Direct Your Mind: What If It Really Happened?

Edna Foa conducted research on social anxiety to find out what helped the most to reduce anxiety. The answer was changing the way a person thought about consequences. That was the key to whether someone succeeded or failed to manage their anxiety.

Specifically, anxious people expect the consequences of a negative event to be worse than they would actually be. And of course this makes them more anxious than they need to be.

When you worry about something, you’re asking yourself, “What if?” You wonder, What if X happened? And you think the consequences would be terrible. That’s what scares you. What if it happened?

What I’ve discovered I do (and apparently I’m not alone) is stop right there. I don’t think beyond it. I worry, “What if that happened?” and it scares me so much I don’t want to think any more about it. But when I make myself follow through on the question, my anxiety is usually cured in short order. Let me give you an example.

When my wife and I first got married, whenever we had an argument, it made me very upset. I was always afraid the argument would bring our relationship to an end. My question was, “What if she leaves me?” It sounds stupid now, but I never once thought beyond that. It was too awful to contemplate. This is the woman with whom I share all my dreams. This is my best friend. This is the one I love with all my heart. It was too terrifying to think any further than her leaving me.

This worry put me in a panic, and usually my desperation to prevent an impending disaster would only make our fights worse. I wouldn’t let us take a break. She wanted to leave and go for a walk. I wouldn’t let her go until we had resolved our argument. Of course, it is almost impossible to resolve an argument between two people when both are upset, so my actions prolonged our arguments and made them more destructive.

One day I asked her how she managed to stay so calm when we argued. I always seemed to get intense, but even when she was mad, she never got anxious or desperate.

“Do any thoughts go through your mind when we’re arguing?” I asked, “Do you say anything to yourself? Do you picture something?”

Turns out, she did something very specific. She did it every time and it kept her calm. She never thought of it as a “technique.” Like me, she also had the thought, “What if this is the end of us?” But she didn’t stop there. Rather than recoiling from the thought, she faced it. She deliberately imagined the worst that could happen. She tried to see a little movie in her mind of what would happen if we divorced. She imagined going through the sadness, moving to a different place, and going on with her life.

And as she imagined time passing, she could see that she would survive, and even if this tragic thing happened, there would actually be some happiness down the road.

This seemed like a pretty straightforward technique, so I gave it a try and it really calmed me down. Our fights became less intense because I wasn’t trying so hard to stop the fight (try to end an argument quickly and it will often make the fight last longer).

Imagining the worst does two things: First of all, imagining a divorce and us moving away from each other always makes me sad. No matter how angry I am when I start thinking about it, I always feel sad because I realize how much I would miss her. That is a good realization to have during a fight. It’s a perspective that sometimes goes out the window when I’m angry, and it’s worth remembering.

The second benefit is realizing that even if this worst-case-scenario happened, I could still go on and be happy. That helps me keep the situation in perspective and helps me calm down. And my lower anxiety helps me listen. It helps me speak more calmly and kindly and sanely.

I tried it the very next time we had an argument. It worked beautifully. It may have been the first time we ever argued when I stayed relatively calm. I didn’t panic at all. I didn’t get desperate. I tried it again the next argument. And the next. And that’s about all it took. That was more than 25 years ago, and I now never even consider the possibility that an argument spells doom. It totally cured me of that particular anxiety.

All I did was think beyond the original fear. Try it with one of your fears right now. You’re afraid of what? What makes you afraid when you think about it?

What if it happened? Really, think about it. What if that terrible thing really happened? What would come next? And then what? And then what?

Jim says, “I get nervous at work because I’m afraid my boss is going to get mad at me.”

I say, “Okay, what if he does?”

Jim: “It would be upsetting.”

Me: “Yeah, so? Then what would happen?”

Jim: “He might write me up. That means it would be a warning, and one more and I’ll be fired!”

Me: “Okay, let’s say that happens. He writes you up, you don’t improve, and then he fires you. Then what would you do?”

Jim: “I’d have to find another job.”

Me: “Okay. Could you do that?”

Jim: “Yeah, I think so, but it might not pay as much as I’m making now.”

Me: “So, what would you do then?”

Jim: “I’d have to buy fewer things.”

When you follow the line of questioning, it always seems to peter out into nothing. You realize you could handle it. You’d live. It wouldn’t be catastrophic. It may be difficult. It may be inconvenient. It may be a challenge. But it’s nothing to get distraught over.

According to the research, the two biggest mistakes anxious people tend to make is that they think the bad thing is more likely than it really is, and they think if the bad thing happens, the consequences would be more horrible than they really would be.

This is the antidote: Ask the question, “What would happen then?” and keep following the realistic consequences out to their probable natural conclusion, and your fear usually fades or disappears.

I need to warn you about something. Please remember this: It won’t work to tell yourself, “It’ll be okay.” I’ve tried it and it doesn’t have any impact on my anxiety. You must go through the visualization. You must see it happening and see how you’d handle it. Be honest in your imaginings. Try to make it true-to-life. Don’t try to imagine it more positively than you really think would happen. That’s not the point. What do you think would really happen? Imagine it. And what do you think you’d really do about it? This will have a definite — and maybe even a dramatic — effect on your feelings.

Like a magic bullet, it goes to the heart of your worry and dissolves it.

In his book, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Dale Carnegie tells the story of a man who cured himself of a very serious case of anxiety using a method very similar to this. His name was Earl Haney and he had ulcers. Bad ulcers.

One night Haney had a hemorrhage and was rushed to the hospital where he stayed. He had holes in his stomach lining and had to have his stomach pumped every day. His diet was alkaline powder and a tablespoon of half-and-half per hour. He was in bad shape.

This continued for several months. His weight dropped from 175 pounds to 90 pounds. Three doctors agreed he was terminal. Death was inevitable. He was basically waiting around to die.

Then a thought dawned on Haney. He realized he had always wanted to travel the world before he died and he figured if he was going to do it, he’d better go now.

Of course, his doctors were strongly against the idea. Haney would have to pump his own stomach twice a day. Crazy!

Haney went ahead with his plans anyway. He even bought a casket and took it with him so if he died on the way, he could be buried in the family plot back home.

He boarded a ship from Los Angeles to visit China and India. During the voyage, he gradually gave up on all the pampering and stomach pumping. He let it go. If he was going to die, so be it, he thought. His worry and tension evaporated. He stopped worrying.

Even during a typhoon, which should have scared him to death, he actually enjoyed it because he had already looked at the “what if.” It didn’t bother him. He’d looked at the consequences already: He would die and his body would be sent back to Nebraska. His alternative was wasting away in a hospital, and he’d much rather die in a typhoon on his way to China.

He started really enjoying himself now that he was free of constant worries, and he gained 90 pounds on his trip. His health returned. When he got home, he went back to work and never felt better in his life.

He was cured. He stopped cowering in fear at what might happen. He had learned to take an honest, unflinching look at the likely consequences of possible negative events. The constant worry evaporated into the thin air it was made of.

You can have the same sort of recovery from your worry. Think about something you have worried about recently. Now ask yourself, “What if it happened?” Really. What if it happened? What would you do about it? How would you respond? And then what would happen? And then what? And how would you respond to that? Follow it through as realistically as you can and see if that doesn’t have a dramatic effect on that particular worry.

When your own distress is making things worse, go ahead and confront the worst that could possibly happen. Don’t just do it briefly. This isn’t positive thinking. Don’t merely tell yourself, “Oh, there is nothing to be afraid of, everything will be all right.” That won’t work! Imagine the worst case scenario clearly in your mind. Imagine what would happen. Imagine time passing. And be realistic. Don’t try to be optimistic with your imaginings. Try to imagine what you really think would happen.

What you will discover is that this is not the calamity you feared. And your increased calm will help make a calamity less likely.

Adam Khan is the author of Principles For Personal Growth, Slotralogy, Antivirus For Your Mind, and co-author with Klassy Evans of How to Change the Way You Look at Things (in Plain English). Follow his podcast, The Adam Bomb.

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How OPEC Profits Are Used to Endanger Americans

 In the article, Achieving Energy Victory, Robert Zubrin writes:

Until the Saudis started racking up billions in inflated oil revenues in the 1970s, the Wahhabi movement was regarded by Muslims the world over as little more than primitive insanity. Without rivers of treasure to feed its roots, this horrific movement could neither grow nor thrive.  
It is the Saudis’ unlimited funds — over $200 billion in foreign exchange earnings in 2006 — that have allowed them to buy up the faculties of the Islamic world’s leading intellectual centers; to build or take over thousands of mosques; to establish thousands of radical madrassas, pay their instructors, and provide the free daily meals necessary to entice legions of poor village boys to attend.  
Those boys are indoctrinated with the idea that the way to get into paradise is to murder Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Taoists, and Hindus (not to mention moderate Muslims). Graduates of these academies are today killing American soldiers in Iraq.  
Meanwhile, Arab oil revenues have underwritten news outlets that propagandize hatefully against the United States and the West, supported training centers for terrorists, paid bounties to the families of suicide bombers, and funded the purchase of weapons and explosives. We have been subsidizing a war against ourselves. 
And we have not yet reached the culmination of the process. Iran is now using its petroleum lucre to fund its nuclear program and to insulate itself from economic sanctions imposed on it. Once produced, Iranian nuclear weapons could be used by the Iranian regime itself or be made available to terrorists to attack U.S., European, Russian, or Israeli targets. This is one of the gravest threats to international peace and stability — and, again, we are paying for it ourselves with oil revenue. 
Our responses to these provocations have been muted and hapless because any forceful action on our part against nations like Saudi Arabia and Iran could result in the disruption of oil supplies that the world economy is utterly dependent upon.  
We cannot stand up to our enemies because we rely upon them for the fuel that is our economic lifeblood. We pay them for their oil and they make war on us. 
In light of these realities, U.S. energy policy for the last three decades has been a scandal. The time has come for change. To liberate ourselves from the threat of foreign economic domination, to destroy the economic power of the terrorists’ financiers, and to give ourselves the free hand necessary to deal forcefully with them, we must devalue their resources and increase the value of our own. We can do this by taking the world off the petroleum standard and putting it on an alcohol standard.


And we could make this happen with an Open Fuel Standard

The author of the excerpt above is Robert Zubrin, who wrote Energy Victory.

Why Do People Differ in Their Political Views? — Season 4, Episode 5 of the Adam Bomb Podcast


Click on a link below to listen on your favorite podcast platform:

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Adam is the author of the following books: 

How to Change the Way You Look at Things (in Plain English): https://amzn.to/3gdiQ33 
Antivirus For Your Mind: https://amzn.to/36nq9ka 
Principles For Personal Growth: https://amzn.to/3bRidbR 
Cultivating Fire: https://amzn.to/2WTiiYs 
Direct Your Mind: https://amzn.to/3gePh16 
Self-Help Stuff That Works: https://amzn.to/3bUwMvB 
Slotralogy: https://amzn.to/2zj8DBm 
Fill Your Tank With Freedom: https://amzn.to/2LPtnU7 
Self-Reliance, Translated: https://amzn.to/2TqW25V 
What Difference Does It Make: https://amzn.to/2LPWPt8 

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Relieve Anxiety by Fleeing into a Purpose — Season 1, Episode 11 of the Adam Bomb Podcast

As a human being, you need a compelling purpose. Otherwise you are prone to anxiety. In this episode I explore three different ways you can relieve anxiety by fleeing into a purpose.


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Putting E85 in a Gas-Only Car

We recently tried it in our car and succeeded. This is what happened:

We'd read the letter by John Kolak on using E85 in regular cars, and then we read Marc Rauch's response. Rauch describes his ongoing experiments with E85 in non-flex-fuel vehicles, and it was all positive. And we also read about Robert Zubrin's experiments with methanol and his discovery that non-flex fuel cars already have the components to be flex fuel cars.

But we were still skeptical and didn't want anything bad to happen to our beloved 2001 Prius, so we bought a conversion kit and installed it.

In order to fix an unrelated problem with our car, we took off the conversion kit (temporarily, we thought) but in the process, we broke one of the conversion kit's plugs. So we decided to gather up some courage and try E85 without a kit just to see what would happen. We were watching David Blume's video where he says he once mentioned on a national talk show that anyone could put E85 in their regular car, and immediately the petroleum industry made it mandatory for all gas stations to put stickers on their E85 pumps warning people not to put E85 into non-flex-fuel cars. Watch Blume's video here. Blume's reassurance that you can put E85 into any car (and that it's perfectly legal) was the final straw for us.

We decided to do it. We thought we'd try it in stages. So first we waited until our tank was pretty empty and put in one gallon of E85. By our calculations, that meant we were running on 33% alcohol. We figured if there was a problem, we had plenty of room in the tank to fill up with regular gasoline and dilute the ethanol enough to stop whatever problem it was causing. But we didn't have any problems. We couldn't even tell the difference. Our 2001 Prius was successfully burning E33! This was encouraging.

The next phase of our experiment was to let the tank empty out some more. Then we put in three gallons of E85. By our calculations that made it E70 (70% ethanol in the tank). We still had enough room to add four more gallons of regular gasoline if there was a problem, which would have brought it back down to about E30, and we already knew the car could handle that.

But again, there was no problem. We couldn't tell any difference. The car was running perfectly! We drove around quite a bit, using up most of the tank. Everything was going smoothly.

This was great. Then we embarked on a 500-mile trip and on our way out of town, we filled up with E85, which put us at probably E80 or so. While we were at the station, we looked carefully at the little warning sticker. It said we should check with the clerk before putting E85 in our car. So we went in to see what the clerk would say. He said the warning was on there because E85 can damage engines. "Where did you hear that?" we asked. "The tow truck guy told me," he said, "apparently it burns too hot or something."

We straightened him out. Alcohol burns cooler than gasoline.

Anyway, with our tank full of E85, we drove up over the Cascade Mountains (in Washington State). No problems. The only thing that seemed different is that the car had a little more power than we were used to. This is not surprising. They use ethanol in the Indianapolis 500 because it is safer but also because it can give a car more horsepower (it's a higher-octane fuel).

Other than that, we couldn't tell any difference. So our non-flex-fuel Prius went up a long grade to a high elevation burning E80 with no problems. This was incredible. We were so happy. John Kolak and Marc Rauch and David Blume were right!

After about 90 miles, we stopped at a rest area and when we got back on the road, the engine light came on.

Uh oh.

But we already knew this was a possibility. Rauch said he has put straight E85 into many cars and in some of them, the engine light came on. Our car kept running fine. There wasn't really a problem. But the O2 sensor was detecting fewer emissions than expected, and the car's computer thought something must be wrong.

Rauch said he took his car into a shop and had them check why the engine light was on (without telling them he was burning E85). They told him his O2 sensor was broken. He said thanks, drove away, filled up on straight gasoline and after awhile, the engine light went off. He took the car to the shop again, told them the engine light was coming on intermittently and had them check it out. Nothing was wrong now. The sensor had healed! Not really. It was never broken in the first place.

So we decided on our trip to drive the Prius for awhile with the engine light on. The car ran perfectly. When it was time to fill up, we put in one gallon of regular gasoline to see if that would make the light go off. Apparently that wasn't enough. So we filled up on regular gasoline. Still the light stayed on. We thought we were going to have to take it to the shop to get it reset or something.

But before we headed for home, the light went off and has been off since!

Now we think we'll just burn E85 all the time and let the engine light shine like a badge of courage. We took a risk and discovered we can immediately stop sending our fuel dollars to OPEC and we can give it instead to American farmers and American workers where it can do some good for our economy and our air quality (ethanol produces fewer emissions that cause health problems).

Maybe once in awhile when we get nervous about it, we will fill the tank with gasoline just to see the engine light go off again. But then again, maybe not. It feels too good to fill our tank with freedom.

Adam Khan is the co-author with Klassy Evans of Fill Your Tank With Freedom and the author of Slotralogy and Self-Reliance, Translated. Follow his podcast, The Adam Bomb.

Why Evolution Created Republicans and Democrats — Season 4, Episode 4 of the Adam Bomb Podcast


Click on a link below to listen on your favorite podcast platform:

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/7MZumBdru2gbm2HiGRgtHe
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Anchor: https://anchor.fm/the-adam-bomb
Overcast: https://overcast.fm/itunes1481990586/the-adam-bomb

Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/the-adam-bomb/support

Adam is the author of the following books: 

How to Change the Way You Look at Things (in Plain English): https://amzn.to/3gdiQ33 
Antivirus For Your Mind: https://amzn.to/36nq9ka 
Principles For Personal Growth: https://amzn.to/3bRidbR 
Cultivating Fire: https://amzn.to/2WTiiYs 
Direct Your Mind: https://amzn.to/3gePh16 
Self-Help Stuff That Works: https://amzn.to/3bUwMvB 
Slotralogy: https://amzn.to/2zj8DBm 
Fill Your Tank With Freedom: https://amzn.to/2LPtnU7 
Self-Reliance, Translated: https://amzn.to/2TqW25V 
What Difference Does It Make: https://amzn.to/2LPWPt8 

Follow Adam Li Khan here: https://www.adamlikhan.com/

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Direct Your Mind: What Abilities Do I Have? What Am I Good At?

The best way to direct your mind is with a good question. Ask yourself a question and ask it again and again. Make up your own question or use one of the questions here. And one very good question to ponder is, “What am I good at?”

Recalling your own abilities helps nurture and strengthen those abilities (making you more capable of getting things done) and it also makes you feel better about yourself to remember what you’re good at. Try it right now and you’ll feel noticeably better almost immediately. Technically, you may “already know” your strengths. But if you took five minutes and thought up four of your greatest strengths right now, you would feel noticeably better. You’d feel stronger and more capable, and those are useful feelings to experience.

You have strengths you take for granted. But if you suddenly didn’t have one of your strengths, you would sorely miss it. Recognize that simple fact, and appreciate what you have by asking this question: What abilities do I have? Ponder it. Write down your answers. Make a list, and as you think of more, keep adding to the list.

If you think about this in your head, your thoughts will tend to drift toward your weaknesses and the mistakes you’ve made because of your brain’s automatic negative bias (read more about that in the book, Antivirus for the Mind). To help you focus on the question, use paper and pen and set a target: Either set a timer or aim for coming up with a definite number of answers.

In other words, set a timer for say, twenty minutes, and keep coming up with answers until the timer goes off. Or write at the top of a piece of paper: Ten things I’m good at. Then don’t stop until you write down ten. Forcing yourself in this way squeezes out good answers you might not otherwise come up with.

Do this exercise and you will feel better. That kind of positive emotion is good for your health. Not only will it make you feel better, but it helps you realize what you are especially good at, and it will encourage you to do more of it.

Brian Tracy, Alan Laiken and many other experts on accomplishment have pointed out that if you are not very good at accounting but you’re great at selling, you’ll make more money and have more fun in the long run if you spend the money to pay an accountant so you can spend more time selling. Find out what your abilities are and you’ll find it easier to focus on what you’re good at.

It may not be a good idea to brag to others about your special qualities, but it is very good for you to acknowledge your abilities to yourself. False internal humility in the privacy of your own mind is really a form of lying to yourself, and self-deception of this kind is not good for you.

Ask yourself the questions, “What abilities do I have?” and “What am I good at?” Becoming more aware of your abilities makes you saner, healthier, and stronger. You’ll feel better and get more done.

You can find out your “signature strengths” by taking the VIA Signature Strengths Questionnaire. A signature strength is a character trait or virtue that you habitually display and enjoy expressing.

Adam Khan is the author of Principles For Personal Growth, Slotralogy, Antivirus For Your Mind, and co-author with Klassy Evans of How to Change the Way You Look at Things (in Plain English). Follow his podcast, The Adam Bomb.

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The Pleasures of Partisanship







The above is quoted from an article entitled, Partisan Division, The Founders, and Moral Philosophy.

Feel free to post or distribute the memes above to help us all rise out of our partisan feelings for a moment and just be human.

Your Built-in Antidote for Anxiety and Stress - Season 1, Episode 13 of the Adam Bomb Podcast

We all know about the fight-or-flight response, but many of us are not aware of the built-in, natural recovery response, or how to activate it. But you are about to find out.

Listen to The Adam Bomb podcast here:

The Righteous Mind: Why We Are Politically Divided - Season 1, Episode 14 of the Adam Bomb Podcast

Why can't liberals and conservatives get along? Has something changed? Can something be done about it? Jonathan Haidt's book, "The Righteous Mind," provides the best answers I think we'll find. I discuss the book in this podcast.

Listen to The Adam Bomb podcast here:

How to Enjoy Talking Politics - Season 1, Episode 15 of the Adam Bomb Podcast

When you're talking to someone who is of a different political persuasion than you are, it can sometimes be uncomfortable and unpleasant, but it doesn't have to be. I explain on this podcast how you can make those conversations fun and enjoyable, and also how to become less upset by social media posts and comments from the other side of the aisle.

Listen to The Adam Bomb podcast here:

The Ultimate Answer to Boredom - Season 1, Episode 16 of the Adam Bomb Podcast

The answer to boredom was found by a psychiatrist locked away in concentration camps during World War II. He left behind his wisdom for all of us. Curing boredom turns out to be something profound.

Listen to The Adam Bomb podcast here:

Are Conspiracy Theories Dangerous or Necessary? Are They Important? - Season 1, Episode 17 of the Adam Bomb Podcast

Why are conspiracy theories so common? What do people get out of them? In this podcast, I explore some of the research about conspiracy theories and the people who believe in them.

Listen to The Adam Bomb podcast here:

Adam Khan and Ben Wagner Talk About Conspiracy Theories - Season 1, Episode 18 of the Adam Bomb Podcast

A father and son discuss their differences of opinion about conspiracy theories. Are conspiracy theories important? Are they ridiculous? Can they be simply dismissed? Do their presence have an influence on a functioning democracy?

Listen to The Adam Bomb podcast here:

What is a Legitimate News Source? - Season 1, Episode 19 of the Adam Bomb Podcast

Adam Li Khan and Ben Wagner discuss whether or not conspiracy theories can be considered a legitimate news source, and questions about mainstream news sources and their reliability. This is an excerpt from a longer podcast.

Listen to The Adam Bomb podcast here:

Covid-19 Conspiracy Theories - Season 1, Episode 20 of the Adam Bomb Podcast

This is an excerpt from a longer podcast, recorded 12 April 2020. In this segment, we talked about theories about the pharmaceutical industry, and whether Bill Gates' commitment to vaccinations is suspicious or just practical.

Listen to The Adam Bomb podcast here:

Zeitgeist's Criticism of Our Monetary System - Season 1, Episode 21 of the Adam Bomb Podcast

This is an excerpt from a longer podcast, originally published 12 April 2020. Ben Wagner and Adam Li Khan talk about the movie, Zeitgeist, and its view of the current financial system of the world, and its sustainability.

Listen to The Adam Bomb podcast here:

Conspiracy Theories and the People Who Believe Them - Season 1, Episode 22 of the Adam Bomb Podcast

This is a summary of what I thought were the best parts of the book, Conspiracy Theories and the People Who Believe Them, plus a few extra comments from me. The book is a collection of chapters written by 31 different authors, all of whom are experts on conspiracy theories, but in different fields, including political scientists, psychologists, sociologists, and historians. Although most of the chapters are written like scientific papers (academic language and lots of citations), the book is fascinating.

Listen to The Adam Bomb podcast here:

Is It Possible to Cure Someone of Conspiracy Thinking? - Season 1, Episode 23 of the Adam Bomb Podcast

This is basically about a scientific paper on how to correct misinformation, written by five researchers. The scientists look at the studies available on what is actually effective when correcting misinformation, and how to prevent the backfire effect (when your efforts to change someone's mind makes them even more firmly convinced they were right to begin with).

Listen to The Adam Bomb podcast here:

The Differences Between the Sexes Have Real Consequences — Season 4, Episode 3 of the Adam Bomb Podcast


Click on a link below to listen on your favorite podcast platform:

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/7MZumBdru2gbm2HiGRgtHe
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLxSH7k2tyfK7wSmkg91pE2PZ7iLwl2wV9
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Breaker: https://www.breaker.audio/the-adam-bomb
Anchor: https://anchor.fm/the-adam-bomb
Overcast: https://overcast.fm/itunes1481990586/the-adam-bomb

Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/the-adam-bomb/support

Adam is the author of the following books: 

How to Change the Way You Look at Things (in Plain English): https://amzn.to/3gdiQ33 
Antivirus For Your Mind: https://amzn.to/36nq9ka 
Principles For Personal Growth: https://amzn.to/3bRidbR 
Cultivating Fire: https://amzn.to/2WTiiYs 
Direct Your Mind: https://amzn.to/3gePh16 
Self-Help Stuff That Works: https://amzn.to/3bUwMvB 
Slotralogy: https://amzn.to/2zj8DBm 
Fill Your Tank With Freedom: https://amzn.to/2LPtnU7 
Self-Reliance, Translated: https://amzn.to/2TqW25V 
What Difference Does It Make: https://amzn.to/2LPWPt8 

Follow Adam Li Khan here: https://www.adamlikhan.com/

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Direct Your Mind: What Is One Healthy Thing I Could Do Today To Feel Better?

You have control over your mood to a degree you might find surprising. Anything from taking a nap to having a snack to writing down what you’re grateful for can make you feel better in a very short time.

Some people are hesitant to improve their mood. People have told me before, “that’s just the way I feel right now,” and imply that if they were to try to change their mood it would be dishonest. Hogwash. They clearly haven’t thought that one through. Your mood changes like the weather. You are not your moods any more than you are the water that moves through your body.

It would be similar to saying, “My body just stinks. That’s the way I smell right now,” and that is your reason for not showering. As if showering would be dishonest. It’s just stupid. If you don’t want to put out any effort to feel better just because it feels better, then think about doing it for your better health. Or do it because it will improve the moods of those around you. Or because it makes you more effective in dealing with people. Or because it will improve your ability to solve problems. There are many good reasons to improve your mood and no good reason to continue in a bad mood when you can easily change it.

One man told me it bothered him that when he was at work and he was in a bad mood, his co-workers didn’t like it. “I feel like I’m obligated to pretend to feel good when I don’t.”

“What makes you think you’re obligated,” I asked.

“I don’t know,” he sighed, “they try to cheer me up, or they give me a bad time about being grumpy, or they get short-tempered with me like they’re mad at me for not feeling good.”

“That’s interesting,” I said. “I remember reading a study on charisma. They had three people in a room just sit there. One of them was naturally charismatic, and the other two were not. They were told to just sit there and not say anything for a little while. At the end of that short time, without saying a word, the moods of the two less-charismatic people had moved toward the mood of the charismatic person.”

He looked puzzled.

“In other words,” I explained, “They tested the moods of all three before and after sitting in the room together. Let’s say the charismatic person was feeling irritable beforehand. Maybe one of the other people was feeling cheerful. After sitting in the room, the cheerful (but uncharismatic) person was more irritable.

“All I’m saying is that moods are contagious, and that is especially so when someone is charismatic, like yourself. So probably when you’re in a bad mood, it starts ruining the moods of the people around you and they are resisting that.”

“What, so I’m responsible for their moods now?” He didn’t seem too happy about this.

“There is some good and bad to just about anything. When you’re charismatic, it’s great because you make friends easily, people are attracted to you, you’re more persuasive, you have more influence on others, and so on. On the other hand, people pay more attention to your moods and that may seem like a burden, but it is nothing more than being in a position of leadership. Charisma is a power. And like the uncle in Spiderman said, ‘With great power comes great responsibility.’”

He laughed but he got the point too. And I hope you do too.

Whatever the cause of your mood, it is almost always true that you can do something about it. If you feel stressed, you can meditate or do some aerobic exercise. If you feel like you have no energy you could have a cup of coffee or go for a walk or take a nap. If you feel angry, you could use the antivirus for the mind or write in a diary or talk to a friend. If you feel lonely, you could reach out and communicate with someone or read a good book on relationships.

Ask yourself how you can improve your mood at the moment, and keep asking until you come up with some good answers, and then pick one and do it.

When you want to improve your mood, simply ask the question: What’s one healthy thing I could do today to feel better? 

Adam Khan is the author of Principles For Personal Growth, Slotralogy, Antivirus For Your Mind, and co-author with Klassy Evans of How to Change the Way You Look at Things (in Plain English). Follow his podcast, The Adam Bomb.

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Finding Common Ground During Election Season

Presidential elections are coming up. If that means uncomfortable conversations, or strife between you and family members or people you work with, or even just frustration at how members of the "opposing party" could possibly be so stupid, I've been doing something I'd like to share with you that creates a feeling of common ground rather than division.

It comes from an article in Scientific American Mind on the differences between liberals and conservatives, mostly about research by Jonathan Haidt, the author of The Righteous Mind. It seems counterintuitive that delving into the differences between liberals and conservatives would bring people together, but that's exactly what happens.

Several times now, when I've gotten into conversations with people about politics and the conversation started feeling divisive, I brought up some of Haidt's findings, and it shifted the conversation because his discoveries point to an important fact: Conservatives and liberals have a lot of common ground, and often share values. The priority of those values may be different, but they often both recognize that those values are important.

For example, in one study, when they showed people collages of photographs, conservatives' eyes spent more time looking at the more disturbing or unpleasant images in the collage. Many studies have demonstrated, in one way or another, that conservatives are more alert to threats, but that doesn't mean liberals are necessarily cavalier about safety and security. They may differ on their thresholds — differ on how bad it has to be before they are alarmed enough to do something about it — but they still care about it.

Conservatives are more anxious than liberals, generally speaking. That's one of the reasons they resist change. They want things to stay stable because change can be scary, and sometimes things change for the worse, not the better. Again, this is a sliding scale, not a black-and-white (or should I say "blue-and-red") division. Liberals also feel anxiety, just not as strongly as conservatives. And the feeling of safety versus anxiety is not fixed in any given person. In the SciAmMind article, the author writes:

When people feel safe and secure, they become more liberal; when they feel threatened, they become more conservative. Research conducted by Nail and his colleague in the weeks after September 11, 2001, showed that people of all political persuasions became more conservative in the wake of the terrorist attacks.


Haidt's work suggests that we all share six basic, inborn moral values, which are then influenced by culture and experience. The six values are:

1. Care for others.
2. Fairness and justice.
3. Liberty and freedom from oppression.
4. Loyalty and freedom from betrayal.
5. Respect for legitimate authority.
6. Aversion to harmful, disgusting things, foods, or actions.

Liberals tend to care more about some of these and less about others. Conservatives are just the opposite. What I think you'll find when you look at the studies is that the point of view of both right and left are necessary, rather than one being right and one being wrong, and that is an insight that can help bring us together.

So that's my recommendation for improving your mood during election season. When the conversation starts to feel divisive — even if you're talking to someone you agree with, but it starts feeling like "us versus them" — bring up some of this research. Just say something like, "I was reading an interesting article," and share some of the research findings. I think you'll find it improves your mood and the person's mood you're talking to. Maybe we can build more bridges between us this way.

Read the Scientific American Mind article here: Unconscious Reactions Separate Liberals and Conservatives.

Explore your own morals here: Test Your Morals.

Watch a TEDtalk with Jonathan Haidt: The Moral Roots of Liberals and Conservatives.

And here's another video, this one of Bill Moyers talking with Haidt: How Do Conservatives and Liberals See the World?

Adam Khan is the author of Principles For Personal Growth, Slotralogy, Antivirus For Your Mind, and co-author with Klassy Evans of How to Change the Way You Look at Things (in Plain English). Follow his podcast, The Adam Bomb.

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Masculinity Has Been Neutered — Here's How it Happened - Season 4, Episode 2 of the Adam Bomb Podcast


Read an article about this here. Click on a link below to listen on your favorite podcast platform:

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/7MZumBdru2gbm2HiGRgtHe
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Adam is the author of the following books: 

How to Change the Way You Look at Things (in Plain English): https://amzn.to/3gdiQ33 
Antivirus For Your Mind: https://amzn.to/36nq9ka 
Principles For Personal Growth: https://amzn.to/3bRidbR 
Cultivating Fire: https://amzn.to/2WTiiYs 
Direct Your Mind: https://amzn.to/3gePh16 
Self-Help Stuff That Works: https://amzn.to/3bUwMvB 
Slotralogy: https://amzn.to/2zj8DBm 
Fill Your Tank With Freedom: https://amzn.to/2LPtnU7 
Self-Reliance, Translated: https://amzn.to/2TqW25V 
What Difference Does It Make: https://amzn.to/2LPWPt8 

Follow Adam Li Khan here: https://www.adamlikhan.com/

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Somebody Has to Be First

We watched "42" today — the movie about Jackie Robinson, the first African American baseball player in the major leagues. It was a great movie. The reason Robinson is remembered with so much respect today is not just because he was an extraordinarily talented ball player, and not just because he was first, but because he took all the hostility and discrimination the world could throw at him and he didn't fight back with hostility or discrimination. He fought back by being gracious and gentlemanly in the face of intense racism (and by being an outstanding athlete).

I see great posts on the Fuel Freedom Facebook page, but often they get hostile responses. The same thing happens on the Open Fuel Standard web site and Facebook page. The hostility is mild compared to what Robinson had to endure, but it still it sometimes discourages me. I somehow keep foolishly expecting it to be easy. I keep expecting people to instantly recognize the beauty and practicality of fuel competition and rally to the cause. But it doesn't usually happen that way.

When you talk to people about fuel competition, what do you get back? I'll bet sometimes you get hostility. People will tell you that ethanol will cause food shortages, methanol is poisonous, or that we need to solve the oil monopoly by drilling even more oil, and so on. And many more people have this point of view than those who understand the foolishness of maintaining a monopoly for the most vital commodity on earth (transportation fuel).

The Australian oil man, John Masters, said, "You have to recognize that every 'out front' maneuver is going to be lonely. But if you feel entirely comfortable, then you’re not far enough ahead to do any good. That warm sense of everything going well is usually the body temperature at the center of the herd."

When you run up against resistance, when it seems everyone is ignorant and you feel alone in your understanding about the promise and potential of breaking oil's monopoly in America, please recognize that you are simply out front — far enough ahead to do some good — and press on.

Many people were against African Americans playing in the major leagues. But now that seems backward and pathetic. Many people (and powerful monied interests) were against women getting the vote in America. But now that also seems backward and pathetic. And some day people will remember back when almost all our cars were built to run on only one fuel and it will also seem backward and pathetic. People will look back and wonder what we were thinking. Why would we ever do something so self-defeating?

Let us commit ourselves to making that great day come as soon as possible. 

Adam Khan is the co-author with Klassy Evans of Fill Your Tank With Freedom and the author of Slotralogy and Self-Reliance, Translated. Follow his podcast, The Adam Bomb.

Oil's Monopoly of Transportation Fuel Promotes Terrorism

Saudi oil money was used to fund the Boston mosque the two Boston bombers attended, according to this article in USA Today. It cost more than 15 million dollars to found the mosque. Over half of it came from Saudi sources, which gives them influence over what agenda is promoted in the mosque.

Saudi Wahhabis have used their oil money, which they are illegally obtaining by price-fixing, to fund over 90 percent of all Islamic institutions worldwide, promoting their fundamentalist, intolerant, and violent agenda around the world, including mosques all over the U.S.

The high price of oil is a direct result of Saudi Arabia's influence on OPEC, which is exploiting the fact that the United States is a one-fuel economy, which is held in place by automakers, who have so far been reluctant to make their cars capable of allowing fuel competition, something they could do easily and inexpensively.

The Open Fuel Standard would change that, and change the world.

How Oil Prices Influence Employment

There is an insidious side effect of rising gasoline prices. As people spend more money on gas, they spend less money on other things, and that causes the loss of jobs.

“Since consumer spending is the main driver of the U.S. economy,” says Mark Cooper, Research Director of the Consumer Federation of America, “when speculators, oil companies and OPEC rob consumers of that much spending power, the inevitable result is a dramatic reduction of economic activity and employment.”

In Cooper’s study of the effect of oil prices on jobs, he discovered that every time oil prices have spiked since World War II, we’ve had a recession in America. In his study, he showed that because oil was about $30 a barrel higher than “costs or historic trends justify,” gas prices rose by a dollar a gallon in one year (from the summer of 2010 to the summer of 2011), which drained about 200 billion dollars from the economy. This is about two percent of consumer spending. That doesn’t seem like much, but two percent less spending (200 billion dollars) created the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs.

Another way to look at it is that because most of our cars are not warranted to burn anything but gasoline, we imported about $500 billion dollars per year of oil, sending that money out of the country. That would have paid five million workers $100,000 a year! But the money leaving our country just leaves — doing nothing for us. If the same money was paid to workers here, it would have a huge ripple effect in our economy because that money would then be used to buy other goods and services in America.

- Excerpted from the book, Fill Your Tank With Freedom.

The Game Changers Documentary Has Some Important Flaws - Season 1, Episode 24 of the Adam Bomb Podcast

This is a conversation between Adam Li Khan and Ben Wagner talking about the documentary, The Game Changers, a very well-made movie that tries to convince the viewer that a vegetarian diet is far superior than eating meat. But some of what they said in the movie was misleading.

Listen to The Adam Bomb podcast here: