Your Brain Sucks, Bad. Like Fruit Stripe Gum Levels of Bad.
Make this one simple change and fix everything
The average adult attention span has plummeted from 12 minutes a decade ago to just 5 minutes now. — forbes.com
5 minutes. That’s exactly how much flavor time you would get out of this semi truck of Fruit Stripe™.
Humans; we’re a strange bunch. We are self aware and meta conscious. We have a body comprised of malleable tissue that forms to our will. Functional strength, speed, and intellect have allowed us to evolve and transcend the food chain. Do you understand how big of an accomplishment that is for a mammal on planet Earth? We didn’t just conquer the food chain; we f*ck’n transcended that thing.
We have conquered land, air, and sea. Now we’re strapping living people to the front end of multi-million dollar rockets like hood ornaments and unleashing 8,000,000 pounds of thrust out of the back with the goal of colonizing mars. These are all big fat check marks in the “Earth Mammal” category.
What’s left to conquer? What’s the next giant leap for mankind?
If we humans can’t bring our attention span up from a measly 5 minutes; I'm sorry to say, we’re done for. As a species the next frontier is our own minds, and it will require a united effort. Truly making sense of this topic is going to mandate that we all chip in by diving into our own heads. Why will it require such a unison? Because you can’t study the mind 100% scientifically. We can’t rely on scientists to figure it all out for us like we did with the rocket stuff. Science only works when things happen at a frequency rate that becomes predictable and measurable. By trying to study a human’s thoughts through scientific method you would need a predictable mind. That doesn’t work, because at it’s core a mind is subject to free will. One of our fundamental human characteristics is our unpredictable freedom of choice. Our current understanding of science and how to observe phenomena can only take us so far this time.
A large scale effort to improve our own minds and then pass on those skills to the next generation is what will allow our species to thrive far and beyond our current standing. This is the only way that we can keep representing team Earth Mammal with pride. So unless you are on the NASA staff that is colonizing Mars then it’s your duty to take a few minutes a day and help out your ol’ noggin. It’s your duty to try and set the standard and change the tone for how we treat our brains. The skull is not impenetrable, and your intelligence is not permanent. We have known the side effects of our physical neglect and lethargy for many years; just look at our 38% obesity rate. We are only now starting to see what this level of overconsumption and under engagement has done and is currently doing to our precious brains. It’s time to shape up!
A lot of people avoid “brain training” because they think it has to involve some sort of paid subscription or online course. This is totally wrong. To the contrary of marketing efforts across the world brain training is not a complicated procedure. It simply involves you using your brain in new and challenging intellectual capacities on a regular schedule. That’s it.
“I use my brain every day at work. I don’t need to do brain training.”
Unfortunately no, that’s not how this works. Everybody who abides by a workout routine/schedule can tell you that if you went into the gym and did the same stuff for the same amount of time at the same intensity every day then you wouldn’t see any results. The same goes for your cerebrum.
Have you heard of cellular partitioning?
Cell partitioning is a process by which the body repurposes cells for use in other areas if they aren’t being fully utilized. It’s essentially atrophy. When you use the same cells in your brain every day then you are firing the same neural pathways, no new ones. When you only fire certain neural pathways the rest of the cells that you don’t use begin to get partitioned. Your brain literally begins to atrophy and shrink.
Your brain, like your body, is always changing in physical structure. It is either growing or shrinking.
Opt for growing.
The key here to use NEW stimuli to the brain and force yourself to use neural pathways you don’t normally use. For example, if you are an accountant and you spend all day dealing with numbers and absolutes then you should spend some time drawing, writing, or creating music. This will help to fire your right hemisphere which deals with the creations. Without this act of balancing the brain you could face losing all creative ability given enough time.
Not only do you want to retain skills and create new ones for the sake of the skill itself but, again just like the body, there is a direct correlation between form and function. When a muscle is larger it has a larger cross sectional area that allows for a greater potential of force generation; a larger and denser brain has a positive and direct correlation with a higher intelligence. The good thing is that just like hypertrophy in muscles, you can grow your brain.
You aren’t stuck with your intelligence. You can literally grow the size and density of your brain.
How? The same way we just talked about. Use it! In new and challenging ways.
But here’s the shortcut.
Grow and supercharge your brain with the #1 rated, strongest legally available brain booster in the world.
This brain booster was extremely popular all the way up until the mid 20th century. Since then it has gone back under the radar, only being used by hardcore enthusiasts in small groups. It’s called “Books”.
Yes that’s right. Books. Shocker.
“Why are books so effective if you are supposed to use new parts of your brain? If you read all the time then you're only using the reading portion of your brain.”
Ok smarty pants, here’s why.
Yes it’s true that you use the same pathways all the time for reading. But it isn’t just the act of reading itself that is good for your brain, it’s what it does in combination with the ideas that get planted in your head. You can travel to a thousand different parts of the brain in one single book. You can be imagining things, comprehending things, contemplating ideas, answering questions, asking questions, and visualizing alongside all sorts of other brain healthy activities. The good part is that it requires about as minimal effort as you could ask for. When you are reading you don’t have to choose to engage these parts of your brain, just like you don’t have to come up with the ideas you are reading about. You simply consume. The rest become unconscious phenomenon. You cannot sit and read a book, assuming you are engaged and not in la la land, without getting your whole brain involved.
Here’s the catch.
It can’t be Harry Potter over and over again. Fiction has it’s place in a book collection, but it can’t be the only thing you read. Use fiction as a mental “warm up” and “cool down” but your working sets need to be with books that are either;
- Teaching you new topics.
- Asking you hard questions.
- Showing you new world views.
- Lessons from other people’s lives (memoirs, autobio, bio)
- Explaining challenging topics.
- Making you reflect inward.
Then use your fiction to stimulate your creative imagery and slow down the cognitive wheels that will keep you up at night.
Stop watching the Kardashians. Read a book. I will always tell you that your mind and body are more connected than you think. If you put crap in your mouth, you will get crap performance from your body. If you put crap in your eyes and ears, you will get crap back out in brain function. It’s just how it works, I’m sorry. Make tv and other passive media outlets become a secondary source, not a primary source and you will be ok. I am by no means telling you that you can’t watch some Stranger Things on Netflix this weekend. But maybe don’t watch them all at once.
With a strict prescription of ink and paper I promise that in no time we will be feeling better, paying attention longer, thinking more deeply, holding less stress, sleeping better, and increase the standard of mental activity for our entire nation. But we can only do it one person at a time.
Take one for the team.
Need some good book suggestions? Just ask below! I have a lot.