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Aug 23, 2021

The emergency mind is cool under pressure. But how do you get there? For most us, it’s not an innate skill. Dan Dworkis MD, PhD lays out the path: graduated pressure, deliberate training, tired moves, and acknowledging the suboptimal.

Guest Bio: Dan Dworkis MD, PhD is an emergency physician who is a clinical professor of emergency medicine at USC Keck School of Medicine. He's also host of the Emergency Mind podcast that focuses on helping individuals and teams perform better under pressure and the author of The Emergency Mind: Wiring Your Brain for Performance Under Pressure


We discuss:

  • Deploying psychological countermeasures when you’re under stress and dealing with uncertainty [05:40];
  • Whether the approach to managing pressure is universal for all stressful situations [11:15];
  • Different modes of thought: system 1, system 2, and the recognition-primed decision-making model [15:50];
  • The deliberate path to becoming an expert (beyond just repetition) [20:00];
  • The value of training with an idea of graduated pressure [21:45];
  • What it means to borrow pressure from other events to succeed in something that's unrelated [25:50];
  • The Yerkes–Dodson law [28:45];
  • Why sangfroid is a good thing and how you do it [35:20];
  • The path to excellence which goes far beyond mastery of a specific skill [38:30];
  • How acknowledging the suboptimal nature of a situation when something goes wrong can help you “regroup, recover, and evolve out of any crisis” [41:50];
  • What does it mean to train your “tired moves” [42:55];
  • Dan’s challenge for the Stimulus audience [52:44];
  • And more.


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