The Science of Change...Change Your Brain, Change Your Results

Thursday, January 05, 2023

Table of Contents

Section 1: The Same

Section 2: Experience Loop

Section 3: The Necessary Change

Section 4:The Roots

Section 5: The New You

Section 6: The New You (Level 2)

Section 7: Conclusion

Section 8: Implementation

Section 1: The Same

6:00am Monday Morning...

Your alarm goes off.

You hit the snooze twice…like you always do.

You grab your phone after the first snooze and begin to check your e-mails, texts and social accounts…like you always do.

You get out of bed the same way, you put on the same slippers, you shuffle to the same bathroom, pull-up the same toilet lid in the same way, check yourself out in the mirror, shuffle to the same kitchen, and make the same coffee, with the same creamer in the same mug.

You grab your keys from the place you ALWAYS put them.

You walk out the same front door, to your car parked in the same parking spot, and drive the same route to work, listening to the same podcast and arriving at the same place of work.

At work, you see the same people, you do the same tasks, you eat the same lunch, you play the same time-wasting games, and you stay the exact same amount of time.

When the clock strikes 5pm, you grab the same jacket, say good-bye to the same people, drive the same way home, seeing the same sights on the road, pull right back into the same parking spot, eat the same dinner, watch the same shows, drink the same wine, feel sleepy at the same time, shower following the same process, always towel off starting with the same body part, brush your teeth with the same hand, climb into the same side of your bed, watch the same things on TV before bed and then fall asleep in the same comfortable position that you always sleep in.

6:00am Tuesday Morning...

It all begins again…

While all this is happening, your brain is recording everything you do.

Picture this…

You get out of bed the same way, you put on the same slippers, you shuffle to the same bathroom, pull-up the same toilet lid in the same way, check yourself out in the mirror, shuffle to the same kitchen, and make…DIFFERENT COFFEE?!?!

“Where’s my Folgers?” you ask as you scramble through your cabinet, “I ALWAYS have my Folgers!”

Immediately your brain goes into panic mode.

“What is happening?!?!” your brain says.

“What is this strange place and this new taste?” it thinks as it goes through Starbucks and drinks a new brand of coffee.

The stop at Starbucks, shifted your WHOLE schedule.

Now, you’re a little bit late, which means you hit the traffic that you usually try to avoid. Now you’re pissed!

You show up to work and Susan, your co-worker, is suddenly more annoying than usual. Your whole day has changed.

Because you ran out of Folgers, you immediately had an existential crisis. Your brain could no longer predict what was going to happen in the next moment and it made you feel different.

It made you feel “not like yourself”

And that’s exactly what we want.

Section 2: The Experience Loop

Whenever you have an experience, the brain fires off its related neural networks.

Those networks trigger a chemical response to prepare you for the event.

For example, when you watch a commercial for some fresh, cheesy pizza, your mouth begins to water.

Your brain had the experience of seeing the pizza and it triggered a chemical response that produced extra saliva in your mouth.

The chemical response has one job…to produce an action.

When you perform an action, you get a result.

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Well, what if you always do the same stuff?

What if, every morning at 6:00am, you…

You get out of bed the same way, you put on the same slippers, you shuffle to the same bathroom, pull-up the same toilet lid in the same way, check yourself out in the mirror, shuffle to the same kitchen, and make the same coffee, with the same creamer in the same mug.

You get the point…right?

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When you do the same things, you fire off the same neural networks, which produce the same chemical response, which prompts the same actions which, inevitably produce the same result.

Now, you WANT to change.

Nay…you REALLY WANT to change.

But each morning, you fire off the same neural networks, which produce the same chemical response, which prompts the same actions which, inevitably produce the same result.

You’re starting each day firing off the neural networks that lead to those un-exciting results that you’re so motivated to change.

Until now, you’ve been told…

“Fight harder!”

“You’ve gotta want it!”

“It’s about mental toughness and grit!”

Is it really? Or is it about reconfiguring your brain to produce a more desirable outcome?

Section 3: The Necessary Change

Every day, I interact with business-owners who want to make more money.

Making more money (or achieving any new goal for that matter), isn’t about acquiring new information. It’s about becoming a different person.

If I played one-on-one against LeBron James, no amount of information is going to help me win. Only way I get the win is if I transform into Michael Jordan…if I become a new person with better skills, talent, size, strength, etc.

No matter how much information and knowledge these guys have, they aren't beating this former NBA player unless they become someone different!

In business, thankfully, the playing field is much more level. Where, in basketball, you need to be six-foot-seven with a 42-inch vertical, in business, you just need discipline, confidence and some education…

…all of which are just connections in your brain.

So, in the morning, when you suddenly run out of your favorite coffee and you begin to “not feel like yourself,” the window for change has opened.

You can now intentionally decide what your future will look like.

Section 4: The Roots

You now know that an experience will fire off some neural networks. Those neural networks lead to a chemical release (also known as an emotion). That chemical release prompts you to take an action which ultimately produces a result.

YOU want to change a result…correct?

How do you do that?

To change a result, you must first change the action…

…but before you do that, you must change the chemical release…

…but before you do that, you must change the neural network that is firing…

…but before you do that you must change the experience.

Section 5: The New You

6:00am Monday Morning

Your alarm goes off, but now, you don’t hit snooze and you get right up.

You get out of bed, walk to the bathroom but today, you decide to take a cold shower because you heard that it’s “good for you.”

“WHOA!” you scream out as the cold water hits your back.

After the shower, you towel off and begin to notice that you’re feeling a lot different…energized…excited.

Neurologically, you are firing off brand new circuits, which will lead to completely different chemical signals, thus prompting new actions, and, of course, producing a new result.

You are now becoming a completely new person.

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Just as your old routine was driven into habit, these new neural networks, emotions, actions and results will also become habits in the brain.

Wouldn’t it be nice to be in the habit of making a lot of money?

This is not woo-woo. This is biology.

All you need is the toughness to stop doing the things that you’ve always done and begin to create a new future.

Section 6: The New You (Level 2)

The challenge that most of us face, is that we are neurologically wired to WAIT until after you achieve your goals before you change.

It’s hard to be grateful for your success when you live in a 315 square foot studio apartment in a questionable part of town.

It’s hard to be confident in what you post on Instagram when you have 42 followers.

But time and time again, we see the people that succeed in this world are the people that had the emotions of success BEFORE they were successful.

One of my favorite things to do is to go to successful people’s Instagram pages and scroll all the way back to see what their first posts were.

Gary Vaynerchuck has 4.1 MILLION subscribers on YouTube and millions more across all other platforms...This was his first ever post!

And each time, you see the same confidence and bravado early on, that they demonstrate now.

Chemically (emotionally), they have wired their brains to behave like a successful person BEFORE they become successful…which inevitably leads to success.

To be a great entrepreneur, you must…

  • ​Be smart enough
  • ​Be productive enough
  • ​Be fearless enough
  • ​Be efficient enough
  • ​Be personable enough
  • ​Etc.

If you become all of those things, the result is automatic.


If you’re doing the thing, you’ll get the result.

So, the goal is to always be doing the things.

But to properly re-wire your brain to “do the thing,” you must start with the experience.

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You must experience success BEFORE you succeed.

Your brain cannot tell the difference between an even happening for real, or an event happening in your imagination.

If you sit down and imagine speaking on stage in front of 20,000 people, your brain actually thinks it’s happening.

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Your brain cannot tell the difference between an event actually happening and an event happening only in your imagination.

Do you know what happens then?

That “real” experience fires off a neural network, which produces a chemical (emotional) response, which triggers new actions, which creates new results…

…but this time, they are the results that you want.

When you mentally rehearse your success, you shoot off a cascade of internal processes that make you feel successful, which make you take the actions of success, which then create successful results.

Section 7: Conclusion

Most of the advice I’ve gotten on my journey has been about addressing the action.

“You’ve gotta do _______” they say, and then things will be different.

Well, this is true.

Changing the action, will change the results…BUT that’s just mental toughness.

In Daniel J. Levitin’s book, The Organized Mind, he explains how each time you use mental toughness to change your actions, you use up a substance called oxygenated glucose to do it.

Once you run out of oxygenated glucose, you run out of mental toughness.

This is the neurological reason why using GRIT to “just do something different” is unsustainable.

And it’s the practical reason why I have built my business around the neuroscience of success. I want to change the physical make-up of your brain so that success becomes embedded into who you are…so that it becomes effortless.

To accomplish real change, you must change the experience.

There are two ways to change the experience…

  • ​Actively Change Your Routines and Do Different Things
  • ​Mentally Rehearse Your Success

Section 8: Implementation

Any time I set out to accomplish something I’ve never accomplished before, the first thing I do is I change my routines.

Nothing dramatic, but I want to fire off new neural circuits so that I don’t keep repeating the same stuff that produced the old results.

I follow 8 neurological principles to change the results I’m getting.

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These are my ACTUAL steps that I follow when I set a goal.

Secondly, I carve out two, thirty-minute sessions in my day to mentally rehearse my success.

This is hard, annoying and frequently inconvenient, but success is hard, annoying and inconvenient.

You may hate this.

You may balk at this.

But it doesn’t matter.

Nick Saban, Head Football Coach at the University of Alabama calls this “the illusion of choice.”

“It takes what it takes,” he says.

To change your brain, it takes what it takes.

I’m not going to compromise with how you implement this, if your brain isn’t going to compromise with how it changes.

“It takes what it takes.”

Do the thing…get the result.

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Sean Light


Sean is the Founder and CEO of Weight Room Wealth, 4A Health & Performance Sciences Investment Group and former Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Los Angeles Lakers.

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