Our human brain

Breathing, Health, Human Brain, messaging

As I have written in my post a couple of days back, these days I am reading the book The Art of Impossible: A Peak Performance Primer by Steven Cutler. Steven does a lot of research for the books he writes. Some of his earlier books which I have liked a lot, jointly written with Dr. Peter Diamandis, include Abundance, Bold.

While the television and newspapers throw so much negative news all around us, if you read these books, you realise that the world is a much better place to live in today than what it was say 300 years back. And a major reason for that according to the authors is the fact that technology is playing such a major role in making this place a better place to live in.

As I mentioned earlier, Steven does a lot of research for his books. If you have been reading my blogs, you will also notice that I am always trying to find ways to improve the performance of my brain and my body. Whether its reading faster or breathing techniques which help build stamina, I am always looking for queer facts about this complex machine called the human body.

One thing which caught my eye today was the fact that our brain can only process about 126 bits of incoming information per second. The key word is incoming i.e from various senses to the brain, which interrupt the processing function of the brain. These bits need not be equivalent to binary bits (0,1) that technology folks look at since the brain works in a more abstract fashion.

This does not include the processing capability which the brain has, which is enormous. And that’s why people talk about being focused so that you are interrupting your brain with less inputs and doing more processing.

I don’t know about you, I have always considered myself to be easily distracted and I am not able to comprehend things, if they come too fast at me. For example trying to find my gate number for the flight from 5 screens of arrival and departure information.

Or if someone gives me too many food options from which to choose very fast.

I have to deliberately slow down the intake of information. In meetings to avoid such situations when too many people are speaking, I have to ask people to just be quiet and answer only the questions which I ask.

Today I realised this is not a problem only with me. Its a problem for al human beings. If our brain can only process so much information at a time, then for us to be able to influence someone we need to be able to give information in such a way that is simple to process and can get analysed. That’s where I guess charts look are understood compared to reports.

For a practitioner of marketing it means that are messages should be small simple sentences with more pictures, images.

Can you think of what other implications can this have for us in marketing. Pls write in your comments below.

Till next time then

Carpe Diem!!!

Scarcity drives Evolution

Human Brain, Innovation, Leverage

A lot of us have heard about the phrase Necessity is the Mother of Invention. The human brain works to finds creative ways to meet the necessities. That’s why the more brain power that exists in a country, the more creative the ideas that can be brought out to meet the necessities of the people. The US was among the first countries which built its immigration policies after the World Wars to ensure that they were able to attract the best brain power from other countries to create more innovation. That is one of the reasons that its still way ahead in creating more innovations.

Today I was reading a book by Steven Kotler – The Art of Impossible: A Peak Performance Primer. I have read multiple books that Steven has jointly written with Dr. Peter Diamandis like Abundance and Bold and I like his writing because he does a lot of research on the topics that he writes about. Some may find this kind of detailing boring.

Right in the first few pages of the book I read this statement. And its been going round in my brain. As per him its the scarcity of resources that has made human beings always innovate and evolve. He’s gone ahead talk about the biology of this and you can read the book to learn more.

However the reason that this statement has been moving around my head is that when we learnt the various theories of evolution they were primarily related to nature causing mutations, survival of the fittest etc.

What’s intriguing to me is why are scarcity of resources a reason for the evolution of human beings, while it’s not meant major evolution in the other pieces of nature as much. Lions and elephants I don’t think have changed too much in the last 5000 years or more.

In my blogs I keep writing about how human ingenuity will always find a solution to problems and surviving, what is giving the humans this capability. Is it just our brain power which has helped us survive much more larger animals in the jungles. Is it the fact the 5 figures in each of our hands can be moved and folded causing this. While no other animal stores resources for the future how did the human being get onto this journey of storing resources.

These are some very interesting queries about when the human race broke away from the animal kingdom. In the animal kingdom even now no animal accumulates resources. I will be on the hunt to find out a little more about this and will keep you all posted.

But this statement also has everyday uses in our lives. When a project has limited resources and a deadline is nearing the teams find ways to optimise. In marketing when we have a shortage of resources like most startups and small companies do, we find low cost methods to help. We identify leverage points.

As a matter of fact my last 2-3 posts on Riding the elephant were all about this.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Karmic cycle

charity, Karma, life

I am a strong believer in God. I also believe that things happen for us , to teach us , rather than to us. The bigger thing though is that whether you believe in an entity called God or not, you do understand that the universe has a way to equalise things. I don’t know about the animal kingdom, but I have always found even in the toughest situations, in unknown locations where people didn’t know my language, I could still get help.

I don’t like the idea of talking about the ordeals I have gone through life, because I believe everyone faces tough situations in their life at some point or another.

On the other hand I do believe that if you keep doing good, even during your tough times, your pain keeps getting reduced. It could be because your brain feels good by helping someone. It could also be that the person whom you helped sends out positive waves in the universe for you.

If you do so much good in the world, there’s so much positivity about you, that tough times don’t seem so painful. The more good you do, there’s a tendency to want to do more. Due to this you feel grateful, you have grace -as Tony Robbins says or you have a feeling of abundance – as Dan Sullivan says.

This makes your mind want to find solutions to the problems that you are facing and take help from others also to figure out ways to solve problems. Most people in this world are good and they like to help. That’s why humanity has been able to last more than 30000 years.

You wouldn’t get that feeling if you were to watch the news. As per the news, the situation has never been worse than what it is right now. Inspite of this there are people working to solve big problems, they are working to help others out. If you will look at videos of Dr. Peter Diamandis or read his books, you will realise that the world has never been a better place in all its history.

Keep doing good. The universe has a way of rewarding you. You can call it by whatever name. I prefer to call it the Karmic Cycle.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

The Human Brain’s quirkiness

Affirmative action, compounding, Financial Independence, Human Brain

Dr. Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler recently released their new book The Future is Faster Than you Think. Being a voracious reader I have been devouring this book as well. We will keep the details of the book out of this post.

This book is part of a trilogy. Their earlier books Abundance and BOLD were amazing and really make you think that we are living in a world which is much better and safer than what our forefathers ever got. If you have not read these books, I would highly recommend you reading them first before you read this one, because it will give you a context to this book. I read their books also when I am feeling low. These books show you that the world is moving in the right direction and human beings have an ability to bounce back and always pivot to a higher level in life.

What I wanted to share from this new book, The Future is Faster Than you Think, was content of two paras which the authors used and which has stuck to me.

They talk about the medial prefrontal cortex which is the part of the brain which gets activated when we think of ourselves. As per them it gets deactivated when we think of others. Surprisingly whenever we think of our future selves it gets deactivated. And the further you project into the future, the more it switches off. Which is why people are not able to save for their retirement because for your brain (medial prefrontal cortex) the person who will benefit from the tough choices you make today is different from you. Now you see the quirkiness even within our own brain. What is supposed to actually get functional when you have to think about yourself, switches off, when you project yourself into the future

The other issue is that our brain does not have the capability to think in exponential and global terms. Due to this anything which is depicted by an exponential equation is difficult for the brain to comprehend.

Which brings me to my fascination with compounding. Compounding in its very nature is exponential in nature. And therefore even though I keep talking about compounding in almost every post, I still find most people read what I write but don’t take action.

Coupled with what I have written earlier about habits, I think that is one of the key reasons why more people are not financially free. They sell time for money and because their brains don’t comprehend compounding they don’t let money work for them.

I once read money is a good “servant” and a bad “master”. So if you can make money work for you by using the laws of compounding, you can aspire for a Future which is much bigger and better than your past.

Till next time then

Carpe Diem!!!