18 Dec 2014
Keeping mentally alert is not difficult, also long as risk and a little adventure are open for consideration
I recently sat in on a four-part choir practice session. I was very rusty, but it brought back a lot of ill-used skills and subconsciously-stored facts from in the closet. After a couple of minutes, I was singing like the good old days in the bass section. I would never have happened If I hadn’t accepted the opportunity to step in though. Our brains can only focus on a select number of items at once, and the ones that are used less get pushed back in priority. While it is entirely practical to try and stay current with every single thing we have come across in our lives, there is certainly benefit to holding down maintenance on several key areas, and others as indirect cognitive exposure. If your subject of focus in language, then reading book exposes you to words, no matter what the genre. If your subject focus is medicine, working out reminds you of the physiological functions, as well as nutritional necessities going on in your body. If theatre is your game, listening to inspiring music mentally prepares you for the upcoming performance. If media and broadcasting is your major focus, several subtle seemingly irrelevant tasks keep other hobbies or pastimes sharp, like taking the 12-gauge to the shooting range, and admiring the intricate welding job on the weapon, or the formatting of the text on the ammo box.
Making connections keeps our brain forced to stay one step ahead of what is used to. Our will tells the brain what its next instructions are. And if our will follows the path most-traveled, the brain’s incredibly potent reliability will go unused. Much like a computer, the brain is composed of several neurons that function as miniature processors, and double as storage space. But while information can remain in short-term memory, it takes more work to get information to stick in long term memory. Neurons can work together to make incredibly complex actions happen simultaneously throughout the body. But the brain has limitations. It requires oxygenated blood circulating through it constantly. The brain is stuck inside the cranium of the skull that rests above our trachea. It cannot leave this anatomical position and function properly. But if our will is capable of giving our brain the instructions that are then delegated to more specific movements, exercising the will to search out new and engaging, challenging experiences will not only promote more mentally healthy self, but an emotionally happy self. Of course, emotions are the results of a soul, per say, so just as the mind precedes the brain, the soul precedes the Endocrine system, more or less. Of course, nailing down philosophical concepts to exact biological organs is blurry, and as it should be. Because the human body is only a part of what it means to be human.
Connecting the dots
Rewiring the brain means thinking outside the habitual boxes that we are so accustomed to. The brain has not limitations, and much less when the will is further opened up to a moral right and wrong direction. But only one of those directions ultimately offers a lasting prosperity for the brain, like any organ, as poor decisions linger in the memory, or more directly, kill brain cells in rapid succession. But if the brain can be stretched often, then other dimensions of life can also begin to see new paths that could be traversed upon, and experienced. Mastering several things in life is no impossibility, it just means more efficient time budgeting, which can itself be mastered. Relationships can always grow, if nothing else, because people are all governed by the same internal, under-comprehended will.