Episodes

Episode 38: A Blueprint for Success

Episode 38: A Blueprint for Success

Every day we go to bed knowing we have left many things unfinished, allowed intrusive thoughts about unfinished business interrupt the work flow, and wasted a lot of time. Even though, the productivity guru Stephen Covey has famously said, “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing” many of us can’t decide fast enough or well enough what that main thing is. The researchers agree that having to make decisions, small or big, every step of the way depletes the mental resource available to each person on a daily basis and the best antidote to that is to not start the day without a plan; and yet, many find themselves wasting this limited but most prized resource without much thought. On today’s podcast, the world-renowned research psychologist and accomplished author of over 35 books, Dr. Roy F. Baumeister, talks about goal-pursuit, self-efficacy, roadblocks to planning, and ways to rethink a daily plan.

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Episode 37: Self-Control – Antidote for Self-Sabotage and Imprudence

Episode 37: Self-Control – Antidote for Self-Sabotage and Imprudence

A secret ingredient in the life of an easy-going, popular kid with lots of friends and good grades is self-control. Eventually, this kid grows up into a focused, accomplished, and well-adjusted adult who lives a physically well-disciplined and financially secure life without ever brushing against the law or criminal justice. On the other hand, those who fail to deploy self-restraint bear the brunt of an onslaught of bad decisions and a life of discontent. On today’s podcast, the world-renowned psychologist and author of the New York Times bestseller Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength, Dr. Roy F. Baumeister talks about the mechanism behind self-control – the brain’s internal reins that help pull back and inner brakes to cease oneself from moving forward.

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Episode 36: Seeing Eye Dog for the Mind-Blind

Episode 36: Seeing Eye Dog for the Mind-Blind

Wired magazine once challenged 39 sci-fi writers and creative types to put their artistry to test by writing a 6-word story. Author of beloved Wicked series, Gregory Maguire came back with a clever riposte, “From torched skyscrapers, men grew wings.” These simple string of words sets the brain’s into motion. It wonders, what are the men are thinking, what are they feeling, what was the author thinking, and what do the other readers make of this. While a good writer tickles the reader’s imagination, a good reader imagines the mind and the inner workings of the imaginator extraordinaire. The brain’s highly developed prefrontal cortex is responsible for the Theory of Mind or granting humans the ability to think about one’s own thinking and thinking of others. Today, my guest Dr. Carol Westby returns to discuss the ways to promote the development of Theory of Mind.

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Episode 35: M is for Mindreading

Episode 35: M is for Mindreading

In the world of limitless possibilities, there is a limit as to how much one can know about the minds of others. Take an example: Have you ever been in your head so much that your insecurities catch up with you and you fail to gauge what others are thinking and feeling? It all simply begins when a friend doesn’t return your call; or at least not right away. You begin to guess what her reasons are to not call and from there on, it escalates into this drama inside where you end up wondering if your friend actually hates you or maybe, doesn’t want anything to do with you. Then on Monday morning, you get a call from your friend saying that she went to her dentist on Friday and left her phone there. Your mind failed you! Today, my guest, Dr. Carol Westby, will discuss the concept of Theory of Mind which enables us to understand others’ intentions, feelings, and beliefs by directing our attention to “reading” the minds of others. She will explain how the key to unlock the social struggles of those with Executive function challenges often lies in this “mentalizing” ability.

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ExFiles: Client Story 5 – Prison Indeed

ExFiles: Client Story 5 – Prison Indeed

Frank Darabont’s most prudent decision came when he spent just a $1 for one of Stephen King’s 1982 short stories Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption only to write a mind-blowing screenplay based on the story. Eventually, he directed it into the critically acclaimed and commercially successful film, Shawshank Redemption, which depicts how a wrongfully accused and imprisoned for life Andy Dufresne gets a new lease on life after breaking free from the indestructible shackles. No one needs to go to prison to know being in prison sucks. Today, my guest, Paul Hegarty, tells us why he relates to the struggles of the lead character Andy Dufresne and how in just a few seconds, he went from being a good samaritan to a victim with a substantial brain-injury that brought upon a life of struggle and despair. Just as Andy met Red, a fellow inmate played by Morgan Freeman who knows how things work and helps figure out a way to escape, Paul too met many people along the way who have helped him to rise above his challenges and restore his life into a joyful endeavor. Personally, I’m thrilled to have been Red! Paul’s story inspires everyone to search for the key so that we too can raise our hands in triumph when we get out!

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Episode 34: Beating Down the Ho-hum

Episode 34: Beating Down the Ho-hum

What war can you win with a deck of cards, a bible, a dictionary, and a bottle of sherry? A war against the drudgery of daily mundane. To bring a semblance of normalcy, to push against her personal limits and to invoke her creative genius, for many years, Maya Angelou rented a hotel room where she placed these four simple objects and did her best work. Known for her prolific writing career, Maya Angelou could not have accomplished her success if it weren’t for a complete surrender and a deal of great respect for carefully crafted meaningful routines.

On today’s Full PreFrontal podcast my guest Dr. Christine Carter, the author of the best-selling books including, “The Sweet Spot: How to Achieve More by Doing Less” (2017) returns to talk about ways to elevate personal productivity while enjoying the day-to-day rigmarole.

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Episode 33: Models vs. Critics

Episode 33: Models vs. Critics

Have you ever wondered if you’re doing it right, particularly when it comes to parenting? Have your good intentions to push your kids failed you? Have you reacted in an unflattering way when dealing with your kids’ distractibility, stubbornness, or argumentativeness or have your children pointed out that your reactions of frustration and anger are very unbecoming of you? It turns out that just because you’re a talented, successful, and good person doesn’t mean that you will automatically be an effective parent. Everybody needs a little help in raising well-adjusted kids.

On today’s podcast my guest, Dr. Christine Carter, a sociologist and Senior Fellow at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center and a very successful author of many books including “Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents” will address important issues including the connection between parenting and self-regulation, becoming less of a critic and more of a model, and how to raise well-adjusted kids.

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Episode 32: Optimal Executive Function Through Mindful Rechanneling

Episode 32: Optimal Executive Function Through Mindful Rechanneling

The game of Chutes and Ladders, originally invented in India and known for the snakes instead of chutes, is a great allegory for life. With the luck of the draw, you get a leg up when you land on the ladder only to be taken down a several notches often to an irretraceable set back. It takes a lot of mental maneuvering and an executive control to handle the frustration of sliding down from 87 to 24 and to patiently wait to rise up again or watch others win. And it’s true wisdom to not lose sight that after all, it’s just a game! On today’s podcast, our guest, Dr. Ronald D. Siegel, a renowned author, psychotherapist, and great teacher of mindfulness practices will discuss how mindful self-regulation is the seat of resiliency and how it allows us to gain a sense of equilibrium.

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Episode 31: Who’s In Charge – You or Your Mind?

Episode 31: Who’s In Charge – You or Your Mind?

World-class athletes, politicians, artists, and even entrepreneurs have fallen from grace because of their personal salacious digressions or public tantrums. The talent that makes them rich and famous is not the same talent that helps them ward off the chaos in their vulnerable mind. The emotional brain is inherently wired to duck from social perils or to protect itself from the painful misery of negative experiences. If mindlessness is at the heart of impulsive, silly, or even dumb mistakes then it’s the well-cultivated mindfulness that insulates the human being from thoughtless words, judgmental attitudes, or harmful actions. On today’s podcast, our guest Dr. Ronald D. Siegel from Harvard University and author of Essential Skills for Mindfulness-Based Psychotherapy, will discuss the link between emotional-regulation and Executive Function and the path to well-being through mindfulness.

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Episode 30: Brain Reconstruction Ahead – Expect Delays

Episode 30: Brain Reconstruction Ahead – Expect Delays

Would you be willing to head-butt a ram for an icy cold bottle of Mountain Dew? That’s the kind of lighthearted foolery that got a lot of laughs during a Super Bowl commercial one year. At the end, we see the young man sipping from the winning drink, but you’re not quite sure if he is okay because you can hear a stutter in his speech as he staggers away in a disoriented haze. Even though our precious brain comes in a special protective casing, not everyone is lucky enough to keep it safe from harm. Whether it is a tiny bump, a big jolt, or a hard blow to head, the result can often be life altering. Today, my guest, Professor Jerry Hoepner, will discuss the art and science of neurorehabilitation after a traumatic brain injury and its relationship with executive function and real-world functioning.

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