“Everything popular is wrong”
I want you to repeat after me: “Most people live their lives in a trance. A Walking Daze”. These words struck me immediately like a lightning! I had already heard interesting things in this social skills seminar I was watching online but at that moment I felt like I saw everything at once. “It is exactly like this”, I thought!
The human brain has evolved through natural selection in a size much bigger than our closest ancestors’, the bonobos’ and the chimpanzees’, especially the part that processes thinking, the neo-cortex. However, its potential most of the times for normal people is limited to a point. The human brain is not able to simultaneously remember every person you saw on the road to work, what was your opinion about them, remember every dialogue you had and notice everything that happened et cetera. At the same time the mind has ironically always the unconscious tendency to create an image (schema) for our inside and outside world, to create explanations for them whatever the circumstances. This has to happen the quickest possible because the brain does not have enough resources so that it could investigate thoroughly all the everyday aspects that require a judgement. As an example, in the first meeting with a person we make most of our judgements about his or her character although we had not spent enough time to confirm them. Or most of our memories are somehow like snapshots and it’s not that we have the whole experience in our mind like a film.
That kind of processes are described as delete, distort and overgeneralise. I can prove over time (because science has proven) that we should not overestimate our rational abilities believing that we are fully in control of our opinions and actions. Our minds work in a way playing us tricks when we are reaching to decisions. A case like this would be in the situations that we describe as a battle between logic and feelings. We may have some inner feelings that “push” us towards a behaviour but this behaviour is not appropriate for this particular situation according to logic. At that time there are two possibilities. The first is to recognise it and act accordingly – most possibly stop or not do the action. The second and trust me too possible is to not recognise the reasons against the action because of the vast pressure that came from feelings, act according to the feelings and afterwards create reasons that suit the behaviour which you believe even yourself. This process is called backwards rationalization and works unconsciously and very often.
Science has, also, proven that like all the animals in this planet, the humans have a genetic code in them something like the software in the computers. Imagine the body as the hardware and the genetic code as the software. This coding is done by the genes that provide several genetic predispositions to the organism. That is why little children are afraid of snakes or men tend to gain weight in the belly or a child that carries the genes of his father becomes aggressive as him.
Of course the environment plays an important role in the development of an organism however as the years are passing, science is proving more and more how significant the role of genes in the whole life of a person is.
The irony in this biological fact is that human beings and only have the cognitive ability to change their minds by their own minds! This means that they have the ability to recognise in which sector they need improvement and then create the appropriate environment – have the appropriate experiences that will lead them to achieve this improvement. This is how we acquire new skills. Dogs do not go to karate teachers. This process is called neuroplasticity and I have referred here more specifically .
So what follows next is pure logic. Every person that argues that is in a personal development mentality has first of all to educate himself/herself but from a peripheral direction. He has to start creating a path to follow. And this works only through sincerity, especially to him/herself. He has to accept his human nature which is followed by many mistakes and disadvantages. At the same time academic knowledge does not seem to be well rounded enough compared to the overall scientific facts, many of which are kept in anonymity for years. Every person has to do the research by himself/herself whoever his/her teachers are or whichever recommendations he/she has. Hopefully there exists in the web a bunch of knowledge for everything we can imagine.
Secondly, he/she has to decide from where he or she will be educated and advised. Others prefer their mothers, others their friends, others the priest of the neighbourhood and so on. Here we mostly listen to scientific facts that came through hypothesis, experiments, publication etc. But actually I do not believe in anything. I am just exploring the ideas and pick the ones that make the most sense to me. That’s why you will see me, as well, posting about things that I do not follow but find them interesting.
And this is what the beginning of the article had to do with. From the time we were born we have been overexposed to advertisements, to the ideas of our environment, to authorities et c all of them together called “social conditioning”. In all of us – because the brain works this way – these ideas have been shaping our thinking, our behaviour and our belief system. The term “Matrix” and the whole concept of the famous movie can be used as an excellent parallel.
If we haven’t done that switch in consciousness to start questioning authority, trusting and being sincere with our emotions, researching alternative sources of information about a topic to find out what really makes most sense to us about EVERYTHING, then we remain best case scenario creating a path for a world that is not as the image in our mind. And practically this means that as a matter of fact when we apply the knowledge we have, it just doesn’t work. This happens every day in every aspect you can imagine. We eat high-carb breakfast such as cereal although sugar and starch are toxins for the body and we believe we are on diet. We go to the gym 6 days a week to make the perfect body but we do not know that the muscles have by far exceeded their Minimum Effective Dose so this more training is useless for them, it only tires them more. The previous days I was speaking with a friend that recognised several mistakes on nutrition he had been doing. He was feeling that it was a pity trying hard but not recognising doing it wrong. The same thing happens to me as I realised all these things I was taught wrongly in several aspects and not only in nutrition. And the list with that kind of common mistakes goes so long that I am tending to be convinced that Oscar Wilde’s proverb in the beginning of the article is totally true.
Thirdly is at what most of the people stop. Reading and studying alone in a room may not be the most comfortable thing especially if you haven’t done it before but applying the knowledge you acquire in everyday life is way more uncomfortable. Actually, you have to start acting as if (aka dr. Richard Wiseman) you were someone else sometimes. Many people feel weird in that or become stressed however, the only thing is that the mind is sending messages that has got out of its comfort zone. If you look at it with compassion you just have to accept the feeling, keep doing your decided job and wait till it is gone because the mind will have become comfortable with the new situation. This is a long term process but as far as you come from the right predispositions the results will come like counted beans as we say in my country. This is how real change occurs.
Also, I have several times noticed that many people even though they have the knowledge of the theory and are ready to DO things, they do not know how exactly it has to be applied or they never imagined that it can be applied in everyday life. This one problem I have always been facing and am thankful to the ones that explained me the practice of several rules. This is what mostly concerns me in this blog. I find it fascinating that I can use the findings of all these brilliant brains through centuries to improve myself and my life!
The truth is that no one of us wants to notice things happening to him and not understanding the reasons behind. No man or woman enjoys finding the other sex unpredictable and no one finds pleasure being on strict diet and not losing weight. I am welcoming you in Lifestyle Science to figure them out.
Overall this is meant to be a rational road which by accepting irrationality as a typical human feature leads to personal development and thus to happiness.
All the spirit in 6 seconds: