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Welcome to episode #61 of the Morning Upgrade Podcast. In this episode I spoke with Alon Braun. In his spare time, he enjoys optimizing his life.

Top Talking Points

  • You don’t have to change yourself all at once. It can be a slow gradual process.
  • Your definition of happiness will always be changing, but there will always be an anchor.
  • You can’t focus on just one aspect of your personal development.

Resources & Links

Share Link for this episode

Connect With Alon at riverbanks.com/scorecard

Find The Books Mentioned on Kindle or Audible

Happiness is a Choice by Barry Neil Kaufman

Subscribe to The Morning Upgrade Podcast Today

Thanks for listening to this episode of the Morning Upgrade Podcast with Alon. Be sure to subscribe so you never miss another episode. And please leave a review!

Episode Transcript

Ryan 

Hey guys, it’s Ryan real quick. So my mission with the Morning Upgrade blog and podcast is to raise the awareness of morning routines and personal development. And I now have two products that are also helped me with this mission. The first product helps you start a 20 minute morning routine. And the second product is a book that outlines how to use personal development to upgrade your life and business. You can get full details on both products over at morning upgrade.com. Thanks for letting me share and now onto the show.

Announcer 

Welcome to the Morning upgrade podcast with Ryan Cote where we feature casual conversations with entrepreneurs about personal development and growth.

Ryan  

Hey, Alon, welcome to the Morning Upgrade podcast. How are you?

Alon  

Hey, Ryan, how are you?

Ryan  

I’m doing great, doing really great. I’m excited to speak with you. We’re gonna spend about 15 minutes talking about personal development, your morning routine. And we’ll see where the conversation also goes. Why don’t you start off by just introducing yourself, maybe give us a few of your hobbies and what you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Alon  

Good question, what do I do in my spare time? I like to say that recently, I’ve been starting to have some kind of a morning routine I will share with you because this is what I do with my spare time. I like to optimize. And I like to grow and like to optimize my routine. So this is my spare time and basically, I like self-optimization. So if it’s like diet, if it’s like body, if it’s like the way I’m thinking. So this is like my passion in that nail in that nail every direction. And this is what I like to do in my spare time. Also, time optimizing wisdom.

Ryan 

Like I want to dig deeper into that, maybe let’s talk about your morning routine. But I want to come back to what you said about optimizing yourself. Maybe we can talk about some of the things you found to be effective with optimizing your mind-body. Anything else that comes to your mind but let’s start off with your morning routine. How do you start your day off?

Alon 

It’s a great question about money because it already will show a different thing that they do because they already implemented my morning routine. So let’s say my morning routine, I start as a baker, brush my teeth, and do all the normal stuff. I make breakfast for my children. I guess I start to prepare like some kind of I prepare coffee for the rest of the day. So I like to take a bottle of coffee to my office I leave the house I drive the now I have like 30 minutes of drive and then I have my BA and we which we discussing my calendar my appointments not going to have the appointments in the rest of the day what I had yesterday I look at the task I’m adding the task so this is like 30 minutes I’m prioritizing like my different tasks. But this is in every area of my life, not only business. My office is on the fifth floor and I started to walk up quite slowly. I take the stairs and you can now say something special about unfamiliar material I started like so I have like in my I have like a Mind Palace and the main palace I have like all my projects and the sub-projects or let’s say 100 items. And I’m able to recall different items that form a Mind Palace. While I’m walking just like I recall Project Project Project quite fast already. I think this is kind of a special thing that they do. Then they continue with I guess I eat like a breakfast which I’m constantly optimizing as well which is like nuts and berries and some supplements then I have like a meditation that I do and again it’s like a Mind Palace I created and it can be sometimes I’m just like it can be like gratitude items that I listed. And I have like a big list of just gratitude and I just go over them one by one. It’s actually also quite a quick thing that takes me like 10 minutes. Sometimes I just like gaze out of the window and I look at my emotion my feelings and I look like how my buddies and then I start a summit daily training now I have a training that I do within zoom a trainer and we do with reach out and we actually it’s like stretching and like Feldenkrais. I’m also a Feldenkrais practitioner. I don’t know if I look at the different relationships and how my position and my posture and now you do like different core exercises, but with a lot of awareness and a lot of notice. Like what’s the difference between today and yesterday and we verbalize everything. So this is like one hour of work. And then I guess I stopped my day and I looked at, you know, email different channels. And I don’t know if I get a list for my assistant with all my tasks and the priorities and I stopped working on them and that’s like that until noon then I make lunch but this is like that’s my routine.

Ryan  

So have you always been into optimizing yourself if we were speaking when you were, say in high schools, like 15-16 years old, were you into optimizing too? Or did that come later?

Alon  

I like your question. It’s a good question. No, it came later. I think the way we shifted, my focus is different. So it was, when I grew up, my focus was about the external world, very much like science and what’s happening in the world and what’s happening, you know, animals and zoology and evolution and whatever science or whatever, or people whatever I can, it was also time looking outside, in a certain age, I, it’s like, I suddenly shifted to inside, and started to work on the inside of me. So this only happened at age 25, I guess?

Ryan 

Was there an event that caused that to happen? For you to start working on yourself and optimizing? Or was it a slow gradual process?

Alon 

This, I think it’s a long time of like, a kind of suffering. So it was like, already, like, I think it’s like when I couldn’t handle it anymore. You know, it’s like, so much suffering that you like, you just know, stuck in different areas of your life, and you try to figure it out to get out of it. You know, it’s starting with that. So I started in, I think, I just 25 I, I started to write, so I started to write a lot. So I have gotta go every day, I did my master’s. And after my Master’s, I started to write, write, write, for a few hours, just like whatever was happening in my mind. And instead of the time I suddenly like it, so my sentences don’t make sense. So it’s like, look, I started to observe some patterns in my sentences in my writing, that may, perhaps I believe in things that do not have to be true. So not everything that I think about has to be true. In the way I refer to myself, even my own feelings, I feel this way. Not sure it’s right, to actually feel this way. So I started questioning, I started the process of questioning everything that I believe in, into the deepest places I could find in my soul. And then my thinking, I, I started to read like self-help books, and I, there was one particular book that I like, and I went to meet the author and I live with, with him, like three months, volunteer in Massachusetts. And I’ve been doing quite started quite hardcore work, and also on my body, parallel to that I also shifted to my body, and looking like, I optimize my movement, and my feelings, I guess. And then that’s what? So it started at age 25.

Ryan 

You said you found a book, an author that you liked? Yeah, she volunteered with him and spent three months with him. Yeah, that’s genius. What’s the book you share with us?

Alon  

Happiness is a Choice by Bobby Neil Kaufman, I really enjoyed that book. And a certain, actually, every word that I read, there was like, smooth, there was no resistance. And I used to read a lot. But sometimes you read people’s beliefs. And there is some kind of a belief there, you know, it’s like, you know, and that’s exactly resonating because it was so smooth, and like everything, like the language and it’s like, I didn’t have any resistance, then I felt very interesting book, I start to like, follow and learn and learn his work. They built this place called the Autism Treatment Center of America as a chooser. And I just went there and volunteered and been with the children and helped them and meanwhile, I’ve been talking and like working with the staff on myself. So that was like, you have to check out that book.

Ryan  

I don’t know if I’ve heard that, Happiness is a Choice. We’ll link it up in the show notes, too. And I definitely will take a look at it. You mentioned you were going deep into your thoughts and just like, I guess, reflection, really. So I want to ask you a question that I sometimes ask my guests. And it’s a deep question, but then take it in any way you want. But the meaning of life, you know, the whole happiness topic and the meaning of life? What are your thoughts on that?

Alon 

I’ve been looking at that. And I really hear a lot about my bottom thinking it’s like, it’s like it’s was, seems certain? I think it’s constantly I’ve been looking for the answer for that. So underneath everything is also time to look for an answer for this specific question, what is the meaning of all this? What is the meaning? And with every few years I change, like the way I look at it, and I change my perspective, and I change like the answer in a way. But what I must say that all the time remains is like this question all the time remain. Now. I think I think that it’s like a fundamental. So this is like these questions it’s the fundamental question, which we in order for us to organize, the way we move, the way we think the way we do, we need to find like this anchor. So we all the time look for this one point of anchor to optimize to meaning like, it’s a natural, a place that we always will ask, in order to have some kind of anchor. And it can be different, you know, everybody can make his own meaning of life. And I don’t think it really matters, because it’s just a construct that we try to give an answer to. So it’s just the way it is. This is how it works. This is how we operate, we need this like the place of security safety, that we optimize toward, just in order not to be of the Void less, you know, in like, floating in the black space. I think that’s the way that we just think, in my recent work, I think in the last year I’ve been doing with my memory palaces, I’ve been doing a lot of work on that and actually reconstructing the place that I want to my mind to go to. Because if you’re looking for this place of like, okay, actually what I’m doing now, is it meaningful? Is what I’m doing now aligned to the place that I want to be? Oh, if this is a question that person asked himself, perhaps it’s like, just construct this place. So I constructed like a palace, I can say like a virtual place in my head with items with the task, and I just build them. And then I go to these places, in these places is the best that I can do. I construct them on pen and paper and like with coaches, but this is the best answer I can give right now. If I use my heart, and they use my sense of worth, and they use by, you know, fun and safety and contribution to the world, what is like the best I can find? And give an answer I constructing the plans that will give an answer to that and are just going towards this plan that every moment of time, I have a whole construct of the answer for that. So a few 100 items compose every area of my life. So the answer for that will be this is the meaning of life for me right now.

Ryan  

And you’re right, it does change. If I asked you this question in five years, I’m sure your answer, your answer will be a little bit different. And so I think it’s okay, not, you know, there’s flexibility in that answer, you know.

Alon 

Yeah, now a responsibility. I think it was responsibility, it’s constructed this answer in the best way that we can, according to what we know, this is our main task to do is like, what is the answer for that? Make a story be the author of your own life? And the right answer for that can change but right now have a meaning-making sense? Just choose the meaning.

Ryan  

Yeah, I mean, that’s what I’m doing here with the morning upgrade brand, you’re trying to create meaning and impact and you’re making me think that that might tie into my answer to the meaning of life, you know, contribution and, and what have you, with your kids in your family do? Are they into personal development? Do you try to not push them into it, but you try to encourage them to think about gratitude and all that goes into personal development?

Alon 

The word personal development, first of all, let’s suppose I go with, I really enjoy and this is also in my book, The Ken Wilber Framework, which is a QAL, which means like, life is divided into four quadrants. So we have the internal self, which I think optimizes itself development. You mean, I think this is what you mean by that? So looking into your internal self, there are four dimensions is also what is happening within us, is the culture, what we believe in what I and you believe right now, and how do you optimize towards that. So, the WWE is also a place where you can optimize our internal wheat. And then another place, which is optimizing the surrounding and the environment and the system and the, you know, you’re making the podcast and you optimizing the technology, and you’re optimizing the way that you go to work. So the systems support everything, that is also something that needs to be optimized nothing. And these also, let’s say optimizing, I call it in my book, it’s like the user. So it’s like, optimizing like the third person that you’re talking to. So the who is with your work and with your creation, who you’re reaching to. So, there is a place for this optimization, I will not dive into that too much now, but there are four quadrants and I explained to my children like say, this four-quadrant, we look at different things in their toe. So I will explain I will talk to my children about their body and like about their reflexes, and about their feelings, and about their thought. And I will look I’m going to talk about like we as a culture, and we as like a community and we as a family. So I will also explain to them this world and also explains the science world and also explains to them how things work economically. So I will the time shift between four dimensions that will not all the time stay in one many times where we do Shift to like and I have done many of these if we tend to like go too much into one of them because we really think this is answered so easily. The main thing is, I need to optimize myself, you know, by self-awareness or myself, my inner self. But it’s not only that this is the thing is not never only that, these never one, because reality is too complex. So I try to go in all four and give them different attention. So this is like, in order to achieve things now in order to achieve a thing, because some people will tell you, Okay, is there, for example, as a business or only port is a business, but some people will tell you are the only important is self-awareness, you know, and there is never an answer, it’s never extreme to one direction, it’s always the combination. It’s always maintaining balance. So, yes, I do it, but I will explain the kids in four different dimensions.

Ryan  

I love the ripple effect you’re creating, I think about that, like, you’re talking to them, but you’re also potentially talking to the people that they’re talking to their future kids if they have kids or their friends. And I think about that ripple effect that can happen by just investing in your kids and with their own growth. That just gets me all excited thinking about, you know, I’ve got one more question for you. And then we’ll wrap up with you telling everyone how they can connect with you. So you do a lot of optimization, body-mind, everything thoughts? Is there one, I guess hack, for lack of a better word? Is there one optimization hack that comes to mind as your number one go-to? Let’s mind because I think that’s so important.

Alon 

You know, I’ve been doing neurotech. In the last two, three years, I’ve been involved in this work. And I can say that definitely, like a place that a person should approach first is to understand, like, what is his general state, if he’s in sympathetic or parasympathetic, understand what is his nervous system? Like? What’s happening right now with him? Like, is it stress or not? eV? What’s happening and like, no, to relax, no, like to change the state. So meditating and working into like, just like, doing few movements to relax yourself doing body awareness seems to, I guess, like gain consciousness, or gain like connection to your body. So getting in and getting out of this place of sympathetic, parasympathetic, I think it’s like a, I think it’s a key for starting like in divorce. I don’t know. I think it’s a good hack. So learn to do that. You can do what every person can like, immediately relax.

Ryan 

Great. Thanks a lot. This was good. A lot of deep answers. Give us a book to read joy, happiness as a choice, I’ll have to check that as well. If someone wants to connect with you, what’s the best way for them to do that?

Alon  

First of all, I will be happy if they look at my book or buy my book from Amazon’s entrepreneurs during the Eight Steps From Inspiration to Global Impact. So this is one way and also they can reach me. We have a self-assessment tool, which we put in riverbanks.com/scorecard. And you can assess yourself versus my framework. I think that’s the way and then you can also conduct it. Alon@neurotech.com is another way.

Ryan

Perfect. We’ll link up the book in the show notes and the quiz and your email address as well. I appreciate it. Nice speaking with you.

Alon 

Thank you very much. Thank you.

Ryan 

Thanks for listening to the Morning Upgrade podcast. Please subscribe and review. And don’t forget to visit us at morningupgrade.com for more content.

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