The Owners Manual for your most important piece of technology | Your Brain
Do you remember “The Greatest American Hero”? The premise was that teacher Ralph Hinkley was given this amazing piece of technology, a flying super suit, with no instruction manual. He slowly finds new things it could do throughout the series. Eventually, he got a hold of an Owner’s Manual and starts to tear it up (and subsequently jumps the shark).
iBrain is no iPhone
The iPhone works so well because it is simple, and not highly customizable (unlike the Android but I wont go there). Your brain seems to be an amazing piece of machinery is simple in use and straight forward and not very customizable. That was the (incorrect) view until radical thinking around the 60s and still a common view until recently.
As “Your Brain at Work” discusses, your most vital piece of equipment is highly customizable (neuro plasticity) and very complex, absorbing millions of pieces of data. The unfortunate part is it comes booted up with firmware for surviving in the Serengeti, not for an office or in an Information Revolution.
Complex Brain Processes and Neuroscience Terms : explained and fixed
Now, don’t get scared of this if you are not science minded. There are some science terms and brain chemical processes discussed. Terms such as Cortisol, Prefrontal Cortex and Oxytocin are simplified and put into context for anyone to use it. What’s even better, the Author, David Rock, addresses, through anecdotes, the misconceptions and traps we all fall into in our daily operating lives caused by these chemical workings and neural pathways. I am a science buff and in the past few years, a neuroscience enthusiast, so it was a little slow for me on that edge. For the average reader, it’s perfect, so don’t worry.
Rock then takes the problem after elaborating the cause and gives you a fix. The simple and relatable anecdotes are fantastic. “Here’s what happened to Paul when he screwed up. Now here is what happened to Paul when he understands how his brain works and adjusts for the situation.” Caveat: The Paul that screwed up is a novice. The Paul that gets the situation right is a Black Belt in Brainworks.
Good for parents too
There are some instinctual things I see parents doing and I would also think they are the correct thing to do as well. David Rock also addresses how parents brains work as well as children’s. The understanding of the brain’s structure as well as its evolution through childhood, adolescence , and adulthood can help initiate change in the family unit when impasses and bad cycles of relationships occur.
A Multiple Read or A Go-To book
Just like reading the manual for your camera, you are not going to become an expert in one take. Unlike reading a volume on how to operate your new remote control helicopter, “Your Brain At Work” is easy to read (or listen to, as I did) again and again in snippets because of the structure. This Instruction Manual will improve your ability to not only cope in today’s Information Revolution based society, but excel. There were several times were I was in crisis mode, picked this up, and was in a much better state after putting it down.