The Secrets of Your Brain

The human brain has 100 billion neurons, each neuron connected to 10 thousand other neurons. Sitting on your shoulders is the most complicated object in the known universe. (Michio Kaku)

The human mind is probably the most complex system we have been blessed with. It is also the main regulator of our happiness and success. This idea is not necessarily new; it has been around for millennia and has been rephrased in many different forms by philosophy, religion, medical practice and common sense wisdom. Yet only recently, due to extensive medical research, we have become able to understand the processes that connect the dots and allow that to happen. That also means that we have been given a real shot at better achieving the things that we strive for.
The human being can hardly become efficient at anything if a right balance is not achieved in the mind. There can be no success for a brain that does not understand the basic principles of its own function. For better or worse, our brain is a self-modifying entity. Think about what this implies. It is a machine that is able to improve, to work on itself. Had this ability been granted to an artificial intelligence, we would have both feared that ability and longed for its eventual omnipotence. Yet in our own selves, we fail to take this power for what it really is and most of us squander this immense gift. Yes, everything we’ve ever done and thought came through this fascinating machinery. The way it operates has produced countless sleepless night for philosophers and scientists for sure. Although we’ve come a long way in our understanding of the brain’s processes the more we probe its secrets, and dive into the universe of the mind, the more surprised, amazed we are. And the more motivated to go further.

Just like a sedentary body, an unexercised mind will slowly, inexorably decline, if not to a halt, then to some minimal, boring, repetitive actions which, by themselves, reduce our chances of success to a minimum and will also diminish our chances to find lasting happiness or peace of mind. The brain has more than one similarity to the physical world. It has the dexterity and growth of a muscle that builds upon its own effort and becomes ever better. But that in itself is not enough, since when it comes to mental activity not any sort of growth is necessarily good. So the question is: how do we train it in such a way that it becomes a tool for our success? How do we train it to bear fruits not only sweet but also nourishing?