We live in an era, which is just that our brains need! Whether you struggle to take simple decisions or end up taking complex decisions on an impulse, whether it is signing up for the wrong vocation or whether it is taking the wrong bus- you can simply put the blame on your seemingly innocent brain- seemingly, because, no matter what your IQ is when the brain decides to call the shots, even the best of minds can go haywire! Join me here we take a sneak peek into this space and try to unravel what perhaps is happening here! So here we go!
There are many wise books out there, written by eminent neuro-scientists, psychologists, medical professionals, psychiatrists, behavioural experts; more or less all of them agree to one simple truth that the human brain is one fascinating machine that can throw all your theories and scientific analysis out of the mind and present situations that one has never thought of! Sure enough, through the last 100 years, as technological advancements have made it possible to assess and experiment the working of the brain- it has simultaneously thrown up more new questions than answers that it has found! Perhaps that explains why more and more medical professionals have started to agree that they don’t have answers to all questions and there is a point where even the best of scientific enquiry will fail and falter!
We dwell in times where instant gratification has got hard wired into us. One primary reason for that is essentially how we have kept evolving as collective societies- some places this aspect has played out more than elsewhere. The reason why instant gratification is so empowering is that, your brain’s love for inertia begins to blossom! Whether it is that communication about a remedy for looking fit, a chocolate that you can binge without worrying about sugar, or that air purifier which promises air as clean as whatever, fruits, apartments, job offers too? well our brains are always seeking to optimize the energy balance of our physical bodies- that implies effort / benefit analysis! So wherever and whenever your brain is able to decipher a decent trade off over effort and benefit- you are tricked! So what’s it’s about eating away that chocolate in the dead of the night, or finishing off those finger crisps while no one is watching, it’s all the part of the game! yes, sure enough office delegation techniques- both upward and downward too are a factor of this albeit with the compounding effect of the ever diminishing intelligence! So what’s the deal here? (another gratification question, I must agree!)
Simply put, our brain’s ability to decipher accurately the effort/ benefit space is what makes us as a species so unique and successful, no doubt around that. The problems start when the brain begins to deploy this while being influenced by inaccurate/misleading/ half-baked content that it receives! This is perhaps what throws even our poor brain off-guard- for beyond a point analysis will give into intermittent analytical paralysis and which will eventually grow into chronic indifference and apathy and end up changing your brain- from being an active -active discerning tool into a passive-passive reactive tool! You’ve heard about that phrase right, “Listen to Act, not to react” well, something like that, but sadly with more long lasting and damaging consequences!
An easy way to guard our brain, from reaching such a seemingly painful and unwarranted stage is to begin to filter what comes it’s way- the old adage “The company you keep!” Well, it works , whether you like it or not, be surrounded by people who are inspiring, more driven to specific causes, pursuing thoughts and ideas those are empowering and aimed for the larger good, looking outwards and upwards through sunshine and storm- this one simple trick will bring in a refreshing change and begin to re-wire and correct the lethargy and inertia over time as these more meaningful impressions begin to over-ride the cobwebs of the less serving and closed loop instances of the bygone time! As with people so with everything else, your choice of residence, it’s upkeep, the hobbies that you pursue, the vocation you choose (importantly the people you choose to work alongside or work for or have them work for you!), the books you read, the information that you soak in- what you allow to assimilate and what is that you filter and delete immediately- all this matters- even as much of this happens in an ongoing manner subconsciously, once you try to apply a focussed and directed effort to fine tune with some effort the results can be far more rewarding and enriching!
More often than not, you will also see that when it’s a fatigued brain, your ability to discern on a topic or task at hand, will seem to sway more towards an emotional response rather then being a calibrated rational discernment which is more logic and facts driven! This is another fall out a tired brain as it tries to strive a balance between the effort/ benefit space, the only undoing being that it’s perhaps not in the best of it’s health to do so! Something similar to wanting to lead when you are not ready for it, or trying to hit the asphalt when you are kind of a little tipsy, if not all sloshed! A tired brain, is in a simple mode- “If this doesn’t kill me, whatever action follows I am good!” so whether it is that meaningless shopping, only to come back and find out you have the same dress back home, or eating to realise, you actually have to rush to the washroom- because you lost track on the amount you binged! or many other such instances, which are almost always followed up with statements like “I should have, could have or would have” acted, done things differently!”
The trick to ensure that the brain is all wired right and is able to discern (and not emote) on the effort/benefit space is to keep it nourished and alert- as you may have guessed it a lot of that depends on what you consume and what is consuming you! Whether it is the food, the ambience, the people, the books, the social fabric around you- as long as you are able to soak in that adds value and empowers you to create lasting value- you will find your brain is as alert as that of a baby and is ready to usher in an eternal bounty of creativity/art and scientific enquiry based on the fundamental trait of a healthy brain- Inquisitiveness! A healthy brain, is always seeking, learning, un-learning, re-learning, adapting, adopting and building on what is meaningful and beneficial on the basis of rational and pragmatic discernment rather than an impulsive emotional response! I am no way suggesting that emoting is of secondary importance, rather when your brain is nourished you will find a greater degree of alignment between your rational discernment and your emotional responses and that’s when you hear the statements like “I love this life as I get to follow my passion and be successful through that!”
I leave you with these thoughts here, urging you to nourish your brain, as you must so that when you have a geared up brain, the tricks that it plays, empower and surprise you in a more welcoming and pleasant way, ensuring you follow a path of empowered thinking, creating more empowered actions for an empowered life!
Ciao for now, will be back soon with another topic, until then stay wise, stay nourished and consume what empowers you, not what consumes you!