Mind Mining: Looking for El Dorado of the Noggin

Being in education and training for well over 40 years, I have heard it said in many different ways that we use, on average, 10% of our brains. This is simply not true! We use varying percentages in relation to specific activities. Let me give you an example.

You get up in the morning and load your little ones in the car. It’s a task you have done thousands of times. The radio is playing and the kids are chattering in the back seat. You are driving, eating, listening, and a doing a plethora of activities of which are manageable and well within the queue of what your brain is capable of doing. Then it starts to snow—not much at first—and it becomes a delightful interlude which captures an ahhh moment. Then the car slides ever so slightly, and you sense a momentary loss of control. Everything changes! You turn off the radio, you tell the kids to be quiet, and you grasp the steering wheel with a new enthusiasm known as the death grip. Your back bone stiffens, you lurch forward, as if getting closer to the dash helps. Now, you are using you brain to its fullest function! A full 10 percent.

According to Dr. John Medina, the brain is a survival organ. It is designed to solve problems related to surviving in an unstable outdoor environment, and to do so in nearly constant motion (to keep you alive long enough to pass your genes on). We were not the strongest on the planet, but we have developed the strongest brains, which is the key to our survival. Simply put, the brain is a survival organ.

I try my best in my blogs to give you digestible tidbits of information, and up until now, I have stayed away from a blog series. But it has come to my attention that continuity is important to change, so we will be spending some time on this monumental subject, Mind Mining, for a few blogs (series).

Our minds react and redirect us constantly without us noticing. Let’s take that sandwich you just ate. You made a decision to eat a Big Mac! You buy it, take it to a peaceful spot, and throw it down your neck. No big deal; but, then what? You brain unconsciously digests, directs, feeds, and disposes of said sandwich without a single conscious thought.

The clever folks who designed the device you are reading this blog on took this concept to the next level by giving you a constant hard wire to the information super highway, and it gives us digestible information instantaneously. The problem is that they have stacked the deck and made us addicted to its necessity. We are plugged in! Now for my point, which will hit you faster than an airport taco….

If you want to use your brain, you have to keep it engaged in active cognition. What is active cognition, you ask? It’s the art of being aware of what your brain is doing when you let it go automatic. In other words, a reboot. Shut down and take notice of the activities that you do without thinking about them. Feed you brain things that will enrich and reward you with life benefits. Here are a few suggestions:

1. Organize what you think and what you do with it!

News is like lawyers: they would go broke in a problem-free world! Monitor what goes into your head. Remember: junk in, junk out! I’m guessing that, short of a nuclear winter, you can live without so much gloom and disparity.

2. Give you brain a direction!

Sometimes children learn that positive and negative reactions are similar—they both get your attention. It’s important to look at the bright side. Ninety-five percent of all negative worries never happen. Simply put: don’t worry, be happy. Since it doesn’t matter anyway, and if it does, worrying won’t fix it!

3. Life is full of routines. Do the ones that feed your joy mine!

I wish I had a hundred dollar bill for every time I’ve heard, “Dr. Dale, how do you keep so positive?” Well here is the answer: because I want to. Get your want-to ahead of your have-to.

4. Grab a hold of new opportunities that stretch you!

I hate sentences that begin with, “I wish…” If you are going to wish for something, wish for more wishes. You achieve what you do, not what you wish for.

5. Goal setting is great but goal tending is better.

Try to be intentional! Prosperity is good, but happiness is essential. Having a good life takes work!

Most folks think the El Dorado is a place of great riches! It’s not. It’s a person; a tribal chief, to be precise. Be the tribal chief of your thoughts. It’s golden!

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