Reboot Podcast Episode #75 – A Pattern of Habits – with Judson Brewer

The Reboot podcast showcases the heart and soul, the wins and losses, the ups and downs of startup leadership. On the show, Entrepreneurs, CEO’s, and Startup Leaders discuss with Jerry Colonna the emotional and psychological challenges they face daily as leaders.

Episode 75 // January 13, 2018


Judson Brewer MD PhD

Judson Brewer MD PhD

Chief of the Division of Mindfulness, Director of Research at the Center for Mindfulness, associate professor in medicine and psychiatry at UMass Medical School

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Episode Description

Judson Brewer, Director of Research at the University of Massachusetts Medical School Center for Mindfulness, is a revolutionary thought leader in the field of habit change and the “science of self-mastery.” With over twenty years of research experience, Judson has pioneered the use of mindfulness for tackling addictions – mental or substance-driven.

In his recent book, The Craving Mind, Judson explores how his own meditation practice, in conjunction with his clinical and research experience, has helped him glean new insights into the inner workings of the human mind. Jud explains that evolutionarily we are driven and attracted to the things that nourish us and avoid those that cause us pain. And how ultimately, our learned behaviors begin to shape our sense of identity.

In this discussion, Jud and Jerry ponder identity, how beliefs about our character might shape the way we show up to meet the world, and the ways in which our perceived identities restrict and confine our sense of self.

Judson Brewer on Twitter | UMass Center for Mindfulness | The Craving Mind 

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Show Highlights

Top Quotes:

“We remember where danger is so we can avoid it in the future.” – Judson Brewer

“I’m gonna move toward something that feeds me and I’m gonna move away from something that threatens me.” – Jerry Colonna

“Just like the sea slug moves away from something that is threatening and toward something that feels good, we’re doing the same thing.” – Jerry Colonna

“We crave for something, we hold onto it, and then we become identified with it. So they describe this as the birth of a self-identity around a certain behavior.” – Judson Brewer

“Identity becomes reified every time we repeat that process…we become biased because we’re seeing the world through the way we’ve seen the world in our previous behavior.” – Judson Brewer

“I move away from something that is threatening, or something that is unpleasant. I move toward something that is pleasant being defined as reward.” – Jerry Colonna

“Rather than defining myself independent of my actions, I become associated with those actions and therefore associated with all the behaviors of those actions.” – Jerry Colonna

“The first hint of egotism is the beginning of all troubles.” – Judson Brewer

“I often identify with a character I call the Hulk. Who lives inside of me, to defend against the feeling that you provoke in that instant.” – Jerry Colonna

“Fear causes us to contract, contract down into the smallest ball possible, and to protect our vital organs.” – Judson Brewer

“That “I’m broken” identification is nothing but a pattern of habits that gets set up and reinforced every time we think, I’m broken, oh no. That actually gets reinforced.” – Judson Brewer

“I find that even bringing my own attention to the fact that I see that I’m broken as a pattern can if I’m not careful, create another pattern of, look at how broken I am. I see the fact that I’m broken and I get trapped in that loop.” – Jerry Colonna

“I exist outside of these habits of mind.” – Jerry Colonna

“I think, therefore I am identified.” – Judson Brewer

“I am addicted to anxiety and so my capacity to move quickly towards anxiety management strategies can, in fact, fuel my externalized successes.” – Jerry Colonna

“When I try to hack and I actually don’t really understand the system, I may in fact inadvertently reinforce the loops.” – Jerry Colonna

“If you don’t understand the behavioral mechanisms, how the heck are you gonna work with them? You might actually be feeding them.” – Judson Brewer