Focus on Being Unfocused and Train Your Brain For Success – Srini Pillay #454

Could focusing on your goals actually hurt your outcome? Harvard Psychiatrist Srini Pillay thinks it is more effective for your brain to unfocus from time to time. He suggests you take a nap, doodle on your papers, and most importantly, Daydream! In this episode you get his four points on why you should focus on being unfocused!

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Focus on Being Unfocused and Train Your Brain For Success – Srini Pillay #454 Transcript


Links/Resources for Srini Pillay

NeuroBusiness Group

Life Unlocked

Your Brain and Business

Tinker, Dabble, Doodle, Try

TED Talk


Show Notes

  • How to make distinctions for people like that, so they could begin to think about their lives differently.
  • “I think focus, as I said, is super important. But most people live their lives going sort of focus, focus, focus, fatigue.”-Srini
  • How focus depletes brain energy.
  • Dave and Srini discuss studies on brain energy.
  • Does focus prevent you from seeing what’s “going on in the wings.”
  • On if you focus with your nose to the ground, to the grindstone, essentially you are not really looking at what’s happening in the future.
  • On if focus “doesn’t allow you to make connections.”
  • Can focus also prevent self connection.
  • Does focus drain your energy? How it “makes you go through life with blinkers on, makes you not anticipate the future, prevents you from making connections, and also lessens your sense of self. Focus on its own is really not enough for success.”
  • Is there an “un-focus” circuit in the brain.
  • How can you optimize your brain when you are doing nothing.
  • Dave and Srini on “active mode or passive mode.”
  • On good and bad daydreaming. “there is a type of daydreaming that can increase your creativity.”
  • “You spend close to half of your day, daydreaming. So why not learn to daydream effectively?”
  • How fragments of memory come together and the form these puzzle pieces.
  • Srini on the problem with people who focus continuously is no matter how hard they work, they’re not giving their brains time to create this creative eureka, or unusual experience, to synthesize information.
  • Dave and Srini on the recommendation to “schedule daydreams.”
  • Should you nap? Is it good for your brain and ability to focus?
  • Srini on doodling! Does it help your memory?
  • Can practicing a hobby reduce the reduces your chances of Alzheimer’s disease?
  • On gaining energy by being yourself at work.
  • Srini on, “it’s important to be focused, but also it’s really important to realize that focus will basically take you metaphorically through the roads of your mind. It’s unfocus that will actually help you explore the fields of your mind.”
  • Dave and Srini on robots! “I think robots are really good at being robots, but the one thing they’re not good at is being human.”
  • What is your psychological center of gravity? “Which is like your mental six-pack.”
  • On “La-La land” So if you don’t have la-la land in your life, you are basically saying, “I don’t wanna invent anything. I don’t wanna have anything exceptional happen in my life.”
  • Srini on changing the education system to let children experiment. To imagine.
  • Dave and Srini on neurofeedback.
  • Srini’s  three most important pieces of advice on performing better as a human being.
  • If you like today’s episode, check us out on iTunes at and leave us a 5-star, positive review
  • Go check out “Headstrong” and “The Bulletproof Diet” on Amazon and leave a review!

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