May 5, 2013
I don’t watch television. I find that it’s just a distraction away from my goals and any show I really want to watch I can do so from my handy dandy laptop. Most daytime TV is just drivel, people getting tested to see if they are the father, news that’s designed to scare us, plus if I wanted to see something offensive, I would just watch my own show, The Fever.
But occasionally TV treats me to something that I really enjoy, like The Daily Show, sports, Frasier, and now, National Geographic has graced us with Brain Games. I often speak on the power of the mind and in my book I talk about how my transformation and transitions through PTSD and depression played a great role in understanding the greatest super computer I will ever possess, my mind.
Brain Games reveals truths about our mind and in the first couple of episodes this season it has shown us that we always can’t trust what we see. The fact is, we lose over 99 percent of the information we take in per second, so the reality that is relayed to us via our visual cortex, is always missing something. We often miss things that are right in front of us. Our brain decides what information to relay to us based on patterns. This is why it’s so important to have a positive outlook, since if that’s the pattern you create then the mind will seek such positive things; if you have a negative pattern, then it will seek out negative information.
Our mind also spends a lot of time making assumptions. For instance, one of the tests on the premier episode of Brain Games was showing us two different colors, although they were the same color. Because the picture was not two different shades of gray in fact, but the same shade.
You can see what I’m talking about in the picture within this blog. Because it’s presented in such a way that the shape should have a shadow, our brain makes the assumption and casts a shadow. If you cover the middle part of the picture with your finger you can see that it’s in fact the same shade of gray…wtf? The mind is truly amazing.
It’s important we learn or do something new every day, or our brain will run on automatic; literally the frontal lobe will go to sleep. This is why often I challenge people when they say we make decisions based on free will. We can make decisions based on free will, but often we don’t; we think we are, but we are really making them based on multiple decisions. We often take a situation, compare it to our past, and then make a decision based on our experience. Only when we wake the frontal lobe up, and view the situation for what it is without comparing it to a similar past situation, do we truly make a decision using free will.
I am obsessed with the brain, so I’m like a pig in shit with this stuff, and I’m also relieved that there is another show teaching people about the mind. This society frustrates me; most people spend time battling a negative inner voice that tells them they aren’t attractive, or good enough. They spend a lot of time with their inner-thoughts dwelling on past traumas or bad memories. Yet most don’t ever take the time to study their mind, and figure out how it works, thus empowering them to take control of their thoughts and mindset. In order to become the best we can become, we have to study the mind, how it affects us physiologically, and what we can do to change negatives into positives.
“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.” – Buddha
Image Credit: ktsdesign / Shutterstock