Why Working Hard Damages Your Brain (And how to fix it)

A Big Lesson From a Multimillionaire

Dr. Eugene K. Choi


Photo by Olav Ahrens Røtne on Unsplash

I once got to coach an amazing entrepreneur who rapidly grew a multi-million dollar business from scratch and got ranked as an INC 5000 Fastest growing company in America.

And he did all this from scratch after having hit rock bottom.

He built his business up from a point where he lost all his money, his second wife just left him for someone else, and he was still responsible for paying over $2K/month in child care support.

And he shared with me about how the only way to get the results he did was to work his tail off and fight hard.

But I disagreed with him.

When you feel you are out of options and feel cornered, your brain enters into a reactive mode known as the survival state.

He shared with me that from that moment on, he had to keep his head down, put his shoulder up, and bash through brick wall after brick wall.

But here’s the thing. There are a couple of disadvantages when you are in this state of survival

  • Your brain literally cannot think — Imagine a snake you see out of the corner of your eye. You need your body to jump away without you telling it to. If you spend time thinking about it first, you might die. This is why the survival state reaction shuts down your critical thinking centers, which prevents you from creating more efficient and better solutions when it comes to non-life threatening scenarios.
  • Your brain develops tunnel vision — If a tiger walks into your room, you’re not going to look anywhere else except where that tiger is. You don’t pay attention to other information around you. This same type of tunnel vision occurs when you keep your head down and overwork. And chances are, you’re missing out on even bigger and better opportunities or solutions.
  • Your brain disconnects from people around you — Your brain can’t be empathetic when in survival mode because it thinks it is in a life-threatening situation. The priority in that moment is to focus on yourself and how you can stay alive. In daily life, this often leads…



Dr. Eugene K. Choi

Using neuroscience + technology to help entrepreneurs eliminate overwhelm, anxiety, and procrastination. FREE training series: https://destinyhacks.co