consider the following.

 John has a successful retirement planning business. He has an in-house marketing department, a client services department, administrative staff, an in-house bookkeeper and a receptionist. John has five additional advisors working in his organization. They appreciate the fact that that their clients are the firms clients and they sign non-compete and non disclosure agreements.

Fast forward two years later. Two of the advisors leave the firm and take almost all of their clients with them. John is devastated and initiates a law suit.

John is more than devastated. He is mad! He has resentment and wants revenge! John is doing what I call “Double Duty”. Not only have the facts occurred, two advisors left the firm and breached their agreement by illegally taking clients and assets with them, and he is also upset about it.

John is suffering from the three R’s, Resentment, Resistance, Revenge. This will impact his health as his body sees this as real threat to his well being and creates the release of peptides and destructive hormones that take a heavy toll on his physiology. John needs to let go!

This doesn’t mean that he doesn’t continue to do what he needs to do for his lawsuit and for the possibility of communicating with his clients in the hopes of keeping them. What it means is that he doesn’t allow this to upset him at the same time.

Here is how you gain control of your physiology and your thoughts. The first step is to realize that whatever happens to you is neutral. It has no meaning. It is your internal dialogue, your own thinking,  that gives meaning to everything that happens to you.

You can assign any type of meaning to anything that happens to you. What are some possible interpretations that John can have related to his advisors leaving? Try these positive meanings:

  1. This is a lesson to me about developing a relationship with my advisors and with the clients that may have prevented this from happening in the first place.
  2. These clients were never loyal to the firm and although I’m sorry to see them leave I realize that life will be easier without them. Plus they were never a source of referrals anyway.
  3. This will be the motivation that I need to replace these assets and further grow my business.

Here are some negative interpretations:

  1. How dare these advisors leave me and steal my clients. They will pay for this.
  2. I’ll call every client and tell them that this was an illegal action and that they are the firms clients and insist that they stay.
  3. This is terrible horrible and awful and I’m calling my broker dealer.

All of these are possible realities waiting for you to make a selection. Which set of meanings best serves you?

 Here is a model for you to use for future disappointments. Visualize three circles. Circle one, something happens.

This is neutral. There is no meaning in whatever happens.

You are stuck in traffic-it doesn’t mean anything until you say so.

Someone lies to you-it doesn’t mean anything until you say so.

Someone doesn’t do what they said they would do- it doesn’t mean anything until you say so.

A large case you are working on gets stopped because one of the clients’ other advisors doesn’t understand how you are using a large premium financed insurance policy inside of an off shore super freeze trust to protect an estate from tax liability- it doesn’t mean anything until you say so.

You have a teacher conference for your son or daughter in school and the teacher is rude- it doesn’t mean anything until you say so.

You travel cross country for a company conference that gets cancelled while you are in the air due to a bad weather forecast- it doesn’t mean anything until you say so.

The list can go on and on. Circle one is just the facts. Something happened. Circle two is where you make up a story where you give meaning to the facts. Circle three is where you live your life as if your meaning was true. If this leads to the three R’s, the I say change your story.

You live in a world where multiple realities exist so it is up to you to take responsibility for the story you make up about what the facts mean. The facts are that two advisors leave your company and take their clients with them. That’s it. It is not terrible, horrible and awful. It just is.

The fact is that you are in traffic. Period! You are going to be late for an appointment, you hate wasting time, this is terrible is all a conversation that you are making up that does nothing for you but make you upset.

Here is a tough love core principle: “I am the source of all that I experience-versus going victim and blaming others.”

You are the only one who can make you upset. Again, I’ll emphasize that this doesn’t mean that you don’t take the appropriate actions, but what it does mean is that you don’t do double duty. Not only does the fact occur but you are also upset about it. Change your story. Find to benefit or positive out of everything that happens to you. There are two structures in the limbic area of the brain called the septum and the amygdale. When the electrical activity is in the amygdale you have a shut down of the receptor sites for endorphins and dopamine, the feel good chemicals that the brain naturally releases.

When the electrical activity is in the amygdale you are upset and are not able to be your best. However, you can shift which area of your brain is being stimulated simply by shifting your thoughts. This is much more than wishful thinking or unrealistically positive thinking. This is based on physiology. You owe it to yourself and to your clients to be the best that you can be. You are a protector of lifestyles and dreams. It is your responsibility to be at your best. Protect your thinking and select powerful interpretations. It’s your choice.

Bob Davies

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So You Intend to Change-Instincts Trump Intentions

Imagine this as the lead story of a national magazine, Instinct Trumps Intentions. As I go throughout the country speaking on performance excellence I continue to observe thousands of people who intend to lose weight, make more money, improve relationships, start a new hobby, learn something new, volunteer for a charitable cause, yet they continue to do nothing. Why is that?

This seems like a simple question yet it has multiple answers. Science would argue that the cause of procrastination and avoidance lies in cortical limbic loops. The outer cortex of the brain, the executive thinking part of the brain generates the intention. It then sends action potentials through thousands of neural networks as it searches for the activities necessary to achieve the desired results. Next it conducts an instant search for any links to pain of those activities by sending an avalanche of neuronal excitation to the limbic area of the brain, the amygdale, (fear and arousal) and on to the hippocampus for memory retrieval. 

The result is unavoidable and predictable. For every action that you need to take there will be a link to a previous or anticipated experience of discomfort. Your brain then magnifies this to become a catastrophic threat to your very survival so you are left with only one move, avoid. 

Psychology now steps to the forefront and you justify your avoidance with rationalization and you never know that you are doing so. This is the instinct that is present in all of life called the “survival mechanism”.

Your instincts just didn’t show up today. They are the result of millions of years of genetic selection for those traits that give you a competitive advantage and increase your chances of achieving your purpose for living-to pass on your genes. 

I call this evolutionary debris. At one point in time every instinct that you have gave you this competitive advantage. Throughout evolution you are a part of gene selection. It is natural for you to view the world through the lens of negativity, fear, doubt, distrust and blame. It favors survival to see the danger in a circumstance and avoid it long before you are conscious of doing so. 

This is a currently hotly debated topic in the scientific field. I’m referring to free will versus determinism. In other words, who controls the choices you make. Do you think you do?

Numerous studies display precognition. Scientists armed with a functional MRI device can see in real time how your brain is firing. Long before you are conscious of making the choice to press button B on a computer your motor cortex has already fired. Your choices are subconscious processes based on genetic coding and previous neural networks of memories of past experiences. 

This process is what enables survival. A caveman looks up and sees a lion. Long before he is conscious of the danger he has initiated his fight or flight response. He is fifty yards away in a full sprint before he becomes conscious that his life is in danger. These subconscious networks, cortical limbic loops of emotional memories are one hundred times faster than any conscious processing.

The reason for this is because the cave man who couldn’t generate this preconscious response and stood there wondering what the lion had in mind never lived to pass on their slow moving network.

What does all of this mean to you? It means that your work is cut out for you if you want to create new habits and enjoy new results. All of your genetic wiring is geared to safety and to staying the same. The word that describes this is homeostasis. Homeo is Latin for same and stasis means state. Our evolution has us stay the same. Keep the same body temperature and initiate a microscopic assault on any foreign tissue that enters the body.

This is good. If you inhale the Ebola virus you will certainly be thankful that your body immediately begins a release of antibodies into your lungs. You don’t have to participate in this non conscious process. You don’t need to understand it or believe in it. It is an instinct. 

Suppose you need a kidney transplant or you will die. That’s a foreign tissue. Will your body realize that an exception needs to be made? The answer is no. Your instinct will trump your intention. You intend to live and your instinct sees the foreign tissue as a threat to be attacked to save your life. 

Can you have a kidney transplant and still survive? Yes, but not without an intervention. The intervention are drugs that suppress the immune system. If you are ever in a situation where instinct is in conflict with intention then instinct will always win unless there is an intervention. 

For example, intend to run up a flight of stairs as fast as you can without breathing heavy and increasing your heart rate. Can’t be done. 

Imagine I have an air puff gun and I puff a blast of air into your eye. You will instinctively blink. Now let’s do this again. I tell you what I’m going to do and I ask you to give me your word that you will not blink. Here we go. What happens? Instinct trumps intentions, you blink.

 So you intend to create an alliance with an estate planning attorney, an accountant, a realtor, a lender and a property and casualty specialists. Your intentions are to send some introductory emails, set up some lunch appointments, select your team and then develop a seminar marketing plan for the rest of the year that you will each market to your own data base.

 You have your assistant go through your book and identify all of your clients other advisors on record. You call them first. The first call you find that you can’t get past the receptionist. The second call you get through but the attorney doesn’t care that you share the same client and is too busy to spend time with you. The call after that the accountant says you’re the fifth advisor to call him and he’s not interested. You get a series of no’s ranging from rude to apathy. 

Now your brain has had a steady firing in the area called the anterior cingulate. This is the area that gets fired on when you are in real physical pain. Rejection is viewed by your brain no differently then physical pain. Rejection is physical pain.

You intend to continue to make contacts to make this happen. You love the idea of servicing each others clients and referrals as the category expert. Your instinct however is to avoid pain. So you get very busy with other priorities and just don’t have the time to pursue this but you will get to it later. 

Sound familiar? 

Try this. Use a behavioral contract. Allow your instincts to continue to rule your behavior. The most powerful instinct that you have is the avoidance of pain and the seeking of comfort.

 Make a specific commitment to a small part of that intention. Commit to making 30 minutes of calls in this area on Monday and add a penalty of $100 if you don’t. Now look at what you just mobilized. Your brain will now make an instant pain comparison. Visualize the scales of justice. There is the pain of the activity versus the pain of the penalty for non performance $100. Your compelling human instinct is to avoid the highest level of perceived pain. If the highest level of pain is the $100 fine then you will be compelled to avoid it. You avoid this high level of pain by doing what you said you would do and making the calls.

Now you have aligned instincts with intentions. Until you do this you will be like a dog. Do dogs love bones? No, they love meat but they settle for bones. Don’t settle. Use behavioral contracting.

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What Motivates You? What Are You Committed To?

What Motivates You? What are You Committed to?

 When I ask that question I get a variety of replies such as, my family, doing the right thing and world peace. For the commitment part I hear answers such as prosperity, health, to give to others, gratitude.

This may be the illusion that people are operating under but let me restate that it is an illusion, a lie. If you want to know what someone is committed to all you have to do is look at what they have.

If a person is miserable then they are committed to misery. If a person is in a struggling relationship then they are committed to being in a struggling relationship.

If a person lives in clutter and chaos then that’s what they are committed to. All the rest is a lie!

I’m having this conversation with you without judgment. This is not good or bad, it just is. It’s all about genetic coding and pattern recognition. We are genetically coded to recognize what can hurt us and to avoid. We are coded to save time in our response by recognizing patterns and responding well before we are conscious of the threat.

Our five plus million year’s evolution has us coded for survival, not prosperity. Any trait that favors survival, thus the passing of our genes is copied and passed on.

Consider these numbers. It has been estimated that we have 100 billion brain cells, each capable of tens of thousands of interactions with other neurons. We are bombarded with 100 billion bits of information per second. Of this we pay attention to only 2000 bits of which seven can make it into our short term memory and we can take action on only one input at a time.

Humans have a very limited perceptual capacity. We can see only certain wavelengths of light whereas other species can see frequencies that are beyond our abilities. Same with sound, hearing and all of our senses. Since we have such a limited capacity evolution has taken our small bandwidth of perceptual ability and dedicated it to seeing danger. We are predisposed to be negative and see what can hurt us, not opportunities.

I can put what motivates all of us into one phrase;

All human performance is the avoidance of pain or the seeking of comfort.

This is what dictates what makes it into our bandwidth of awareness. We are coded to see danger. Our brain is designed to recognize the highest level of perceived pain and then compel us to avoid.

So what does this mean to you on a daily basis?

It means that you will have a difficult time having your actions match your intentions. I’ll assume that you have a business plan for next year. You have your goals, objectives, and activities that you need to accomplish to reach those goals.

Now you plan for the next seven days. Before you can take an action your brain searches like a computer for any link of those actions to pain. When you find the link to pain, and you will, your brain compels you to avoid and then you justify the avoidance with rationalization and you never know that you are doing this. You think that the truth is you were just too busy!

Do dogs love bones?

No, they love MEAT but they settle for bones. We are all avoidance machines. We avoid making prospecting calls, calling on potential high net worth house holds, developing strategic alliances with attorneys and other financial experts all in the name of being too busy.

The reality is that we are settling for mediocrity because of human nature’s limitations. Make not mistake about it, we are all driven to avoid pain and seek comfort.

You can not fight this human genetic coding. All you can do is surrender to it and use it to your advantage. Here’s how.

Identify one activity that you give your word that you will do by the end of the week. This should be an activity that you are capable of doing. It must be realistic. It should also be an activity that you most likely would resist tacking action on and would not do without some special treatment.

Now let’s leverage human nature. Since we know that our genetic coding is to recognize the highest level of perceived pain and avoid it, let’s leverage this by placing a higher pain on the activity.

For example, imagine that your commitment is to call a wealthy individual who is on the board of the city hospital foundation along with you. This person knows who you are, what you do yet is not a client.

Your brain searches this activity and links it to being very dangerous. That’s right; being rejected or embarrassed is viewed as dangerous. You are therefore compelled to avoid this dangerous activity and then you justify with rationalization.

This is the way that it should be unless there is an intervention.

Let’s change your approach. Send someone an email that you will call this person by the end of the week and if you don’t you will pay them $100. Send it to me; I’ll hold you accountable for $100! (

Now your brain acts in this manner. The outer cortex is the executive thinking area and it contemplates making the call to this person. Immediately there is a connection to the hypothalamus (memory of past experiences) where you search for any past experiences of prospecting and danger. You find an example of great rejection and there is a shot of excitement in the limbic area of the brain referred to as the limbic system or more specifically a structure called the amygdale. This is the emotional area of the brain and it creates this tremendous non-conscious command to avoid. This is called a cortical limbic loop.

After you place a $100 consequence on this action, you will have a different cortical limbic loop. You will still be avoiding the highest level of perceived pain but this time the avoidance will be the avoidance of the fine by taking the action and you make the call.

Guess what, it was easy. The prospect tells you he is glad that you called.

Try this. It is called Behavioral Contracting. It works almost 100% of the time. Avoid your way to the top. Remember, I’m only an email away.

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How to Avoid Overeating at Thanksgiving-Left brain thoughts won’t work!

How to Avoid Overeating at Thanksgiving-Left brain thoughts won’t work!
By Bob Davies

The average Thanksgiving meal equals 3,000 grams of fat and the average person takes in a daily total caloric intake of 4,500 calories.

You can search anything on the internet these days so I Googled “How to Avoid Overeating on Thanksgiving”. There were lots of articles, comments, stories and tips including the following;

1. Eat throughout the day prior to the main meal.
2. Exercise before the main meal.
3. Drink two or three glasses of water before the main meal.
4. Stick to single portions and leave food on your plate.
5. Don’t have seconds.

All of these suggestions seemed very reasonable. Except for one thing. They won’t work! Being reasonable is the lowest level of human consciousness!

The above 5 suggestions are not likely to have an impact on your emotional mind. I like to emphasize three areas of the brain. Here is an analogy.

Make a fist with both hands and put your knuckles together so the heels of your hands are touching. Roll your hands so you are looking at the top of your knuckles. This represents the outer cortex of the brain. This is the area that is responsible for rational thought, executive decision making and analytical thinking.

Open your hands and the fingers represent the deep area of the brain called the limbic system. This is the oldest area of the brain that is often referred to as the reptilian brain. It is the brain of our ancestors. This is the part of the brain that is responsible for emotional responses, fear, avoidance, disgust and arousal.

The wrists represent the brain stem, the autonomic nervous system, breathing and heart rate.

The above suggestions about overeating only appeal to the outer cortex, the thinking area of the brain. This also refers to the left brain, or the conscious analytical mind. The conscious brain agrees that it is a good idea to limit caloric intake.

Remember the fingers in the brain analogy, the limbic system? The limbic system is genetically coded for feast or famine. The limbic system begins a hormonal cascade that signals the area of the brain called the appestat to delay its signals to the fat cells to release the hormone leptin. When leptin is in the blood stream you feel satisfied and stop eating. However, this primitive food scarcity mechanism of delay enables you to binge so you can survive the famine and it still operates as if your life was in danger. You can not be logical or reasonable around your eating at Thanksgiving. You have to do battle on the appropriate battle ground. You’ve got to address the emotional limbic area of the brain.

Here is how you can win this game called overeating at Thanksgiving.

1. Get MAD!
2. Declare the commitment. (Cortex)
3. Add accountability through the use of a behavioral contract. (Cortical limbic loop)

Let’s take these one at a time. First, get MAD. Make A Decision! You’ve got to understand your “why”. Why bother eating sensibly at one of maybe two times a year where you can allow yourself to overeat.

You might decide that you can overeat on Thanksgiving and Christmas and then leave it at that. This would be a fine decision. Have as much as you want. You can get back on track next week. If this is your approach then you do not need to read this article. You are fine, no judgment, enjoy.

However, you might also think that Thanksgiving is not an excuse to get off of your plan and disrupt your healthy eating habits. If your decision is to stay within your plan then read on.

By the way, I congratulate you for either decision. It is a very weak position to be indecisive.

Step one: Make a decision.
Step two: Declare the commitment.

Specifically declare what you are committed to. Are you only going to have one plate, no seconds, whatever your decision is declare it specifically. Someone else needs to know exactly what you are committing to.

Next you will need to appeal to the emotional part of the brain, the limbic system. The limbic system is like a radar sensing environment. It is constantly monitoring the inputs coming in from the outer cortex and all of the senses for any threats to survival.

You have a lifetime of what are called cortical limbic loops where just the thinking of taking an action is linked by the hypothalamus to previous threatening and dangerous experiences of pain. This constant dance occurs on a subconscious level and is constantly showing up in your life as avoidance. Unfortunately there is also another step of rationalization where you justify the avoidance and never realize that you are doing so.

The brain is genetically coded to find and respond to the highest level of perceived pain, always, just like your life depended on it. That is because at one time during human evolution the ability to recognize pain and avoid it was necessary for survival.

After you have declared your commitment now you must engage the limbic system to compel you to abide by your commitment. The commitment is in the cortex now you must engage fear to drive you to avoid, but to avoid over eating. You do this in step three.

1. Get MAD!
2. Declare the commitment.
3. Add accountability through the use of a behavioral contract.

You must engage the avoidance power of the brain by having a high pain as a consequence for non performance. There must be a penalty if you don’t do what you said you would do. This penalty must be perceived as a higher pain than the pain of not allowing yourself to overeat. Your brain is designed to compel you to avoid the highest level of perceived pain. If you told another person that if you had seconds on Thanksgiving then you would pay them $100 I’ll bet that you would have only one serving on Thanksgiving!

This is a behavioral contract. Here are the dynamics;

Specific Declaration + Accountability = Elite Performance

Accountability has two parts. The first part is the check in. Someone outside of yourself checks in with you. Did you do what you said you would do?

The second part is the big one. There must be an enforceable consequence for non performance. This consequence must be the highest level of perceived pain. If it is then human nature will compel you to avoid overeating. It really is that simple.

Try it out and see what happens. Can’t find someone to hold you accountable? Use me. I’m only an email away, and $100 if you don’t do what you say you will do. ( I’ll bet you won’t find this recommendation anywhere else on the internet!

High Performance Training, Inc.
Bob Davies, M.Ed. Psychology, Springfield College, B.S. Health, Rutgers University MCC Master Certified Coach International Coach Federation

20992 Ashley Lane, Lake Forest, CA 92630-5865
949-830-9192 fax 949-830-9492 Email: Website: On-Line coaching

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Bob Davies, named in the top 100 greatest minds of personal development world-wide by Excellence Magazine.

Permission granted to publish this article with Resource information included: Bob Davies High Performance Training, Inc. 949-830-9192 Permission also granted to edit this article.

Bob Davies
High Performance Training, Inc.
20992 Ashley Lane
Lake Forest, Ca 92630

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The Secret of Life Time Weight Control

The Secret of Life Time Weight Control Revealed.

The alarm rings at 3:50 am. You swing your hand over and press the snooze button without opening your eyes. Settling back into your warm and comfortable bed you notice how sweet it is to continue to sleep.

The alarm rings at 4:00 am and you repeat the process. This goes on until 5:30 am when you make the decision that this will be a non-workout day.

This is a worldwide problem. Why is that? I’m going to answer that question and give you a solution.

The problem is human nature. There exists an undeniable genetic code that translates into a compelling instinct:

All Human Performance is the Avoidance of Pain or the Seeking of Comfort.

This is the code of life. This is what motivates every human being. As a species we are very limited in our perceptual ability. We can see only certain frequencies of wavelengths of light, hear only a limited frequency distribution of sound, in fact, all of our senses have limitations. Since we have these limitations, evolution has genetically designed us to recognize the highest threats to our survival, the most potentially painful and dangerous experiences and to avoid them without thinking. This is called a cortical limbic loop.

We are predisposed to recognize our most dangerous and painful threats and then compelled to avoid them.

We don’t have an option here. This is an instinct that does not request our compliance, it compels it. We are avoidance machines!

We also have language. Humans are “meaning making machines”. We give meaning to everything that happens in our lives. It is rare that we accept things or events as just being. We are constantly flipping from the past to the future and having a dialogue about what we are experiencing.

Here’s how this works. You have a goal of weight loss. You intend to wake up at 3:50 am and exercise. You are motivated to do this. You’re committed. You set the alarm for 3:50 am and go to sleep with the greatest of intentions.

The alarm rings at 3:50 am. Your brain immediately goes through a search like a computer looking for any link to pain or any threat associated with the activity. Exercise is hard. You might be tired throughout the day unless you sleep in. It’s cold outside. You have found the links to pain.

Next, you are compelled to avoid. You can’t help it. The trigger has already occurred. Then language comes in and you have an internal dialogue that justifies your avoidance. You never consciously come into conflict. You rationalize and you don’t know that you’re doing it.

The purpose of rationalization is to protect you from feeling guilty for not doing what you said you would do. The method of rationalization is to justify your avoidance.

You start to think that you’re over training and an equally important part of physical fitness is rest. You pay attention to the pain you have in your back and you remember the last time you worked out through that type of pain your back went out and you lost several days of production. You count how many days you have already worked out this week and you justify that you can make it up tomorrow.

The solution lies in understanding how the brain works. This would involve an examination of the reticular activating system. The reticular formation as it is called is a bundle of densely packed nerve cells located in the central core of the brainstem. Roughly the size of a little finger, the reticular formation runs from the top of the spinal cord into the middle of the brain. This area of tightly packed nerve cells contains nearly 70% of the brain’s estimated 200 billion nerve cells-or a total of over 140 billion cells.

The reason for this tremendous concentration of brainpower is because the R.A.S. is your front line of defense and is an absolute protector of your survival. The R.A.S. instantly recognizes friend or foe and starts the necessary physiological and psychological response.

You already have a default program coding the R.A.S. That coding is the search and recognition of perceived danger and then the activation of what is referred to as the “survival mechanism” of avoidance and rationalization. This is an instinct, not an option. You will be compelled to avoid all that you perceive as painful, threatening or dangerous.

Reality is not an issue here. It doesn’t matter weather the threat is real or not. Your perception is your reality. Rejection from sales calls is not a real threat yet that perception keeps many sales people average as they avoid prospecting calls and then justify how busy they are. It’s the same process going on. Your brain does not differentiate between what is real or imagined. You are an avoidance machine, it’s an instinct.

There is good news. You can have an intervention. You can influence what the R.A.S. drives you to pay attention to. The solution lies in surrendering to avoidance. Surrender to the ways of human nature. Ride the horse the direction it is headed. The way that you do this is through Behavioral Contracting™.

Consider the following formula for excellence through a behavioral contract:

Specific Declarations + Accountability = Elite Performance

Specifically make a decision about what you want and why. Answer the question, “Why bother?” Next ask yourself, “What are the actions I need to take to reach this goal?” Follow that question with “What actions will I take over the next seven days?”

Now, you’re almost ready to influence the R.A.S. but there is another major part still missing. That would be accountability. Accountability has two parts. The first part is the check in, “Did you do what you said you would do?” This must come from another person outside of you.

The “check in” is not enough however. You must have the next part of accountability and this is the part that will influence what you pay attention to. The second part of accountability is an enforceable painful consequence for non-performance.

The consequence is the key. It must be more painful then the perceived pain embedded within the activity itself. For example, what is more painful, getting up early in the morning and exercising or paying $100.00 to another person if you don’t? As you’re lying in bed and the alarm rings at 3:50 am, your brain searches for the highest perceived level of pain. Instantly it notices your Seratonin level is high from sleeping throughout the night, it’s warm under the covers, exercise is hard, it would be so nice just to sleep in and roll over and hit the snooze button. However, the brain continues to search for the highest level of perceived pain and you make the association of how painful it would be to have to pay a fine of $100 for not getting up and you perceive that as the highest level of pain. Now, you are compelled to get up and do what you said you would do. You can’t help it. Human nature is making you avoid the highest level of pain. You are a perfect avoidance machine.

This is an undeniable intervention that will predispose you to find the opportunity to take the action that avoids the penalty. Use behavioral contracting and you will see immediate results. Apply this to one activity and watch yourself avoid your way to accomplishment. I’m only an e-mail away for accountability.

Bob Davies, M.ed. Psychology, B.S. Health, M.C.C.
High Performance Training, Inc.
20992 Ashley Lane, Lake Forest, CA. 92630
Worldwide 949-830-9192 Domestic 866-262-3284
e-mail web

Bob is a speaker, author, trainer and coach. He has developed techniques to tap into peak performance and helped his college football team to win two conference championships. He has helped entrepreneurs to tap into their potentials since 1983. Bob speaks at conventions, works for private organizations and does personal coaching.

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