When it comes to high-stakes endeavors, few are as fraught as brain surgery. One false move and you can forever alter someone’s life. 

That’s why my guest has spent his life studying how to master fear and enhance performance, and gained insights that can help anyone do likewise in every area of their life. His name is Dr. Mark McLaughlin, and he’s a wrestling coach, a lecturer at West Point, and a practicing neurosurgeon, as well as the author of Cognitive Dominance: A Brain Surgeon’s Quest to Out-Think Fear. Today on the show, Mark and I discuss how fear manifests itself in a range from mild discomfort to full-blown paralysis, and how you can get a handle on it by developing cognitive dominance. Mark then unpacks what cognitive dominance is, and how it involves being able to overcome our visceral reaction to unexpected events, and respond to elements outside our control with poise and composure. We then talk about how to gain that kind of composure by breaking things down into objects (things that exist independently of us, with features everyone can agree on) and subjects (things that are specific to you, and encompass the sphere within which you can personally act). Mark walks us through how the objective and subjective can form an x- and y-axis, and how you can map the things that happen to you into the four quadrants they form in order to figure out how to respond. We end our conversation with how to deal with known unknowns by making a two-column list of who you do and don’t want to be, and focusing on the former.

Resources Related to the Podcast

AoM Article: 20 Classic Poems Every Man Should ReadAoM Podcast #335 exploring archetypes and meaning with Jordan PetersonAoM Podcast #377: 12 Rules for Life with Jordan PetersonAoM Podcast #316: An Introduction to StoicismThe Daily Stoic by Ryan HolidayAoM Podcast #651: How to Turn Fear Into FuelAoM Article: How the Hero’s Journey Can Help You Become a Better Man

Connect With Mark McLaughlin

Mark’s WebsiteMark on Instagram

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The post Podcast #757: How to Achieve Cognitive Dominance appeared first on The Art of Manliness.

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