In this episode of the "I Should Have Learned This Sooner" podcast, host Tim Winfred engages in a captivating conversation with Neal Brownell, also known as The Crazy Inventor. Neil shares his personal journey of self-discovery and growth, highlighting the profound impact of destroying limiting beliefs and embracing self-worth.
From a young age, Neal was labeled as mentally deficient due to his visual impairment. However, a pivotal moment occurred when his now-retired teacher, Mrs. Anderson, saw beyond these labels and recognized Neal’s intelligence. Through her unwavering belief in him and the assignments she gave, Neal’s perception of himself began to shift.
The discussion delves into the power of the brain and its ability to confuse reality with vivid imagination. Neal emphasizes that our brains cannot distinguish between past experiences and present moments, often leading to repetitive patterns of behavior unless we consciously reframe our beliefs.
With vulnerability and authenticity, Neal recounts his journey of self-discovery, including the importance of therapy and coaching in fostering personal growth. The conversation touches upon the transformative potential of breaking generational curses and liberating oneself from the limitations imposed by past conditioning.
Join Tim and Neal as they explore the profound impact of recognizing self-worth, challenging societal labels, and embarking on a journey of personal growth. Discover how unraveling limiting beliefs can lead to a life of authenticity, empowerment, and happiness.
Learn more about Neal and follow his journey at https://www.youreamazingandillproveit.com
For transcriptions of this episode and more, visit https://learnedsooner.com.
Follow Tim Winfred on Twitter and Instagram at @contimporary (it's like "contemporary" but more fun).
That the brain cannot tell the difference between what is actually happening and what is vividly imagined. You've had a dream, you wake up, it felt so real that, you know, you were sweating and everything else.
And so we can't tell the difference. It also can't tell the difference between time. It makes no difference whatsoever if it happened when you were three years old or if it happened today. If it happened when you were three years old, you reacted in a specific way.
Well, when it happens to you throughout your life, you react the same way again unless you change the way the brain has received that information. Hello, hello. Welcome to the I should have learned this sooner podcast.
I'm your host, Tim Winfred. Together, let's take a dive into amazing stories of personal growth as my guests share their answer to the question, what is something you know now that you wish you had learned sooner?
From overcoming impostor Syndrome, investing money, lessons, and more. Join me and my guests as they share their stories of challenges they faced head on and how they came out on top. Today's guest is Neil Brownell, aka the crazy inventor.
Neil and I have a great conversation about a variety of things, but the one thing that I really took from this story or all of Neil's story s and the conversation we had is the idea that all people are exceptionally special.
Everybody has a different view of the world, and we're all just really trying to be happy. We're all trying to. Take the input that we receive from this world and make people around us, our friends, our family, and ourselves happy.
We are all trying to navigate this crazy, beautiful world in our own way and take those inputs and just live a beautiful life. So without further ado, I want to jump right into this conversation, and I hope you enjoy.
Here we go. Hi, Neil. Thanks so much for joining me. Hi, Tim. Thank you so much for having me. This is awesome. It's a pleasure. You reached out to me, and I was unfamiliar with your work, but got to read a bit of your bio and learn a little bit about your invention and your book that you've written.
So for anybody who is unfamiliar with you, can you give a little introduction? My name is Neil Brownell. I also go by the crazy inventor. I am an inventor. I did take an aptitude test back when I was about 30.
I am now 64 years old. And the funniest part about the aptitude test, when they came back and told me that I was an inventor, it was done by the Johnson O'Connor Institute. And the Johnson O'Connor Institute has been around for about 100 years now, and they have, I don't know, seven or eight places around the United States.
One of them is in New York. And so I went down there, and I spent a day and a half actually doing puzzles and things like this. It's not just a questionnaire. Use your aptitudes. And at that point, they told us that well, they told me, which was really cool.
They told me, don't worry. If you can't do something, you'll find something you're really good at. So I just went in with a laughter in my voice. And every time I couldn't do something, I just said, well, obviously, this isn't me.
And one of them for me that was so funny was that they put us in a room, and it was seven or eight other people in this room. And we're all sitting behind the table, and we have little trays in front of us with pens.
It's all filled with these little pens. And you're supposed to draw your weekend behind your back and pick up two pens and put it into two holes, right? And around me, all you hear is ping, ping, ping, ping.
All of them hitting the floor. So I said, well, obviously, this is not my aptitude. And the really interesting thing is, they say that surgeons can do that without even trying. I'm like, that is really cool.
That is so cool. So after I spent a day and a half of taking this aptitude test, my wife and I went in, and my wife sat there and listened to this woman describe who I am. She finally looks at her and says, how long have you known my husband?
Because everything you're saying is exactly who he is. But please tell him he's anything except an inventor. Anything but an inventor. That's how I figured out that I was an inventor. But before that, I was so interested in absolutely everything, and so I wasn't going in one direction, and I was really confused.
So if there's anybody out there that's really confused, I highly recommend that test. Although some people think it's a little expensive. I think when I took it, it was somewhere around $600. It's probably seven now.
My attitude was, at 30 years old, when I don't have any idea what I'm going to do, I might spend the next 40, 50 years of my life not knowing. So I said, 600 hours? That's nothing at all. And then I call myself the crazy inventor, because, like my wife said, you'll give up a $70,000 a year job, of which I did, to make nothing, just to be happy.
I was always working. I just wasn't making anything. So that tells you a lot about me. And I tend to see things through, obviously, my own eyes, as everybody does, and through all of the experiences that I've had throughout my life.
I started out being I was born essentially blind. They didn't discover that until I was about eight years old. And at the age of eight years old, when they finally discovered I couldn't see, they had already decided because I couldn't do anything when I couldn't see.
They had decided back then, and this isn't all that unique for back then. I found some other people that were in similar situations where they just automatically say, well, you're mentally deficient.
There's something wrong with you. And so I was taught that I was absolutely useless. And then when they came around to eight years old and they found out I wasn't blind, the way the brain works, and it's not my parents fault, it's not anybody's fault.
It's just because I'm an inventor, I study the human brain and how it works. They had already decided that I was mentally deficient, so now I'm mentally deficient, blind. And so it continued. What some people would call abuse.
I didn't call it abuse because I don't know how much you want me to tell you about myself here, but the interesting thing to me was because I was essentially blind for eight years, I had the privilege of getting to know people by sensing who they were inside rather than actually seeing them.
So I was getting this feeling from my parents, from the teachers, and all these other people who most people would see as abuse. I was actually feeling love. They were abusing me. But they didn't know how to help me.
That was the problem. They cared so much that they were trying everything they could. Nothing was working, and they were really angry at themselves, not me, but at eight years old or nine years old, you can imagine how confusing that was.
You feel love when somebody's smacking you upside the head, but that's essentially that tells you an awful lot about me. So next question. Well, thanks for sharing that. It gives a lot of context, and I know I mean, you said you were in your 60s, right?
I am 64, yeah. So when you were eight, all of the information that we have nowadays, and you can go online and search everything, parents didn't have that back then. That is correct. Yeah, there's a lot I mean, I grew up early.
I'm 33, so about half your age. And whenever I grew up, there was a lot of that same sort of thing before the Internet was just coming to mainstream. Yes. So my father and you trusted your parents a lot more and what they said.
So now kids can ask their parents something their parents say, I don't know, and they can go and look it up online and find out the answer. That's correct. It's a different era, and hopefully people aren't being abused in that way anymore.
At least they have the information now. Like you said, many people ask me was I angry at my parents? And I'm like, no, I'm not angry at them at all because they literally, like you said, didn't have access to any information.
When my mother died, she died very recently, and I had no contact with her or my father for many, many years. And it wasn't that, you know, we didn't love each other. It's just that they had decided that I was a certain person, and I decided, okay, then I love you, but I'm not going to deal with you at this point.
When she died, on her deathbed, she sent a message to me through my adult daughter, and the message was, please break the generational curse. And I looked at my daughter and I said, sweetheart, we already have done that, because what happened was that my mother and father were taught by their mother and father.
So anything that came down that was wrong, well, it was wrong, and you just bought it as factual. This goes down all through history, but for the first time in history right now, we can actually get the right answer.
So we don't have to determine by what our parents taught us. Generation to do that. Yeah, we can unpackage that trauma sometimes without even seeing a therapist. You can find so much information. I mean, therapy in general, we can go down this path, but I don't want to derail.
That's fine. But yeah, therapy nowadays is, I think, a lot more celebrated. And just to go off of the word crazy in some ways has a lot of negative connotations for people because it's often associated with people who are considered mentally, as you put it, mentally deficient in some way or another.
So people, whenever they used to go to therapy, would be like, oh, you would only go to therapy if you were, quote, unquote, crazy. Right. So now it's like, we're going to therapy to unpack and be better people, even if we don't consider ourselves in any sort of crazy way.
Right. Well, I was really blessed real quick is that linda is my second wife. My first wife, Deb, died when she was 38 years old, and I met her in high school. But both of my wives have taken upon themselves to say, hey.
You know, maybe there's something wrong with me. And so my wife Deb went to a therapist, and then she came home and very politely, very nicely said, neil, they think that it's really you that. Needs.
And she was right. She was right. And so I started going to therapy and had gone for many, many years, about seven years with my first wife, Deb. And essentially, what they teach you is how to communicate, how to listen, how to speak, all these things.
And so recently, a few years ago, I had gone away from therapy, and I hired a woman that was a very good friend, and I walked into her office and she says to me, well, what can I do for you? I said, I need a coach.
And God picked you because that's really what they are. They're coaches. So don't think about them as helping you because you're mentally disturbed. Right. They're a coach. It's a mentor. Mentor a coach.
Yeah, exactly right. Exactly right. Okay, now that was great. I appreciate that. There's a lot that we could unpack in that. I had a full episode with someone who is a certified financial trauma specialist.
Something like that. Yeah. I had no idea that there's even this whole industry about financial trauma therapy anyway. Yeah, it's definitely that's cool. Yeah. Definitely something I think everybody can benefit from.
So for anybody who is unfamiliar with the show, the show is broken down into three primary questions. So the first question that I have for you, Neil, is the heart of the show, which is the question, what is something you know now that you wish you had learned sooner?
Well, I thought about this, and there's so many things that you learn throughout 64 years. So how do you boil it down? To just one or two things. Well, for me, my first real break came when I was eleven years old.
Because all of those people had been teaching me that I was worthless. And the way that the brain works is that there's no reason for me to think otherwise. I went to first grade because I couldn't see.
I failed. I went to second grade. They pushed me on because they couldn't keep me back, not because I passed it, so on and so forth. So I finally made it to fifth grade and they put me in a special school that was for kids like me, whatever that means, I don't know.
And this beautiful elderly woman who was already retired, she was a retired teacher, and she took on just a few special ed kids. She didn't do what everybody else did. Everybody else listened to who I was.
Somebody would walk up and say, Neil is this person, and they would just listen to him. And that's who I was. Whereas Mrs anderson, no, I'm going to look at this little boy, I'm going to decide for myself who he is.
She took that time to do it. Once she discerned who she thought I was, she literally got down on her knees so she could look me in the eye because I was ten years old. And she looks me in the eye and she says, you're smart.
Now, I have been taught for ten years that I was worthless. So obviously a little boy is going to come back and say, no, you're wrong, I'm stupid. And she goes, no, you're smart, and I'll prove it. And that was massive.
Because as I've gone through life, I've learned that I can tell people almost nothing, but I can show them. So Mrs. Anderson used to give me assignments, and after every assignment that I would do, she would hold up the piece of paper in front of my face, and she would say, see, you're smart.
And this proves it. Well, that's huge, because the brain cannot ignore that as much as my brain said, no, I'm stupid. The brain goes over here. No, there's something here. And it's started to unravel everything that I had been taught throughout my life.
The other thing came to me very recently. The therapist, the coach that I hired to help me was talking to me about EMDR. I'm sure you have you heard of EMDR? I'm not familiar. Eye movement. Desensitizing and reprogramming is what the technical term for it is.
And she says, it's really, really effective, but it costs an arm and a leg to learn how to do it. And I'm like, what are you talking about? Because she brought it up. And I'm like, why does it cost so much?
And she says, I don't know. It just does. And so I don't know how to teach anybody. And I'm like, that's crazy. I've been using it for months. And she goes, who taught you? I said, I taught myself. It's not like it's difficult, basically.
And this is the essence of it. There's a lot more to it. I've written a whole bunch of stuff, and if somebody buys my book through our website, we give this out for free. And it's called Healing Eye Movement.
The essence of it is that the brain cannot tell the difference between what is actually happening and what is vividly imagined. You've had a dream, you wake up, it felt so real that you were sweating and everything else.
And so we can't tell the difference. It also can't tell the difference between time. It makes no difference whatsoever if it happened when you were three years old or if it happened today. If it happened when you were three years old, you reacted in a specific way.
Well, when it happens to you throughout your life, you react the same way again, unless you change the way the brain has received that information. So the first thing you do is you close your eyes and you rapidly move them from right to left.
Not up and down, but from right to left. And you picture what's traumatizing you, for instance, throughout this whole journey of me writing this book. Trust me, when you're taught that you're absolutely useless for so many years of your life, writing a book isn't something that comes just automatically.
Your brain says, yeah, I can do this. It just doesn't work that way. And part of that is because my mother was taught the way to teach somebody was to force it down their throat, and if they wouldn't do it, force it down the throat, you would literally start punching them in the head.
And so my mother used to hit me in the head when she asked me to read out loud. So when I read out loud now, somebody comes along, I write the book. Somebody comes along, say, hey, you've got to do an audio version of this, and it should be in the author's name, you or the author's voice.
You cannot imagine how I literally shook, because back when I was a kid, that's what I would do. And I'm like, man, if I make a mistake in my head, my mother's going to start punching me in the head and screaming and yelling.
Remember, she loved me. She cared about me. She wanted me to do good. She just didn't know how to teach me to do good. So I want to continually say that this woman was not a bad woman. She was a really, really good woman.
She just didn't have the information that she needed. So when it came around time for me to actually start reading this, I'm like, Man, I've got to do something, because this is absolute torture for me to try to read this stuff.
So when I learned about healing eye movement, I started doing my eyes back and forth and picturing my mother hitting me. And as this went on, the first time, not so much happened. And the second time, and it didn't take too many times, four or five times, something really interesting happened.
Because the brain, like I said, cannot tell the difference between what's happening and what is vividly imagined. They can't tell in time. So this happened a long time ago. The brain didn't know it happened a long time ago, so it's happening right now.
What can I do to change this? And in my mind's eye, it was so neat, because I did not force this to happen. It just happened. All of a sudden, in my mind's eye, I saw my adult hand reach up, take a hold of my mother's arm, and very gently just say, no, that's enough.
No more. It stops here. And from now on, when I do my healing eye movement and I go to that place, I'm now sitting in that same chair that my mother used to have me sit in. Only this time, the doors open, the sun's out, the kids are playing, and everything's right in my world.
So I've been able to change the input. So anytime somebody now says, hey, Neil, will you read out loud? I don't go into that shaky feeling again. I go into, yeah, well, I might not be the greatest at this, but I'll do okay.
So those are the two things. The two things is that Mrs. Anderson showed me that if you show someone, don't tell them. All this politics that's going on. Everybody scream in and yelling at each other.
They're telling each other what they feel. They're not showing them, and so it's showing them and then changing your reaction to traumas that have happened throughout your life or reprogramming your mind.
So we can go to the direction you want. Did that answer your question? Oh, yeah. That was beautiful. There's so much to it, because I feel like anybody who's listening to this has a story or a picture in their head that they've had on repeat in one way or another, whether it's a trauma or just any sort of little memory.
I was trying while you were speaking. I just did a quick search, and it said it related to PTSD. So things that are tied to traumatic events that are triggered, like you said, by something as simple as being asked to read out loud everybody.
I mean, maybe not everybody, but I feel like most people have something in their life that they've most of the time I would say for for worst. I was going to say for better or for worse, but that we tell ourselves or we hear or we see in our head.
For me in particular, I grew up being kind of a butthead, I'll put it that way a lot of the time. I was the youngest of four. My oldest sibling was 13 years older than me, so I sort of got away with a lot more.
Whenever your parents have had three kids before you, so I got to be a lot more of a jerk. So that manifested as I went through school, and I, as you said, sort of painted this picture in my head that I was an ahole.
And flash forward, I want to say, like, eight years out of college, I lived with a roommate, and she said, at some point, you're one of the nicest people I've ever met. I could never see you being mean to someone and even just saying that now, I just got chills, because it reframed that mindset.
Something like your teacher did telling you you are smart. It's suddenly like this narrative you've been telling yourself in your head suddenly is blown away, and you are like, Wait. That's not the story that I believe in.
And so what you said with that second piece, it's sort of that same thing, right? I could go back to all of those times in the past and imagine myself not being a jerk. Is that what you're saying? Is it sort of rewriting your memories or how can you do it?
One of the really interesting things to me was, as I studied it, because my therapist, because my coach actually asked me if I would write it down for her, because that's what an inventor does. They study everything in every little ridiculous detail.
I studied how a finger makes a snap, and yeah, who does that? I was showing it to a friend and I could see, this guy really is crazy. So how many things are tied to what you do? For instance, I would go into the bathroom to wash my hands or my face or whatever, and just before I would see myself in the mirror, I would call myself a negative name.
Sure. And I started realizing that it was tied to me looking in the mirror. So I said, okay, now if I do my eye movement. And at this point, I kept my eyes open, and I just looked at sides of the sink and all this kind of just like I was attacking it, moving my eyes.
And I would look up in the mirror and then say something positive to myself. Then I would do this over and over and over four or five times. And then each time you go to the bathroom, do it well. The more you do it, the more it was the last time the brain reacted.
So at that point, when I look in the mirror, I started saying nice things to myself just because it was the last place that the brain went to the last time I did this particular thing. One of the easiest ways that you can see that.
And I feel sorry for spiders at this point, because everybody can identify that they don't really like spiders. And so you recoil, you pull back, you see one, and I'm like, that's ridiculous. I shouldn't react to a little bitty spider like that.
So I did my healing eye movement, and now in my eye movement, I attack the spider. So the instant that I see a spider, I just bet I smack it out, and I go on. And then I told Linda and my daughter, I feel sorry for the spider.
Sometimes they're not doing anything. I just see them and I crush them. It's like they were just being a spider. That's not even right. But the point is that you can change your reaction. If your reaction was to pull away and run, then that's what you'll do next time.
But if you reframe that now, you'll attack. So what is it in particular about the eye movement, the moving it from left to right? How does that play into this specifically? Actually, from what I've been able to find out, this was discovered by accident.
A lady back in the 80s was having a perplexing situation. She was a doctor, psychiatrist, and she was walking through the park, and she's thinking about what she's doing, and she's moving her eyes back and forth.
And she realized that the more that she moved her eyes back and forth, the calmer she felt. And so I then started experimenting with things that I do. I live in the cat skills. We're out here in the woods.
We see bears. We see all sorts of things. I am not scared of any of the wild animals, but at the same time, you don't want to corner a wild animal. If you do, you're in real trouble. So when I go outside, I find myself.
Looking off at the horizon and spanning the whole thing from my eyes right to left and looking. And I'm thinking to myself, I bet you any amount of money going back not that far in the past. When we all lived in the woods, that's what we did.
We looked all around. When we saw nothing, our body just automatically started to calm. And I believe that's where that started. So it's our animal brain, in a way, where we absolutely is looking for danger.
And whenever we don't see danger, it totally changes the chemistry of our body. Yeah. And the other time that I use it a lot is at the end of the day when I'm really tired and things haven't necessarily gone right that day.
And so I'm overwhelmed, and I'm sitting in my chair, and I'm thinking back on the day, and I just want to lack of a better word, freak out. And I start doing my eye movement. And what I do is I look around the room, I look at the colors, I look at the shapes.
I say, I am right here, right now. Nothing is going on except for right now. And I have found that I have gotten calmer and calmer and calmer as time goes on, because it keeps you where you are. And you can only enjoy where you are.
You can't enjoy the future. You can't enjoy the past. You enjoy where you are. And so many of us, almost all of us, don't spend hardly any time in right now. And that's one of the things that healing eye movement does.
It makes me think. So, a few years ago, I'm an audiobook. Whenever I say I read a book, it's generally an audiobook. I'll make one for you. Ah. So I read a book on Buddhism. There were two that I read at the same time, and I can't remember the specific one, but one of the stories that was told in it, it was studying people who were highly enlightened or people who had been.
Studying Buddhism for a long time and were able to slow down their heart and just make the world a lot calmer for themselves. And one of the stories that stands out to me still to this day is the story of like he called it like the dancing tree.
And basically all it was is he would stand and look at a tree, and even if there was no wind blowing, he would see the tree dancing because he would move his eyes all over the tree and just see the different parts.
And this whole story you're telling of the EMDR healing eye movement, it's the healing, exactly. So part of that was just like really seeing that tree, just seeing it for what it is. By moving your eyes around and looking at all the different pieces, you're slowing things down and you're just taking in all of that sense, all of the sensory inputs that are coming from it, the sounds, the colors, the movement, the shapes and the curves, all of that.
Whenever you do that, it just like you said, it puts you in the now. And you're really where normally maybe you would walk by that tree and you've maybe walked by it 5 million times, depending on where you are, and you never really saw it.
Whenever you slow down and see it, you see it in a new way. And that's what a lot of it was tied to, was like seeing things and having your brain fire in ways that it was like you were seeing something for the first time, even if you've seen it 100 times.
So I wonder like and that, again, it was tied to the the Science of Happiness is what these books were about. So it's kind of I wonder like, without the knowledge of how all of this tied together, if that's sort of the same thing.
Because as soon as you started talking about. Looking around and seeing things in new ways. That whole story, it sort of ties everything together with why that works. Absolutely. Yeah. It's very interesting.
I am not a religious person, but I'm a very spiritual person. And I believe most of that came from those first eight years of not being able to see. And I've also studied many, many other religions, and they all boil down to the Golden Rule, really what they do, treat others as you want to be treated and stay where you're at.
It's all about the same one of the again, I'm not a biblical person or anything like that, but I find it very interesting that a point in the Bible said that Jesus said that in the end days, all would be known.
And at this point, we know, and this is going off onto a little bit of other things that takes a long time to explain. So I'll just explain really quick. We know that DNA actually glows. If you expose it to light, it will glow for as much as I think it's 36 hours.
And that means that you and I and every person that we know actually glow. And the scientists don't know why we can't see the glow, because it is like we should. So we're all essentially angels. And at that point, that means that we're light and we're vibration, which is a melody.
And the higher your melody, the more beautiful the melody, the brighter your light. And the brighter your light, the more you can bring other people up. The more you bring other people up, the brighter your light is.
And that goes right back to the Golden Rule. If you treat others right, then they treat you right, and everybody is lifted. And I just find that very interesting that science is now saying it. Yeah. Yeah.
And in Buddhism, it's the concept of reducing suffering for other people, even your worst enemy. If you go about the world, someone you don't know, someone you hate, if you just look at it as how can I reduce suffering?
It just makes everything so much calmer and it reduces the anxiety for that other person, it reduces it for you. It just makes your whole day, your whole life, your whole whatever it is, it just makes it so much calmer and better and you're able to see clearer and be outside of yourself.
Yes. And again, stay where you're at. One of the places that I use it a lot is if I'm driving home, traffic is pretty home. Yes. Somebody cuts you off or whatever. Right. Well, the first thing that you used to start getting upset and all this kind of stuff right now I start going, no, that happened a second ago.
This person is probably as tired as me. They've had a long day. It happened in the past. Even if it's only two or 3 seconds in the past, they weren't doing it to get you, they were just doing it. So leave it in the past and just everybody get home safe.
Stay exactly where you're at. And not only that, but it's compounding and it's building a muscle memory. It's going to the gym and working out. It's meditating whenever you practice in smaller moments or moments that you're not going to immediately go to, this rush of emotions like driving.
And that example is perfect because a place, again, going from those books that I've learned to practice it as well, because like you said, you have no idea what that other person is going through. You have no idea the stresses and how tired they are, if they're hungry, whatever it might be.
No, you absolutely know. You're absolutely right. And so whenever it comes to a bigger moment where you really need to rein in and be that calm and balanced person, practicing it over and over in those smaller moments, even if it doesn't feel small to some people because that traffic situation can drive people up the wall.
It just eventually allows you to have that muscle memory and respond in that calm, cool and elected way whenever something big and more difficult happens. This might be my imagination, but I find that ever since I started doing that, I have less and less confrontation on the road, less people are tailgating me.
I don't know, maybe it's my imagination, but it just feels that way. Are you familiar with in Buddhism there's the idea of equanimity, which is, regardless of how happy or how sad or angry, whatever emotion it is, if you bring yourself back to a balanced, calm mindset as soon as possible from that you extend the joy of something happy.
You don't burst through it, and then you reduce the anger, the sadness, whatever it is. That makes sense. Absolutely. That's how I've lived a lot since reading those books. And I used to be a very reactive person, I think, like you were talking about on the road.
Not just that, but if you make plans with a friend and that friend cancels, for example, that's a very easy when you're younger, it feels very personal. As you get older, you realize the story that you have of yourself.
People have those. They're not just simple beings outside of you. So very complex. Absolutely. You never know. Where anybody else you absolutely never know. I went through some really tough times when my first wife passed away and.
What do you do? You try to take it out on everybody else? No. My daughter was 15, my son was eleven. This is the general story. This is ridiculous. I actually went to hospice. Hospice doesn't allow you to go there unless the person who died was in hospice.
And Deb was not in hospice. But I called him up and told them what my situation was and they're like, yeah, we'll let you come. And so my wife died two days later. We buried her. She was 38 years old.
She was healthy, she just collapsed on the floor and she was gone two days later. We bury her. On the third day, my daughter tried to commit suicide. And so she winds up in the hospital for ten days.
She gets out of the hospital and I take her to a family member who she thought was someone who would protect her and help her. And that night he hurt her, let's put it that way. He hurt her really bad.
And then four months to the day of my wife's death, my best friend and business partner had a heart attack and died. And he was providing a weekend or a home for us. It was his weekend. So we lost our house, we lost our car, and so in four months we lost absolutely everything.
So I was talking to myself and I said, Neil, you're a goal oriented person. You have to have a goal. And you have to be moving towards that goal or it just doesn't work. But going through what you're going through, how can you possibly have a goal?
And I said, okay, well, let's make it a little one. Let's make it I will make everybody I meet today laugh at least once. And that was a pretty easy goal for me because I'm a nut anyway way. But it was really interesting because they were laughing and so it made you feel better?
They felt better, I felt better and it just kept going back and forth. My son himself, he was about twelve at this point and he was really, really angry and he was taking it out on other people. And I said, look, you have every right to be angry, but you have no right to take it out on someone else, so just bring that goodness to the party.
Yeah. It's your choice how you respond. Yes, you can feel any way, and you reduce your suffering, as I was saying earlier, by choosing to respond in calmness. Yes. We're on the same page. Yeah, exactly.
I want to jump into the second primary question to continue on, since we've got about 20 minutes left. So the next question is, is there something, a book, a quote, a person, song, city, job, conversation, anything of that matter that has really impacted your life?
Well, I had said before that Mrs. Anderson had set me on that journey, and I was wondering to myself, because when you are somebody, you are that person from the moment that you're born. And so if you were born, and, I don't know, you're an electrician or whatever it is, you have those natural gifts.
Well, I had the natural gifts of being an inventor. And an inventor is just somebody who wants to know as much as they possibly can about everything. So when Mrs. Anderson started teaching me that I was worth something, and I started realizing that she was right, I started saying to myself, okay, why?
Why did my brain accept what they were teaching me? And why is it accepting what is going on now? So if I needed to go back and start all over, I would go back with the knowledge of how the brain works, what I need to do.
And it's so simple. It's unbelievably simple. In my book, you're amazing. And I'll prove it. I use just these ridiculously simple things, and the reason for that is the brain. Ignore it. And this lady that I told you about that I hired to be my coach, she told me this story.
She said that she was having a very difficult time learning math, and so she hired a tutor to come in and help her. The tutor walks in with a bucket and some blocks. She puts the bucket on the floor, and she holds the blocks up to the woman, and she says, okay, this represents 100%.
She takes one of the blocks and throws it in the bucket, and she says, now what percentage is in the bucket? And the woman looks at her and says, I'm not an idiot. And no one said, no. This has nothing to do with intelligence.
It has everything to do with the way the brain remembers. And so those are the things that I wished I had known back then and had brought it forward and at the same time, learning it all the way through.
Does that answer your question? Yeah, definitely. What is it? So a few years ago, whenever I started giving presentations after I graduated from my coding boot camp, something that I recognized is, first of all, coding is extremely difficult.
Yeah, there's a lot to it. And so I can watch a tutorial or something to that effect and not put it into practice. And it's difficult to internalize and remember it without having to go back. And anytime that I've picked something up or learned something new and then forced myself to teach it to someone else, that going in.
And the way that my brain remembers is suddenly I have to teach it. And so your brain learns it in a whole new way whenever you have to teach it, especially whenever you have to think about thinking, right?
How are other people going to take what you're saying? And you have to use your critical thought process to answer questions that maybe you don't even know the answer to sometimes. And it's okay to admit you don't know that.
I've done that plenty of times, been like, let me get back to you, or let's look this up together because I don't want to give you a BS answer. So yeah, whenever you change the way your brain whether that's a story, whether that's moment like that with the block in the bucket, suddenly you have as.
Honestly, I think our whole conversation today is alluding to is it's? The pictures and the stories and the images and the way your brain remembers things is tied to something that is more than just a thought?
Absolutely. The more pieces of the brain that you use, the more it has resources to find all of that information. And it's so simple. It really is. They make it sound so complicated. Oh, I'm going to teach something to somebody, so I've got to go out and learn for four years from a college or something.
Then the brain is very simple to mold and to get it to go in a certain direction. That's one of the things that I wrote you're amazing and I prove it for is that it upsets me. I'm a coach also, and it upsets me if somebody takes a team and runs that team down.
Make a long story short, I went to a game that I knew the players there, but I also knew they were always losing. I played basketball back when I was a kid. Well, when I was at your age, when I was in my early thirty s and I played against high school kids, I found out these high school kids were all, he's losing.
I went up to the school and I said, this is ridiculous. These kids are really good. I mean, don't get me wrong, I wasn't a pro. But in comparison to a high school player, I was a hell of a lot better than they were.
And so if they held their own with me, they should hold their own. With any high school kid, and they were losing. So I went up there, I sat behind the coach and listened to the coach talk to him, and he goes, okay, here we go again.
We're going to lose. Excuse me. You don't teach somebody that they're going to lose to finish that story real quick. I thought I was going to get thrown out because other than those kids, nobody even knew me.
I actually pulled the point guard out of that huddle. His name was Dave it and I said, David, get over. And I was screaming at him, and I just got in his face and I told him, look, you know this offense.
You know how to run it. You know how to win this game. Get out there and win it. And they did. So the whole difference is that are you going to teach them that they can lose, or are you going to teach them they can win?
And right now, I feel that more people are teaching us to lose than to win, right? Yeah, there's a lot there's so much in politics right now that's very one or the other. And people, as you said, people don't hear each other because it's exactly that people don't learn from just hearing.
They have to have those images and everything in their mind changed in order to reframe. Really, it can change so much. I mean, those books that I had and having that tree story, the story of again, the brick, the math, all of that, all of these things that just put an image into your head.
I mean, it's not just images, too, right? There are scent memories and sound memories, like music, anything of that sort. Do you have any examples? It sounds like the scent and the sound. An awful lot of that when it happens to me, it takes me back to when I was child, when I was in school, and things just all of a sudden you're there.
So, yes, those are some of the things that certainly have happened to me. Another one, back to that Healing eye movement real quick. This is one of the things that I found. Another thing that was really cool is they tell you that you're supposed to go to your safe place.
Because you're going to be going to a lot of places in your head that you don't want to go to, and now you're going to force yourself to go to it, but you don't want to go there and traumatize yourself more.
So always have a safe place that you can go to. And I'm thinking to myself, but I don't have a safe place. I have never known a time in my life that I just said, hey, there, I feel safe. And then I started doing the healing eye movement, and over a period of time, over months, probably three or four months, one day I went back to take a short nap.
I laid down on my bed, and all of a sudden, I got the feeling that I was at my grandmother's house taking a nap downstairs in the basement, and I was really, really safe. And I'm like, oh, my God, I do have a safe place.
And the only reason I didn't know it was because as a child, I wasn't at my grandmother's house more than three or four times before I was five years old. So I didn't even remember it. So that's another thing the healing eye movement can help you do.
It can help you find your safe place. It can get you to really I've talked to other people that are using it, and they're having a happy life. They at least, hey, it's worth being here. Yeah. There's that new apple headset.
I'm not sure if you've seen any previews of it, but it seems like there's going to be apps that basically you can I mean, it's glasses that can transform your real world around you. And I remember as a kid playing a video game, and there was exactly that in the video game.
Like, you would put this headset on, and the room would just transform into a beach oasis, you know, somewhere that's calm. And during the pandemic that was I was you know, we were all stuck inside, nowhere to go.
My roommate at the time would make fun of me. I would turn on the TV to, like, the beach or to, like, just, you know, a two hour long video of a stream running. And then whenever we eventually got to go to the beach, he made this joke, look, it's like the TV in real life.
And it's just that calming place where your mind is just at ease, and it's just away from all of those stress and anxiety, just the beauty of being able to change. I mean, even if you just get up and go for a walk sometimes, if you're feeling poorly, how many times have you walked into a room to go get something and you're like, Why did I come in here?
Your brain just forgets as soon as you're in a different setting. So going on a trip, a lot of people, oh, I need a vacation. It helps because you're changing what you're seeing and the space around you.
It does. My lady Linda and I work together 24/7. We have a house cleaning business. After my first wife passed, I was a cabinet maker and a carpenter and things. They had me working down in New York City.
And obviously, my wife literally died overnight. I mean, I saw her in the morning, kissed her, and then that night, I didn't see her no more, so I couldn't go anywhere. I had two kids that I had to raise, so I started a house cleaning business, never wanting to be in the house cleaning business.
And I found out many, many things. But one of the things I found out, that just is huge for me, and this goes back to somewhat politics. Get away from Washington, get away from the state, and all this just boil it down to the actual people.
My lady and I have been in in people's homes that are extreme left, and I do mean extreme. And we have been in people's homes that are extreme right. We have been in these homes for so long that we become family.
When we walk in. We brought in our son one day, and one of the ladies jumped up and said, oh, my God, you brought company. That's how much we become family. So we become part of these people's family, and there is no difference.
And I'm telling you, none between extreme left and extreme right. All of them want good for their family. All of them want good for their neighborhood, their city, everything. It is just ridiculous. So my question all through that is, all right, if we're all care and we all are really the same, then why are we making different decisions?
And I said, well, obviously because we have different information and at that point just actually gone out and given some speeches. And I told them, you don't have to agree with me, but I want you to know why I'm making the decision I'm making.
And if you can tell me I'm wrong, show me that I'm wrong, then I'll change my direction. But start out with the knowledge that people are good. Right? Don't start out saying, well, they're a Democrat or they're a Republican.
No, start out with their good. Yeah. If I'm not mistaken from your bio, that's a lot of what your book, The Doorway, is about. It is actually there's the doorway, and you're amazing, and I'll prove it.
You're amazing, and I'll prove it is for the children, and The Doorway is for the adults. It's essentially the same book, but at the same time, the adults didn't want to buy the version and vice versa.
Yeah, like marketing. Now, in general, it's like men won't buy skincare unless it's marketed as Skincare for men. That gets a little carried away sometimes. It's. What you said though, I feel like it's just we all want to be happy.
We all want people around us to be happy. And unfortunately, again, for better and for worse, our inputs are different and the way that we perceive and take that in and process it. But if like you said, if, if you just take it from the mindset of everybody wants to be good, everybody wants to be happy, everybody wants, you know, to reduce suffering, the world just becomes a lot lighter.
Yes, the vast majority of people are really, really good people. I've also told people that because of my ability to sense other people, I have never met a person I said was evil. Never. I've run into people that were confused, I've run into people that were angry.
I've run into also, but never evil. And I just find that very interesting. So we're almost at time and there is one question left that I want to get to before time is up. And that is what is something you're working on learning now?
What am I working on learning? I'm trying to learn how to market. But you were saying it's really difficult to get out in front of people and to market things to them, to figure out exactly how to say it to them so it will help them the most.
And other than that, I'm reverse engineering a motor that I found out existed and they're keeping it off the market and it's really simple. But another interesting thing to that is my philosophy is that every single person has value and you never know what that value is going to be.
And so when you're reverse engineering something, you get stuck. And I have gotten really I have no idea where they went from here. And so I'll pull my wife aside, I'll pull some friends aside and I'll say, hey, do me a favor, look at this and tell me what you see.
And they'll say. But I have no idea anything about this motor. That's the whole point. You see it in a different way than I do. You're going to see it totally different than I do, and that'll give me some ideas of what I can do.
So never, never write off anybody. I don't know who they are. Don't write them off. Everybody has value and different insight, and even the one thing that a lot of books and presentations are brought to you in a matter of fact sort of way.
And I've recognized as I've gotten older that I can take X pieces from that book and interpret it in my own way, and other pieces that maybe didn't resonate with me or maybe I wasn't hearing them at the right time in life in the same sort of way that the author intended for it to be heard.
And that's what you have to do. You have to piece together things in your life that work for you and that make you happy, correct? Absolutely. All right. We are at time, but for anybody who is interested in following up with you, checking you out, where can they reach you, follow you, learn more about.
You, they can go to you're amazing. And I'll prove it. That's our brand new website. We just got it up. We've been working on it for so long, we finally got one we really, really like, and it's really simple, and the value is tremendous.
You can also get a hold of just Neil Brownell, the Crazy inventor, or you can put in the Crazy Inventor, and that'll bring up an awful lot about me. And that's one of the biggest reasons that I called myself the crazy Inventor is right now, live in a time, nobody's going to remember Neil Brownell, but they'll remember the crazy inventors.
So you always have to have something that the people will remember so they can find you. The branding. Well, it's called branding, absolutely. But you got to make it easy. If it's not easy. If it's not easy, the brain doesn't want to do it.
Yeah. And yep, you said that earlier. The brain can't ignore simple things. All right, Neil, thank you so much for your time. This has been great. Thank you so much. And thanks to your audience. All right, take care.
Bye. Um, thank you so much for listening to today's episode. This is the second to last episode of season two of the I Should Have Learned this Sooner podcast. It's been a beautiful, wild journey and so many beautiful stories.
Neil's story today about Healing Eye movement, EMDR was really fascinating in so many different ways, and I'm going to take it into practice and we'll see how it goes. I learned so much from Neil, and we bonded on so many different ways.
We had a similar story in a lot of ways, but with just different puzzle pieces putting it together. So I hope if you take away one thing from this conversation, today day is that you can change the way your brain receives information.
Right. As Neil said, you can impact your own worldview based off of the way that you see yourself and the way that you tell. Self stories about who you are and what other people think of you. So I hope you enjoyed this.
If you did, please follow me on Instagram and Twitter at contemporary. It's like Contemporary, but more fun. And check out the itunes page for the podcast and leave a review because it will really help me out.
Next week will be the final episode of season two, and then we'll be back for a short break, so check it out next Monday. And until then, I am Tim Winfred. Bye bye. Music for this podcast comes from FilmMusic IO Acid Trumpet by Kevin McLead, Incompatech.org.
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