Monday, 30 August 2010

Getting it out of your head

I have lists. Numerous lists. Some that hold a physical form and some that are just whispers in my mind. Not as many as some but a fair few nonetheless. One of these lists contains subjects that I want to post about and on this list is written the words ‘Getting it out of your head.’

Obviously the link has now been made as to why I am commenting on the lists I make, however my point still eludes. I create these lists in their physical (or digital) form to clear my clouded mind of all the busying and bustling ideas and information that resides within—as trivial as most of them may be. I find I need to do this. I feel that it is terribly important if I am ever to progress on anything. It’s one of my perpetual attempts at shoehorning structure into my life and one that has stuck! I must say though that as interesting as this may be for me, this was all I really had to talk about on the subject and I didn’t think that it should be classed as good post material. It lacked substance as I really wasn’t sure why I liked to get as much of it out as possible and I wasn’t sure if it even helped.

With this said it remained on the list untouched and unperturbed, until today. A ‘podcast’ brought it into my periphery in a rather roundabout way. The podcast was called Choices in a series of well thought-out and produced episodes called Radiolab. The episode reignited my awe for the subconscious mind. How it is constantly recording, constantly calculating and constantly going unnoticed. It has always seemed extraordinary to me how powerful it really is. The trouble is that this is not really the subject of Radiolab’s podcast, nor does it directly link to this post.
You may have to bear with me here. Radiolab’s episode discusses how easy it is to confuse the analytical side of your brain when making choices. They mention the rule of ‘seven plus or minus two,’ which is the number of digits that the average person can remember at a time. They then explain how feeding the analytical side with this many pieces of information completely fogs it up and removes it from decision making process entirely.

The way I see it is that the conscious mind is made up of the analytical and emotional parts whilst the subconscious mind holds the information. If you clog up the conscious mind with too much information you will fail to make the right choice. Try making a decision when angry or sad and making a decision when you have lots on your mind is equally difficult. Ideally you need to clear your head of anything that isn’t relevant and go with your instinct! It’s not always going to work for many reasons that Radiolab’s episode explores. Though it surely can’t help to keep everything in your head.

So there you have it, the link from the list to the subconscious; if only we could unlock it completely.

Yours, currently crossing one off the list,

Victor Blemish

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