The Lizard Brain

June 6, 2015

I first heard about the triune brain theory while watching dating guru videos by this guy named David DeAngelo.

His real name is Eben Pagan. He said he used a fake name because it was better for marketing purposes. I think it’s because of the lizard brain. People don’t want to admit watching “how to date” videos let alone admit they are the teacher of “how to date.”

In the pick up community, all the guys use fake names. And they hide behind secretive forums. The guy sitting next to you on the train right now could be a secret pick up artist at night. Who knows.

There are equivalent women too. They go to “how to get the dream guy” seminars. Or how to have more sex. I don’t know.

David, Eben, whatever, is a well-read guy. He played a pivotal part in my life transforming the way it has. I couldn’t stop listening to all of his tapes and dvds.

I once saw a video of his apartment. He actually had two apartments in the same building. One where he lived. Another, a couple floors away. And it was his office. Had more books there than a library. The amount of books was staggering.

I decided after seeing that video that I too need to read as many books as possible.

David is the reason I got hooked on every single book I started reading. Think & Grow Rich. How to Win Friends & Influence People. The Red Queen. Sperm Wars. The Way of the Superior Man. The Art of War. The War of Art. The 48 Laws of Power. NLP. Hypnosis. Sales & Marketing.

Now that I think about it, he is the reason I got hooked on Warren Buffett. He mentioned Warren’s annual shareholder letters. And also how he was looking forward to going to one of the meetings.

That fucker even shows up in odd places. I was watching an All Things D with Steve Jobs and David/Eben asked the first question.

The Lizard Brain is the reason we have most of our issues today. Aggression. Anger. The urge to reproduce. A tiny part of our brain called the Amygdala deals with all of this. It’s the part that decides if we should Fight, Flee, or Freeze when hearing a scary noise.

It’s also the reason I have a fear of approaching random pretty girls to say hi. Or even make eye contact with strangers at times. Or when I’m driving on the highway and my heart races. Or when I want to randomly punch people in the face while waiting in line at the post office.

I’m not the only one.
We all have the lizard brain speaking up. It’s our inner critic. When we get really close to finishing a project, the lizard speaks up. Telling us not to do it. Because if we ship something crappy, everyone will laugh at us. We’ll become outcasts from our tribes. And we’ll be all alone and cold in the streets. The lizard wants to get along.

I’m no expert on the lizard brain. But I will point you to a few resources that helped me out a lot.

It’s important to realize there is a part of the brain that sabotages our desire to succeed.

Everyone has it. There are ways to tame it. And the pros have learned ways to manage their lizard brain.

“Real artists ship.”
– Steve Jobs (because real artists don’t succumb to the lizard brain)

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1a. Quieting the lizard brain (blog) – Seth Godin
1b. Quieting the lizard brain & How To Dance with Fear (videos) – Seth Godin

2. The War of Art – Steven Pressfield
A must read for all humans. Resistance = Inner Critic = Lizard Brain
2b. Overcome Resistance (videos) – Steven Pressfield

3. You can check out things like The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, How to Tame Your Gremlin, Feel The Fear & Do It Anyways, search “inner critic” in duckduckgo, and other things to get a hang of the lizard brain.

4. Ray Dalio says TM Meditation helps quiet the amygdala

5. The Triune Brain Model

6. Steve Jobs – All Things D 2007
fast forward to 45:00 to see our dude ask a question

I’m still looking for ways to tame my lizard brain. To make more direct eye contact. To walk up to girls and make conversation. To make more useful things. To write more blog posts. To record more podcasts.
It’s a daily process.