Hacker and Neuroscientist Moran Cerf on Impact Theory

From robbing banks to earning a PhD in neuroscience, former hacker Moran Cerf has unique perspective on what makes people tick. In this episode of Impact Theory with Tom Bilyeu, Moran explains the brain science of how self-narrative determines our reality.

Moran is a fascinating blend of a wide variety of disciplines, and this diversity has led him to explore some promising, albeit nontraditional ways of investigating the brain, namely cracking open the skull and peering inside whilst the person is still living. His discoveries have made him a much sought after speaker and leading thinker who’s influencing academia and business in equal measure. His innovative theories about the brain have been published in Nature, the highest-ranking journal in the world, and he consults regularly for hit shows such as Mr. Robot and Limitless.

His education is a wondrous grab bag of joy and includes a PhD in neuroscience from Caltech and both an MA in philosophy and a BSc in physics from Tel Aviv University. He’s a visiting faculty member at MIT’s Media Lab, and was named one of the 40 leading professors under 40.


  • [2:35] Moran recalls the four times that he physically robbed a bank.
  • [7:40] Moran discusses why we don’t actually make our own decisions.
  • [12:17] Tom and Moran talk about the multiple puppeteers in our brains.
  • [16:07] Moran expounds on how to move past the point of giving up.
  • [20:48] Moran admits how making a big mistake changed his life.
  • [26:56] Tom and Moran talk about how you can rewrite your past.
  • [31:31] Moran describes how you can get more motivation.
  • [35:48] Moran shares how you can literally change overnight.
  • [42:10] Tom and Moran talk about how to use self-deception as a tool to push forward.


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