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You Can Do Anything with Dr. Doug Brackmann

admin November 16, 2021

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You Can Do Anything with Dr. Doug Brackmann

LifeBlood ENGAGE:  We talked about how you can do anything, how things considered problematic can actually be superpowers, how there is no resistance in the present, the power of meditation, and how to know if you’re genetically predisposed to do incredible things!

with Dr. Doug Brackmann, Psychologist and author of Driven, helping highly driven individuals take back control of their lives.   

Listen to learn why you can do anything, but once you realize that, you’re obligated to do something about it!  

For the Difference Making Tip, scan ahead to 20:24!

You can learn more about Doug at and LinkedIn.

Thanks, as always for listening!  If you got some value and enjoyed the show, please leave us a review wherever you listen and subscribe as well. 

You can learn more about us at, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and Facebook or you’d like to be a guest on the show, contact George at

Invest in yourself. Bring it All Together.

Work with a coach to unlock personal and professional potential.

Our Guests

George Grombacher


Dr. Doug Brackmann

Episode Transcript

george grombacher 0:00
Come on. Dr. Doug, are you ready?

Doug Brackmann 0:14
I am ready, George.

george grombacher 0:15
I like it. I’m ready to people are ready. Let’s go. Welcome to light blood engage. This is George G. Our guest today start strong and powerful. Dr. Doug Brockman. He is a psychologist helping highly driven individuals take back control of their lives. He is the author of driven a book that explores how 10% of the working population possess a genetic gift that manifests in a powerfully unstoppable Dr. Doug, tell us a little about your personal life’s more about your work, and why you do what you do.

Doug Brackmann 0:46
As I’ve often said, psychologists get into psychology to figure out their own crap. It’s those of us that have psychologists that say they don’t or lie, and so it’s, um, it’s me. And so 30 years ago, 30 plus years ago, I was basically completely blew up my life High School dropped out, and I mean, completely blew up my life and figured out that if I didn’t take accountability and responsibility for me, I would have nothing. So feel amazing time to be a shrink. right at the beginning of my grad school, an article came out in time magazine that says we found it, we found the alcoholism gene. And little did we know that in 1991, to 21, in the intervening 30 years, it has just been an unbelievably cool exploration of the human animal. And, you know, the functional MRI and cracking the human genome, what we’ve discovered is about seven to eight 9%, depending on how you measure it, of the population are different. We are we are wired to be in a very different world than we’re in today. And so we’re wired for a world that is very difficult to survive in. And as a byproduct of that we often make our lives very difficult.

george grombacher 2:10
Nice. And so through the technology, or whatever the term is that allows us to do human genome stuff. I’m going to stop trying to describe it.

Doug Brackmann 2:23
And so the in the intervening 30 years, we’ve we’ve discovered this thing called epigenetics. And so is it nature? Is it your genetics, or is it nurture? Is it your environment? And now now it is clear? The answer is yes, you cannot decide what nurture because there’s a complex interaction. But what I found is you put, you know, when it’s coming out of the ADD, and ADHD, literature and the functional MRI, that about eight or 10% of the population really do have a different primary differences are brain structure, and what is the dominant part of the brain that is most likely be used for going through the world, and also our reward system. And so the theory goes 4000 years ago, the world turned into a much safer, predictable place to survive. And that’s because of the agricultural revolution. And so if you think about what it takes to be a early agricultural farmer, you have to be very tolerant of boredom, you literally have to be able to sit around and watch stuff grow, you have to be easily satisfied and satiated with kind of a simple reward system. And they love predictability, they love routine. And basically, now 2021, they, you know, basically created a W two job, where you’re working nine to five, you’re in a predictable paycheck every two weeks, 3% or 6% raise every three months, six months, nine months a year. And they find that wonderful. We’re the people that I work with, and probably most of your listeners, your listeners, it makes our stomach turn if you think about sitting in the cubicle for 40 plus hours a week and because we have a wiring system that are much more like hunters. And so, two primary genetics one is d two, the dopamine receptor number two, and that’s the boredom gene. If you think about hunters, we sit in the cave to longer sit in one place too long. Our central nervous system starts to send signals up that tell us that there’s something missing or wrong right now. That right now is not enough. And that gets us to go explore and come up with new ways to survive and you know, where if a farmer felt that they would very quickly get bored of watching things grow and they will To wander away from the crop. So the other one, which is much more like me, and a lot more like my most of my clients is the FOMO gene fear of missing out gene. And it’s the dopamine receptor number two or number four. And that makes hunters feel like there’s more woolly mammoths over the next hill. So it’s a shiny object syndrome. We are wired to believe there’s more opportunity somewhere else. And that drives and that’s my kind of running joke. You know, we’re the de vinci’s and Steve Jobs. And we are just wired for constantly seeking something over the horizon. The different brain structures very simply, you look at normals or non ATD, or ADHD people, they have a very nice bright, shiny ball of activity in their middle of their head and their frontal lobe. And it’s the executive function. It’s the planning function. And so farmers, you know, you put your finger on the ground, you put a little corn in that, you pat it down, you water it, you wait, then it grows, then you harvest and then you store some of your grain, and then you put it away for next year. And what you did last year is most likely to lead to survival this year. And as a hunter, we have something called hypofrontality. You put us in a funnel in a functional MRI, the back of our heads light up. And so the back of our heads is the reciprocal lobe, and that’s eyesight. And so hunters tend to use their eyes as a way of going through the world. And a byproduct of that is this hypofrontality, which means that, you know, a farmer can carry three to five different concepts in their head at the same time. We’re a hunter, we’re a driven person carry seven to nine to 13. So we do something called Mulkey think. And more importantly, we are just driven to actually understand the big picture of things. And so we really, it’s the entrepreneurial mind. And so we see the big picture, and then all the little parts and pieces, and then we try to figure out how they fit into the big picture. And we tried to explain this to non driven people, and they think we’re tangential and crazy. And we often perceive them as stupid, slow and lazy. So it is we are we are different. And in the last, really last three years since the launching my book, I came up with a driven assessment, and nationally normed this thing, sent it out to a nationally normed company, where they did a representative sample United States and concluded, I mean, we are different. And you know, my wife is dead center on average, and I am four standard deviations from her on my assessment. And so what I’m finding is, is that, you know, that this inner world that driven people have often said, I could have called my book, the shame based personality, meaning that, you know, nanoribbons, farmers tend to have a very simple identity, as they came into these massive big culture, you know, societies, their job specialization, a butcher, Baker, candlestick maker, they were very easily, you know, what do you do for work as I make shoes, that’s all I do is make shoes. We’re driven. That doesn’t make sense to us. We are Da Vinci’s, we are sculptors and painters and entrepreneurs, and we have tend to have much more diffuse identities. And, most importantly, we then tend to use our emotions as a primary means of going through the world of who I am. And, you know, my education is a testament to trying to get rid of this feeling of the imposter syndrome, that I never quite felt like I was enough. And so maybe not one but two PhDs, which is just a totally ridiculous man education in the hopes that I would get rid of this deep feeling that there was something wrong with me. And it leads us to great success. And it leads us to potentially just misery on the inner world. So that is my niche. That is those are the people that work with often were hyper successful on the outer world, but the inner world still feels like there’s something missing or wrong. It’s it is a incredibly rewarding way to teach people that there’s nothing wrong with

george grombacher 9:54
them. So you got two PhDs in the hope of of

of eradicating this imposter syndrome, how did you eventually do it?

Doug Brackmann 10:06
Change my identity? And that is the you’re not your feelings. You’re not your thoughts. Very simply rather than, you know, in my book, I talk about it rather than this very quick road to hell of trying to figure out who you are, is it’s an impossible question because there is no who. So I very quickly changed into what what I am, what I am as a homosapien what I am as an animal. And that dot, I am also driven. And so my reward system, you know, I’m easily bored, and often feel like there’s something missing or wrong. And the future is limitless possibilities. And that’s just what I am. Whether I want that or not, it doesn’t matter. It’s what I am. And so learning how to manage it when my doctoral research was on self sabotage. And this was in the mid 90s, and going into 2000, prior to the functional MRI. And in my book, I present how every human being on the planet is designed to sabotage. And very simply, the easiest example is this is why January socks at the gym, everybody on the planet is decided, in their monkey mind, this thing that sits up on top of our body, this time is going to be different than this time, I’m going to really get into shape, and I’m going to make these new year’s resolutions. The research around it is by February 14, by Valentine’s Day, 78% of people don’t even remember their new year’s resolutions, let alone duel. So my research was like What the hell was going on. And very simply, you know, our bodies. Many hundreds of millions of years of evolution in our body, our bodies are designed for it, the know your world, where the neocortex the monkey mind up on top of this body can imagine just incredible worlds. And so we have this mental model in our brains in our neocortex that tells us Oh, wow, it can be so much better than it is. But my body wants the familiar. So in bandwidth terms, you know, we work in our monkey minds, closer and closer and closer to a better world. But our bodies are resistant to continuing the simple daily habits, whether it’s saving or exercise or relationships, whatever it is, returning us back to this baseline of familiar chaos and pain. And so it’s a battle between the monkey mind and the body is, is what I do, we teach people how to really meet the resistance they feel in their bodies with curiosity. And 20 years ago, I discovered meditation, great time to be in that world because of that functional MRI, and really what is happening in meditation. And so it’s a conundrum. Because very simply stated, there is no resistance in the present. Not very simply what that means is you can do anything in the world, as long as you have a process built and designed so you can continue that behavior. And working through the resistance meaning that everything turns into a meditation practice. And so the hacks that I teach my clients is turned everything into a meditation practice. Meaning that turn everything into a series of steps that you can do one at a time and continuously improve. And if you’re driven, why only work with driven is that we don’t have a choice. Because we’re in a world are wired to feel like it’s never enough. And if you’re trying to get rid of that feeling, you never will. And so you have to learn to reality check that feeling and that’s really what meditation is, is reality checking what my central nervous system or what my body’s telling me in relation to reality. And most of our bodies are being driven by this monkey mind of thoughts and problem solving. And so most people never Have a match between really what’s happening in their bodies and reality.

And it seems somewhat esoteric, but it’s very simple. And you hear me laugh because it is a insolvable problem. I’ve been trying to solve that release into problem for 20 years. And it starts to make me sound like a Zen wacko. But it has allowed me to go from high school dropout to living a life that I just can’t believe I live.

george grombacher 15:31
Incredible. So you, you mentioned an assessment, because everybody wants to know, well, this sounds like me, but how do I know for sure? Or is that even is that even worth asking?

Doug Brackmann 15:42
You know, and I get that all the time, I’m going to go get my human genome tested. And just in the last five years, since I’ve really looked at most of the research around the human genome, there’s down 19 different variables that impact our dopamine. And this dopamine nation. Dr. Anna at Stanford was talking about how epigenetically, what we’re finding is that if you’re in dopamine loops with your cell phone, or video games, or anything, our genome will start to adapt to that. And so what we’re finding is more and more people actually fall into this category of being driven. And you think about it, it’s a another way of conceptualizing it as a trauma based personality type, we’re wired to feel like there’s more danger in the world than there is. In the last, you know, with COVID. And everything else, the human population is adapting to that. And the world’s never been safer is that is a fact that, you know, the life expectancy and the chance of you and I dying in a war or from disease is Oh, damn near zero. And, you know, 100 years ago, there was a billion people, now there’s 7 billion, but our central nervous systems have never been so scared. And so if you’re driven, you know it. And you know, some of my favorite Amazon reviews of my book, it’s an uncomfortable biography of me. Feel so we feel so different, and so unique. But we’re very similar, you know, eight to 10% of us and I’ve worked with hundreds of Navy SEALs and entrepreneurs and pro athletes. We stand out in the crowd. Another thing I often say is that we’re we tend to be fairly unemployable. Which means that you put me in a W two job with a less creative Boston, me, and he’s telling me how to do something, and doesn’t give me the autonomy or the opportunity to kind of do it my way, I lose my mind. And this feeling that, you know, I’m never enough, is really the core of it. And we tend to be more narcissistic than most is men and driven women is kind of a passion for for the last couple of years, because I think that is, being a driven woman is incredibly difficult.

george grombacher 18:26
Yeah. So is the book essentially an operating manual?

Doug Brackmann 18:31
Yeah, good. Good description. Yeah, it is. And that I’d say it probably 50 times in the book, that there’s nothing wrong with you. And you’re made this way for a good reason. One of the guys who first conceptualized this, you know, guy named Tom Hartman. Back in 9192 93, when add was really coming to the foreground, he proposed to, you know, the add this constellation of genetics, we’re waiting for the next Ice Age, we’re waiting for the next catastrophe in the world to happen. Because the entrepreneurs and the derivatives will figure it out. And, you know, so these, this genome and that this type of personality is incredibly resilient in the population. Because up until about 10,000 years ago, there was an ice age every 800 to 1200 years. I mean, the global climate stabilization is brand new. And oh my god, the climates changing. It’s like, that’s not news. It’s always change. But it might rapidly change here and you know, and a lot of my driven it’s like, yeah, bring it, we’ll figure it out. It’s kind of exciting. Won’t be boring. lewitt I love it. The most of the, you know, I tell my clients to they want to go see average, go to Walmart or go to Disneyland or do In the world, and go look at the line of people. You know, they’re 60 pounds overweight, and they’re working in a W two job. And they’re, that’s that’s average. But I don’t feel average. I feel like I’m not enough. Yeah, you’re probably driven.

george grombacher 20:15
To make sense. Yeah. Well, Doug, people are ready for that difference making tip, what do you have?

Doug Brackmann 20:24
So here’s the good news. Here’s the here. Simply, the good news about there being no resistance in the present moment is that you can do anything. The bad news is, is that you have no excuse to not do anything. And so I always start people at a two minute meditation practice in the morning. And I do mean in the morning, because their cortisol levels are highest in the morning. And we’ll want to go on autopilot and start sabotaging ourselves. We get busy, we all I don’t have time for that I, whatever, whatever the monkey mind, excuses, don’t leave it. And most importantly, feel the resistance in your body of continuing these behaviors that you know are going to lead to success eventually. And so if you turn it into, say, curiosity, curiosity without judgment as meditation, and you know, it’s a bullshit detector learning to call bullshit upon oneself is the most powerful tool you can’t have, can develop.

george grombacher 21:34
Well, I think that is great stuff that definitely it’s Come on. Come on. Yeah,

Doug Brackmann 21:39
yeah. And we’re all in it together. But if you’re driven, you are forced to really look at yourself and look at these these feelings of discontent. Because Oh my god, it feels like there’s something wrong. Pause. Is there really something wrong? Because if you’re looking for it, you’ll find it. In that in between space where it’s, you know, what is better anyway, I gotta make my life better. But what is better? So that pause reality, checking your emotion. And then as long as you’re not using your thinking, or your feeling to go through the world, and you’re really using your behaviors to determine what kind of what the outcomes are that you want, chances are, you’ll start to succeed to the point where you want to sabotage your life again. That’s that’s the secret to it. If you feel like you want to sabotage that means you’re succeeding.

george grombacher 22:33
Like it. Yeah. But Doug, thank you so much for coming on. Where can people learn more about you? How can they engage with you and where can I get a copy of driven

Doug Brackmann 22:42
it’s all on Amazon and you can get free download from my from my website is I am driven calm. And there’s a free assessment tool on there and it gives you back a 10 or 15 page feedback and describes all these different you know, the 10 different rates. You can get a free first three chapters are for either an audio or or an in book form. On the website. It’s on there to interview some really interesting driven people.

george grombacher 23:16
Love it. Enjoy this as much as I did show Doug your appreciation and share today’s show with a friend who also appreciates good ideas go to I am And I’m certainly going to go take the assessment immediately and pick up a copy of driven and check out the podcast as well and everything else that Dr. Doug is working on. Thanks. Good luck.

Doug Brackmann 23:38
Thanks, George. Have a great day. You as well.

george grombacher 23:41
And until next time, keep fighting the good fight because like Doug mentioned, we are all in this together.

Transcribed by

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