The Science of Success

How You Can Hack Your Creativity, Productivity, and Mood Using Your Environment with Benjamin Hardy

March 15, 2018
In this episode we discuss how your environment plays a tremendous role in shaping who you are, look at how personality develops and what underscores it, talk about how to engineering your own environment to make yourself more productive and effective, examine at how to battle self sabotage and much more with our guest Benjamin Hardy. 
Benjamin is a PhD candidate at Clemson University in Industrial and Organizational Psychology and is currently the #1 Writer for with over 50 million page views recorded. He is the author of the upcoming book Willpower Doesn’t Work and his research and writing has been featured in Psychology Today, Business Insider, The Huffington Post, and more!
  • Success is about growth, never plateauing
  • Always be a student, always be growing
  • Living according to a value system that you believe in / a cause you believe in / serving people who you love
  • The difference between security and freedom. Many people base their security in something external to themselves. 
  • Develop your own worldview / beliefs / values / goals to help form a more independent
  • Transformational learning experiences” helps transform your world view and perception of yourself
  • Stretch your mind, push your body - to start to open up your world view
  • If you do not create and control your environment, your environment controls you 
  • The western belief that we exist independent of our context, what psychological research shows is that your environment has a tremendous impact. Your environment shapes who you are.
  • Mindfulness is awareness of your surrounding and how those surroundings influence you
  • You can also shape your environment, and this creates the possibility for radical change
  • Who you are is influenced and shaped by your environment
  • Epigenetics shows that your environment has a huge impact on your personality
  • Most people are unintentional in shaping their environment
  • Personality is more of an adaptation to situations and unresolved trauma 
  • The false belief of western culture is that we think personality is a fixed trait - science shows that it’s not
  • Suppressed trauma can “freeze” your personality 
  • Memories are social and contextual - they are shaped by your experiences 
  • “You are a sick as your secrets” - the things you keep isolated are the things that keep your personality frozen, your personality changes and continues to grow, you are stuck as a child in some aspects of your personality 
  • Will Durant - most people believe that history was shaped by heroes, “It’s not heroes that shape history, its demanding situations that create heroes - the average person could have double their ability or more if the situation demanded it of them”
  • The Pygmalion effect
  • How to “up the stakes” of your environment to create external situation to force you into the behaviors you want to create 
  • The two kinds of “enriched environments” you need in order to maximize your performance
  • Only 16% of creative ideas happen when you’re at your desk (when the mind is in a rested state)
  • The concept of “psychological detachment” - letting go of work for a few days - really helps you fully engage when you come back to it
  • The vital importance of recovery as a key component of being both happier and more productive
  • How do you stop from self sabotaging? Put yourself in situations where its a self fulfilling prophecy. Create the environmental components necessary for you to succeed and thrive. 
  • Creating “forcing functions” in your life to make yourself achieve the goals and results you want to create
  • Creating appointments with yourself so you can have creative time
  • Who you are right now is NOT what who you need to be to achieve the “big goals” you have set for yourself - otherwise you would have already achieved them and they wouldn’t be big goals
  • “Pressure can bust a pipe or it can make a diamond”
  • “Self signaling” concept from psychology - who you think you are is not a very stable perspective. You don’t really know yourself very well. 
  • Its not your personality that creates your behavior, its your behavior that creates your personality. 
  • Your behavior can reshape your personality. 
  • “The unconscious will only allow you to have what you believe you deserve.” Dr. David Hawkins
  • How do you make yourself believe you can do/be more?
    • Invest in yourself, spend money on coaching etc towards what you desire. This upgrades your internal sense of what you can be, do, and have.
  • Creative output - “quantity is the path to quality” / “it’s better to be prolific than perfect"
  • What Got You Here Won't Get You There - You have to change your strategy. You can’t be tied to just what worked in the past. 
  • Your environment is the world outside of you - unless you make changes out there, you will never make any permanent changes inside your head - you can only spend so much time visioning, setting goals, etc - you have to start changing the external environment to make big changes 
  • Start by examining your environment - examine whats around you and what’s being created around you.