Create a Happy Life That's Sustainable

Our brains are psycho cybernetic.

Wait, what?! I don’t remember those SAT words!! Oh, but were they in the 2,400 version of the SAT? I didn’t take that version. Didn’t they go back to the 1,600 one? Teachers of SAT prep always say there’s a “trick” to test taking and tests don’t really emphasize “intelligence,” per se, but the ability to recognize patterns.


This is what that opening statement means – our brains are hard-wired to recognize patterns. The late comedian George Carlin once spoke about how he utilized the pattern recognizing abilities of his brain, or the psycho cybernetics, to become more successful with his comedy. It’s a fascinating topic, one described succinctly by the modern philosopher Jason Silva, current host of the highest rated show in National Geographic TV history (Brain Games), in his sensational YouTube channel Shots of Awe. I hope this short video will inspire you as it did me, that if the great George Carlin can use the principles of psycho cybernetics to crack good jokes, we can use the same principles to create a happy life that’s sustainable.


This principle can best be utilized by writing down, recording, or transcribing one’s thoughts using some sort of media. For me, the most convenient way has been to go old school – pen to pad, in various notebooks littered throughout my apartment and workplace. I’ve found that this has helped me organize my life and is fantastic for goal-setting!


And it’s not just me who’s found this beneficial on the goal-setting and overall life-improvement front. The first half of the historically lauded book “Think and Grow Rich”  by Napoleon Hill is all about the benefits of writing down goals and thoughts. This is the book that someone in your life recommended once, and then you said you’d read, knowing you never would. That was me. I read it again, and that’s made all the difference.


Like the Energizer Bunny, I’m going to keep expanding on who utilizes this helpful trick to further emphasize how it can be life-changing. Successful Fortune 500 CEO’s regularly espouse the benefits of writing down goals and reviewing them throughout the month, quarter, year. Even reputable rags like the Wall Street Journal and Business Insider have featured articles containing this little known secret. It’s like “the powers that be” are hiding this key to success in plain sight, without connecting the dots for the casual reader. Good thing you’re regularly reading Mental Gymnastics then 🙂


By writing down our goals, hopes, and dreams in life, we’re training our brain to recognize the patterns in our daily existence in efforts to achieve these goals, hopes, and dreams. Like the Shots of Awe video stated, our brains use this pattern recognition to advance the entity it’s working for, aka YOU! However, if you’re not actively utilizing this cheat code for life, how will your brain know what to look for? It doesn’t even know WHAT to look for.


This principle is not just contained to goal-setting. James W. Pennebaker of the University of Texas at Austin (#GoHorns) has been conducting research on the HEALING nature of writing for several years. “When people are given the opportunity to write about emotional upheavals,” says Pennebaker, “they often experience improved health. They go to the doctor less. They have changes in immune function.” Studies even show that those who suffer from long-term illness (such as asthma, and even cancer and AIDS) can benefit from writing. Writing helps us enter a “flow state” (more on this in later posts), allowing the build-up of emotions in one’s heart and mind to come rushing out onto paper (and getting everything out of our heads). For additional ways in which writing can heal holistically, check out this post.


OK all of this is great Sean and I’ve watched a cool video, but now what? Great question! What I’ve found beneficial in my daily life is keeping a small journal listing personal and professional goals. I look at this notebook often (it’s like, the smallest and cheapest moleskin at the store), just as “Think and Grow Rich” prescribed. I also keep 3×5 cards in my apartment for the random thing(s) that hit me while I’m in the shower, getting ready for work, or winding down in the evening. Per what successful CEO’s have mentioned, this has made life less stressful (as I don’t need to “remember” as much) and I find I get more accomplished on the daily. Have fun with it and find out what works for you, as my process has changed over time and is likely to continue.


This was a longer post and if you’ve made it this far, THANK YOU! At the very least, you’ve learned a cool new concept, found a new YouTube channel to explore, and oh! You may have ideas for how to use writing to improve your life.


Blessings on blessings,

About The Author

Mental Gymnastics is supported by a collection of like-minded individuals who have daily happiness practices. They will lend their expertise in various facets of life over time, sharing how and what they've implemented in their lives to achieve a sustainably happy life. Mental Gymnastics was started by Sean Yoon McDevitt, who holds a BA in History from the University of Georgia (while competing as a Division 1 Swimmer), an MBA from the University of Oregon, and an International Association of Meditation Instructors Membership.


  1. This post is so fascinating/motivating! I love that scientists are identifying something that occurs subconsciously and teaching people how to use their conscious minds to exploit it and better themselves. And Psycho Cybernetics?? Even sounds cool :p. This goes to show how trainable the human brain is, not only to help you achieve goals but also to heal itself emotionally and physically. Keep more of this goodness coming, & looking forward to hearing more about flow states 😀

  2. Entertainment News, Celebrity and Pop Culture – ABC …

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