MENTAL STRENGTH (Part I): A New Journey

Andrew Bustamante | June 17, 2019

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Greetings Everyday Spy,

CIA training starts with the mind. Your EverydaySpy training is the same.

There is no reason to invest in a spy’s physical abilities if their mind is weak. The elite skills that you will learn as an EverydaySpy can only be mastered by those with a strong cognitive foundation. For that reason, my reports to you will center on mental skills first.

This week, my family and I embark on our newest international journey and our first family experience in the Middle East.

As I write this, the average daily temperature in UAE is 120°F (49°C), US and Iranian tensions are at an all-time high, and civil wars are raging in Syria and Yemen.

Many of our friends and family are worried for us. They wonder why we would go someplace so far away at such a scary time.

They don’t understand our mental training.

The human mind can be trained to reduce anxiety, overcome doubt, quiet fear and become powerfully disciplined. It just needs exercise.

I have filled my share of blue, black, and red passports. I have traveled in my own name, alias names, and even foreign names. But my favorite thing about international travel is not the exotic destinations or authentic foods you enjoy after you arrive. It’s the mental exercise you get during the journey.

International travel can feel complex, difficult, and scary.

The United States has many geographic advantages; we only border two foreign nations, we have massive coastlines facing east and west, and we enjoy 5 of 12 global climate zones domestically. With so much comfort, diversity, and security here at home, it is not surprising that 70% of Americans never travel abroad.

Travel is cultural. No nation comes close to matching the Finns when it comes to foreign travel. While we may see a lot of Chinese, British, and Australian tourists in the US, Nordic countries have long topped the list of active travelers. Where the average American travels 3.5 times per year within the US, Nordic cultures more than double that in travel abroad.

Less than 40% of Americans hold a valid US Passport. And less than 25% of US passport holders use their passport to travel further than Canada or Mexico.

If you’ve traveled overseas, you know just how rare it is to cross paths with a fellow American on foreign soil. You can’t go more than a few steps without running into a Canadian or Brit, but you can go weeks without hearing an American accent abroad.

But why?

The US Federal Government and international business organizations have poured millions of dollars into answering that question. And results might surprise you…

26% of Americans have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder – the highest rate of any country in the world.

And the number is growing. Book sales related to anxiety disorders increased 25% in 2017, along with meditation, self-improvement and other mental health products. Anxiety and depression drive a $201 billion mental health industry in the US.

When faced with the complexity, difficulty, and fear of foreign travel, Americans simply choose to stay home. And as a result, they miss the most valuable experience about foreign travel.

They miss the mental exercise that comes during the journey.

Anxiety is a natural human condition, common to all people, and 100% trainable.

Unfortunately, modern medicine has chosen to medicate rather than train the mind. 8% of all drugs prescribed in 2018 were sold to treat anxiety and depression. That is a 67% increase since 1996. Known as ‘benzos’ (short for benzodiazepines), these medications have become commonplace in our society.

Elite operators work under the most stressful conditions imaginable. And they deal with anxiety, fear, and uncertainty without using medications. The use their training.

Anxiety is largely controlled by the amygdala – a small mass of grey matter in the center of your brain. The amygdala is the emotional center of your brain. Information from your 5 senses go through a large neural network and ultimately filter through your amygdala.

The amygdala controls your fear, anxiety, depression, and every other emotion you have.

Meds dampen the neural signals going to your amygdala. That means they are inhibiting your brain from doing what it was designed to do. Like wearing weights on your arms and your feet when you go grocery shopping, everything is slower when you drug your mind.

When you strengthen your amygdala, you take control of your emotions; you decrease your susceptibility to anxiety and improve the performance of other cognitive functions.

There are many ways to build up your amygdala. To make your brain function faster and more efficiently than those around you.

I am going to share these methods with you and teach you how to apply them in your everyday life. Welcome to the MENTAL STRENGTH series!

I never imagined I would take my young children into the hottest climate in the world. I never through my business would attract international interest in its first year. But now that the adventure is knocking on my door, I have two options…

  1. Be fearful and stay at home
  2. Trust my training to combat my anxiety and take me on the journey of a lifetime

Stay tuned for my next report on how to train your brain for mental strength!

There is an exciting world waiting for you; a new journey that will take you places you’ve never known you always wanted to explore.

Join me and see what we explore together.

Godspeed, #EverydaySpy

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