Gregory Russell Benedikt

How Doing Hard Things Can Increase Your Lifespan

Published 3 months ago • 2 min read

Hi Reader,

Welcome back to Renaissance.

Your one-stop shop to learn new things and (maybe) laugh a little.

This week's volume has the potential to lengthen your life.

So let's not dilly-dally.

Let's get into it.

What I'm learning about 🧠

Another compelling reason to do hard things.

If you know anything about me, you know I enjoy seeking discomfort.

Not because I'm a whip-yielding masochist, but because I love a good challenge.

There's nothing better than proving your inner critic wrong.

Last week I heard Andrew Huberman talk about a fascinating region of the brain.

It's called the anterior midcingulate cortex.

Since it's the Monday after Thanksgiving and your brain still feels like a baked potato, we will call it the AMCC.

The AMCC plays a big part in whether you achieve your goals and dreams.

It is constantly performing a cost/benefit analysis and deciding whether you should do the hard thing or give up and eat a cookie.

In science-speak, it performs computations necessary for tenacity.

Here are a couple of important facts about your AMCC.

First, bigger is better.

People who have larger AMCCs tend to live longer.

"Super-agers" are people in their 80s and 90s who retain the wit and sharpness of their middle-aged selves.

They nearly always have large AMCCs and it's believed that the AMCC is related to your "will to live."

Second, you can influence the size of your AMCC through your actions.

The AMCC grows when you use willpower to do hard things.

On the flip side, it shrinks if you consistently choose comfort.

The key is to seek out activities that you don't love to do.

If you love running, going for a 5-miler wouldn't affect your AMCC.

But if you loathe exercise and still lace up those sneakers...


This new knowledge has me looking at discomfort in a whole new light.

Doing hard things = living a longer life.

If that's not a compelling reason to seek discomfort, I don't know what is.

This week, do at least one hard thing you'd rather not.

Your brain will thank you.

See you in the ice bath!

What I'm listening to 🎧

Andrew Huberman on the Modern Wisdom Podcast.

Learn more about the AMCC and listen to one of the best conversations I've heard in a while.

Science + Humor = A happy Gregory

Quote of the week 📜

"The secret to waking up is to wake up way earlier than you have to. When you have 1-2 hours where you can just sit there calmly, drinking coffee, and not be rushed, you feel ten times better. Later on, you can work on being productive in the morning too, if you please."

- Simon Sarris

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Sent with love,

Gregory Russell Benedikt

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Gregory Russell Benedikt

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