Barry O’Reilly is pleased to welcome Dr. Erik Reis to this episode of the Unlearn Podcast. Erik is a Co-Founder of Health and Wellness at Nobody Studios and has spent the last 10 years of his career helping individuals maximize their bodies, brains, and business through neuroscience and behavioral psychology. “He believes the brain is limitless,” Barry remarks, “which is why his efforts at Nobody Studios are focused on maximizing human potential and improving access to global healthcare.” In today’s show, Erik and Barry talk about the power of the brain, and how to maximize your human potential.

Maximize Your Brain

“Every single one of us has the capacity to change and to improve and to adapt, and become more efficient at whatever task it is,” Erik tells listeners. Our brains are constantly changing and evolving, so we’re able to learn new things and develop new habits at any time. He stresses that your daily actions, habits, and choices manifest in long-term outcomes. This is exciting because it means that we can achieve big goals by taking small steps every day. As we learn, unlearn, and relearn from our experiences, we continue to grow. “I think that the brain is the final frontier. I’m thoroughly convinced that it is one of the only frontiers that we can truly try and pursue and master at some point,” Erik says. [Listen from 2:41]



Update Your Brain’s Software

You can change your brain simply by changing your habits, Erik points out. Barry adds that you have to change how you act if you want to change how you think. Erik agrees, “I think one of the biggest limiting factors that we have as humans is our mindset.” Given the same stimulus, people make different choices based on their perceptions. As such, Erik sees it as his mission to help people change their brain, or “update their software”. This is a requirement to reach your fullest potential in life and in business, he says. Your environment plays a big part. “We’re finding out a lot of information about what happens to the brain, how impactful the brain can be changed and modified, just based on our environment,” he tells Barry. One simple step anyone can take to ‘update their software’ is movement and exercise: “Movement will always be the language of the brain,” Erik says. [Listen from 5:00]

(Listen to previous podcast on The Innovation Stack with Jim McKelvey)

Small Steps, Big Impact

There’s no one magic pill; rather, maximizing your potential is a matter of small actions taken consistently. If we fall into the trap of looking for the one answer, we limit our capability to see beyond our biases and beliefs, Erik warns. Instead, keep an open mind – be open to differing opinions, perspectives, and experiences. The brain is not binary, so our mindset shouldn’t be either. “We inherently can do so many more things in far less time because of the machinery and the capacity that we have neurologically,” Erik says. “That’s beautiful, and that’s what allows us as humans to continue to evolve and grow and adapt…” He and Barry discuss the importance of diet and relationships in living a fulfilling life. What you put into your body directly affects your brain’s health. Additionally, humans are social beings, so people who have strong relationships enjoy a better quality of life. “People who have high quality relationships and social interaction have the highest quality of life scores of anyone else in their respective country,” Erik remarks. Quality of life matters more than longevity, Barry adds. [Listen from 12:40]

(Read this blog on Crowd-Infused Innovation: A New Approach to Product Development)

Prevention and Habit Stacking

Barry comments on the value of prehab, taking corrective action once you see a problem to prevent having to do rehab later on. Erik agrees and states that prevention is a key focus of his practice. He wants people to understand that the decisions they make today have consequences in the future. It’s not the first cigarette or cheeseburger that kills you, he says; it’s the 1000th. Habits have a compounding effect, so if you build good habits you would reap exponentially good rewards. Start with one small habit, and keep stacking new ones. You’d be surprised how much you grow over time. “That’s the beauty of the brain,” Erik says, “you were just laying down new neural networks, and you were just facilitating long term potential health and growth of those pathways, to now where you have just become a different person; and that’s what people are striving for all around the world!” [Listen from 18:55]

The Infinite Game

Nobody Studios’ goal is to help entrepreneurs build companies that impact the people they serve. Changing one person’s life could have exponential outcomes, Erik and Barry agree. That’s why Erik’s role at Nobody Studios is so important and bigger than himself, he says. He wants his legacy to be the people he helped change their brain and ultimately their lives. Barry asks him to advise listeners who want to change their lives about where to start. Start where you are, Erik responds. Form good foundational habits, and be willing to change your bad habits. Also, don’t hesitate to ask for help when you need it. “Take the plunge and get after it and don’t be scared to ask for help,” he tells listeners. “One thing that I’ve realized throughout my life is the more help that I’ve asked for, the more help that I’ve gotten. More importantly too, the faster I’ve been able to accomplish things that I wanted to accomplish in my life.” [Listen from 26:10]