USE YOUR BRAINPOWER

OUR OWN SUPERCOMPU­TER JUST NEEDS TIME TO PROCESS THOUGHTS BE­FORE IT PRO­VIDES AN­SWERS

Life & Style Weekend - - MAGAZINE | MIND - MINDYOU WORDS:NICKBENNET­T Nick Bennett is a fa­cil­i­ta­tor and coach at mind­saligned.com.au

The mind is an amaz­ing tool. Sim­ply re­mark­able. In my early years I would just re­act to the sit­u­a­tions that I found my­self in without a lot of fore­thought. Op­er­at­ing on instinct, gut feel and an in­trin­sic de­sire for ad­ven­ture and in­de­pen­dence, I was led into all sorts of ex­pe­ri­ences that built knowl­edge, un­der­stand­ing and, over time, pa­tience and re­silience. As an aside, per­haps the com­ment should be that I led my­self, how­ever at the time I wasn’t that con­sid­ered and just went for it.

As life has con­tin­ued to evolve and Rowena and I have con­tin­ued our stud­ies into hu­man be­hav­iour, and in par­tic­u­lar how the brain works to sup­port us in that

evo­lu­tion, I have be­come more and more at­tuned to trust­ing that what I ask of my brain and mind, and given time for pro­cess­ing, an an­swer will come that fits the re­quest.

I no longer doubt my­self or what my brain is ca­pa­ble of. That’s a big re­lease from hold­ing anx­i­ety about what could or might hap­pen and frees up a huge amount of horse­power in think­ing and pro­duc­tiv­ity.

What is truly in­cred­i­ble is that the brain doesn’t know the dif­fer­ence be­tween fan­tasy and re­al­ity and re­sponds to ei­ther as though it were real. It will then ra­tio­nalise and jus­tify the de­ci­sions that get made so we can feel bet­ter about them. The brain burns a lot of en­ergy, us­ing about 20 per cent of our oxy­gen in­take and 20 per cent of our calo­ries, and a lot of that is wasted by the way we think and what we think.

Most of the time we are far from spe­cific in our think­ing or re­quests to the in­cred­i­ble supercompu­ter that sits in­side our skull and drives ev­ery­thing that we do, say and pro­duce, in­clud­ing emo­tions, thoughts, be­liefs and fears.

So, tak­ing all of that into ac­count now, when I am setting up for a project, work­ing with a client or want­ing to write on a sub­ject, I ba­si­cally re­fine the ques­tion so that the mind has to pro­vide a very spe­cific out­come. I ask my­self the ques­tion and, with a time set for re­sponse, then get out of my own way by dis­tract­ing my­self with time in the gar­den, clean­ing, or do­ing other odd jobs that have no re­la­tion­ship to what I want an­swered.

This pro­cess­ing time is in­valu­able. Some­times it may be an im­me­di­ate re­sponse, at oth­ers it could be pro­vided as I wake up in the morn­ing or as I’m cook­ing din­ner. The an­swer comes or a link of think­ing, an ab­strac­tion, ar­rives that then with some con­sid­er­a­tion takes me to the an­swer to my ques­tions. Cool eh?

As I no longer ques­tion, doubt or sec­ond guess my­self – and per­haps that comes with age and ex­pe­ri­ence – I find my­self with time avail­able to fo­cus on other things that are im­por­tant; my re­la­tion­ships, learn­ing and con­tribut­ing. What do you think?

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