Thursday, April 24, 2014

Body and Brain - by Scott Adams

Link to blog post: Body and Brain
The common view of human behavior is that thinking causes doing. 
In recent years science has discovered this situation to be more of a bi-directional thing. For example, studies show that forcing a smile can lead to greater happiness. Most of you already knew that factoid. And obviously you understand that events in your environment and various sensations in your body can influence your mood and your thinking. 
But I'll bet most of you hold the view that for the most part your thoughts lead to actions and that's 95% of the story of you. Lately I've come to the opposing view. I think our actions are the things that matter and our so-called minds are nothing but some executive control and a chemistry experiment. 
I've been experimenting in the past year with the idea that I can control my thoughts by what I do with my body. Obviously my mind has to get the ball rolling to make me act in the first place. But instead of acting based on how I feel, I act based on how I WANT to feel. In other words, I use my body to control my future thoughts. 
Yeah, yeah, you all do the same thing. I know. But it's a matter of degree. And it's a matter of how you THINK about your choices. A subtle shift in thinking can be a big deal. 
For example, when feeling down, many people will curl up with some junk food and watch bad television shows until the feeling passes or some other duty calls. That's an example of letting your mind control your actions. 
What I do in that situation is ask myself what is likely to cause a chemical improvement in my brain. Then I do that thing.

Related book: How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life (or, the audio book on an MP3 CD, which is currently just $8.14, HERE)