You are your biggest enemy.
Beware of your own lies!
Human brain is a fascinating instrument. But, it can also be really funny. In the last few years,
several studies have been focused in understanding how we think. A couple of interesting
studies are below for your reading entertainment:
Every one thinks they are more intelligent than average. The problem with that is ‘average’
by definition includes every one. How can every one feel they are above average?
Every smoker who is shown videos of dangers of smoking comes out thinking that somehow
it doesn’t apply to them and that they are somehow immune to its effects. This has been
proved over and over with hundreds of volunteers. Though smoking contributes to 90% of
all lung cancer tally, every smoker strongly feels he’s not in that list.
There are two sides to a human brain. One side is a highly developed cognitive brain that
makes us smarter than all other species. It makes us capable of accomplishing astonishing
feats. The other side(amygdala) is a primitive reptilian brain that puts us in the same league
as a rat or a lizard. We use both of them depending on how quickly we must make a decision.
While cognitive brain processes a lot of information and is slow to come to conclusion,
reptilian brain gives us the ‘intuition’ to make quick decisions under stressful environment.
Remember how you maneuveured your car like James Bond and prevented that accident and
when you came back to senses, you wondered how the heck did you do that?- That’s Anygdala
for you. Problem is when Amygdala kicks in where it should not. Though it gives you a speedy
decision, it can be plain wrong where lot of thinking is required. So, remember this — stress
activates amygdala. When we think of aging or possibility of cancer, it causes stress to our
brain. That immediately activates amygdala (reptilian brain) and turns off our slow thinking
cognitive brain. That makes us come to conclusions that will make us feel better but not
necessarily factual. When smokers see an a video of ill effects of smoking, the stress
immediately activates their amygdala which inturn brings them to a wrong conclusion that
they are immune to smoking. That’s why those advertisements against smoking are so
ineffective in mass. That’s also why we don’t like the idea of ‘accident or life insurance’. Its
also for the same reason that most of us don’t like the idea of ‘working out’ and keeping
fit — because we believe we are somehow immune to aging and its effects. First sin is
surrendering to this lower brain without facing the facts. These are the facts you must realize
Your body is your most important asset. You must take care of it.
You will age like every one else. When you are old, your bones and muscles will
be weaker than it is now. If they are too weak, you might have a hard time doing
even regular tasks.
Proper physical training can keep your muscles and bones stronger all through
your life. Right kind of training with right intensity is your best strategy to live a
Spend 5 minutes every day, meditating on these facts. Let it sink in. Your mind set change is
your first step to getting fit. I’ll visit you with the second sin, soon!