How to Notice, Shift, and Rewire Your Brain

A simple mindfulness strategy for mastering the habit of becoming more present to each moment and, as a result, experiencing greater focus, productivity, and life satisfaction.

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Hello. I’m Nate Klemp and at age twenty-seven, I had my life turned upside down.

In the final year of my PhD program at Princeton, one warm September afternoon, my wife and I were riding our bikes side by side, lost in conversation. We didn’t notice as we veered toward each other—until our handlebars locked together at full speed.

CRACK. I heard the spokes in my front wheel shatter as my handlebars twisted uncontrollably. I launched forward head first onto the gravel path.

Five seconds later I lay on the ground, staring up at the blue sky, my head, neck, and jaw throbbing, my wife leaning over me.

One month later I began to feel the full effects of the injuries to my head, neck, and jaw. The Princeton campus began to feel like a ship traversing rough seas. My world started spinning. My ears rang. Something wasn’t right.

Four months later my mental and physical condition had gone from bad to worse. Before the accident, I was a happily married, fit, razor-sharp graduate student at Princeton. Now the physical and mental aftershocks of my accident left me struggling to perform even the most mundane tasks. Picking up groceries felt…