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This Thing Called “Mind”— Whatever That Is.

Andre Mouton Unsplash Excerpt from forthcoming book: Getting to G.R.E.A.T. 5-Step Strategy for Work and Life…Based on Science and Stories “How could our brain possibly keep conscious all of the information thrown at it by the eyes, nose, ears, tongue, and skin. These sense organs send about 11 million bits of information per second to the […]

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Andre Mouton Unsplash

Excerpt from forthcoming book: Getting to G.R.E.A.T. 5-Step Strategy for Work and Life…Based on Science and Stories

“How could our brain possibly keep conscious all of the information thrown at it by the eyes, nose, ears, tongue, and skin. These sense organs send about 11 million bits of information per second to the brain for processing, but the conscious mind handles only about 50 bits per second of it. This stunning gap between what is—and our severely limited conscious awareness of what is—should make us question how we think we know anything at all. Let alone, anything at all about who or what we are in this vast universe of ours. So then, who is this thing called mind who thinks it knows so much when really it knows so little? Don’t worry if you can’t answer that question. Most people can’t.”

But do worry a lot if your mind, whatever it is, is in charge of you instead of the other way around. From the Bhagavad Gita, written somewhere between 400 BCE and 200 CE:

The mind acts like an enemy for those who do not control it.

So we have known for a very long time that an undisciplined mind is like a 2 year old who is winning and wreaking havoc all over the house. That’s how one of my philosophy tutors put it. Only in our case, the mind is wreaking havoc all over our lives.

Others have said the mind is like a bunch of drunken monkeys, and still others have found that the mind wanders around all over the place 70% of the time, doing whatever it wants to whether you know it or like it or not.

And yet, the human mind is such an incredible tool. As in, where would we be without it. Nowhere of course. Still, we can tend it and use it a lot better than we do. 

Let’s do that. We take care of our teeth, and our plants, and our pets, and our kids, and our cars…let’s start taking care of our minds.

In the words of Charles Darwin from The Descent of Man:

The highest possible stage in moral culture is when we recognize that we ought to control our thoughts. 

Now more than ever, it is time for us all to take charge of our own minds. Why not? Hope you will read and enjoy Chapter 4, “Managing Your Mind” in Getting to G.R.E.A.T. and let us know what you think! The pre-order availability will be up on my site very soon!!

Warm wishes,

Madelaine

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