As human beings, we all have likes, dislikes, moments, memories, fears, hopes, wishes, dreams and aspirations. They are all infinitely, formed and reformed every day, every second.
We are also a slave to our subconscious patterns, habits and reflexes. It could be something as simple as wetting our feet before starting a bath or wearing a pair of socks in the right foot first — we don’t do it intentionally, do we? Our brain, in effect, becomes the ultimate recorder for all of these versions and iterations of thoughts. And we continue to wire our brain subconsciously.
Let’s quantify the amount of information our brain can store — it has a storage and memory power of a super-duper-computer — it can store about 2.5 petabytes i.e. 2.5 million gigabytes of data. It won’t be an overstatement to call the brain a complex machine. A machine that keeps everything in check and never stops working, not for our lifetime at the least.
Mirror mirror on the wall
This is one of the most famous line, referenced every now and then, since our childhood’s Disney days. This ‘Snow White’ quote is also immortalised on various kinds of merchandise — t-shirts, mugs and what not! In fact, there is even a Spinoff movie on Snow White, released in 2012, called ‘Mirror Mirror’.
What if I told you the quote is wrong? It’s not what the movie said!
In the movie, they actually say ‘Magic mirror on the wall’.
How did this happen? How did our brain, not just yours or mine, for most of us, made us believe that it’s mirror mirror and not magic mirror? There are an amazing amount of explanations floating on the internet for this.
From a higher level, it’s known as the Mandela Effect — a phenomenon where thousands of people, with no relation to each other, have the same collective misremembering of the one event. It is one of the popular conspiracy theories on the internet that has been messing with the brains worldwide.
The term was coined by Fiona Bloome in 2013, after the death of human rights activist Nelson Mandela.
People from all over the world were confused because most had the same vivid memory of him dying in prison during the 1980s. People have even found old textbooks and biographies that state that Nelson Mandela actually did die in the 80s. The theories for Mandela Effect are in abundance. Some believe that it may be due to the shifting of parallel universes. Or like I believe, it could just be our brain machine erring.
The messed up brain
How’d you find your Deadpool t-shirt in this mess?
More often than not, this is the condition of our brains — unorganised and in a state of complete mess. It can grow confused and reach a state of overload.
What will happen if the search engine of the brain erred?
What if the machine (brain) took too long to process the query?
Doesn’t it, already? There are dozens, if not more, instances where we would have forgotten an important task in last one month. And more, where we feel frustrated or burnt out. Perhaps, these are the signs that our brain needs some work — some organisation — the thinking machine needs a rethinking!
It is extremely critical to make use of our brain in the most efficient and optimum manner possible. In short, grease it well and organise information better.
How do we do rewire our brain?
Start by doing one job at a time.
Divide your work according to urgency or importance. This will help you prioritise tasks. Do not overburden yourself by thinking of too many things at the same time. Your focus and energy should be dedicated to one specific task. As mentioned before, your brain is a machinery. If you overload it, it will get exhausted and won’t function properly.
This doesn’t mean that you ignore the rest of your problems. In fact, compartmentalisation would actually allow you to give your full attention to a specific task without getting distracted by other tasks at hand.
You need to micromanage considerably in the beginning since you are training your brain. Once you do it a few times, it will seem natural to you and in effect, will save a lot of productive time.
Try to finish your work within the deadline’s time frame. Do not offer yourself easy deadlines or even the tight ones, or else you would be fooling yourself and this exercise will not be able to help you.
An easy deadline will make you lazy and carefree, whereas a tight deadline will just invite stress.
“The biggest enemy you will ever face or deal in life is yourself.” — Robert Tew
Meeting your deadlines on time makes you feel more efficient and proud. Self-gratification is a great motivator of human behaviour and encourages us to be better in ways more than one.
Don’t be a slave — say no
Yes, we are all slaves. We are slaves to our own vices — to 5 more minutes of sleep, to not starting work immediately but after 5 minutes, and to smoke or coffee breaks as we near the completion of a task.
To overcome these, we should learn to say NO, to ourselves.
Take a hard stand. Fight your greed. Fight every moment that pulls you back. Fight against your sweet 5 minutes of sleep, or 5 more minutes of break. Finish the work and then have your coffee/smoke break. You will discover that this makes you happier and more satisfied. The very fact that you have completed a task and won’t have to go back to work on it again, is a great satisfier in adult life.
These little improvements will save you a lot of time. Remember, if you are your biggest enemy, you are your biggest challenger as well.
Observe and study yourself. Start with the smallest of the things. It can be anything — your diction or a habit. Mine used to be starting each sentence with a — ‘ok so?’.
It is quite critical to correct yourself every now and then. Take a pause; start small. These little tweaks will help you rewire your brain, making you more efficient, organised and smart.