Time to trick your brain

Think outside the watts. ✎ By Wayne K. Spear


Your brain is lazy. Here is the proof.

Take a piece of paper and a pen. Make two dots. Below the dots, draw a line. Like this:


Your brain decides immediately that this is a face and files the information accordingly. But two dots and a line could be any number of things, or nothing.

We know it’s not a face, but we can’t not see a face. The brain is a tyrant.

Your brain, the lazy tyrant, takes the easiest route.

Every piece of information that the brain receives is treated in the same way, usually without your awareness. It organizes the world into boxes, whether you like it or not.

In a perfect world, from your brain’s point-of-view, nothing new or strange ever happens. Dots and lines are forever going to be faces. Your brain is not interested in whether or not it’s really a face. It’s interested in putting the information into a box, already.

Everything is assigned by the brain to pre-fabricated categories determined by assumption, prejudice, routine, familiarity, and efficiency.

To do this, your brain needs less than 20 watts of electricity.

According to Moore’s Law, the power of computers will double every two years. A computer as powerful as the brain would consume 10,000,000 watts of energy, about the amount required by a small city.

Your brain is more interested in efficiency than it is in insight or innovation. It has evolved to make quick decisions in potentially life-threatening situations, with minimal expenditure of energy.

The brain thrives on routine.

And so, we are creatures of habit, set in our ways.

The script in our head keeps us from considering new ways of seeing and being. The brain is happy to remain set in its ways. This is efficiency.

To change your life, you first have to overcome the lazy tyrant that is your brain.

Go somewhere you have never been before—a country, a neighborhood, a part of town. Surround yourself with unfamiliar people and languages. Eat new foods, redecorate your office, shake up your routine. Make your brain think new, more healthy thoughts.

Reinvent yourself and reinvigorate your life by making your brain do something it doesn’t like to do—break out of the routine.

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