Learning How The Mind Works Can Work For You

By Delany Kuijstermans

When we hear the term "mind" we often think of the brain, but the mind is much more than the brain. The brain is the hardware while the mind is the software it runs. When you are dead, your brain will still be there (for a while), but your mind will not.So just what is the mind? If we are going to get any use out of the mind, we need a definition that is useful. Although the word "mind" leads us to believe the mind is a thing, it is not. The mind is label we have given to an active and dynamic process of thinking, perceiving and experiencing. The term "mind" refers to a never-ending flow of information processing. The mind is never static. It is a constant stream of sensory input, thoughts, ideas and perceptions. It's a continuous dance of information, a ceaseless stream of awareness in which almost anything can be swept up.

Your left brain works with logic, words, parts and specifics, analysis of situations in detail, and sequential thinking. The left brain interestingly enough has a sense of time and a sense of your goals correlated with your position in relation to those goals. Talk about a finely tuned instrument. The left brain also governs/runs the right side of your body.

Directing and guiding this stream of awareness is a system. We can think of the mind as system that directs our information processing. This system is made up of numerous elements, all interacting and influencing one another to generate our experience. The way we experience the world is through the process of representing, sequencing and ordering the information we acquire from the outside world. The system of information processing we call "the mind" can also be called our internal reality. We each have an external reality- the environment we live in, the circumstances of our lives - and we each have our own unique internal reality. It is this internal reality that lies behind emotions, behavior and results. Our inner reality is far from a random mess of mental chaos. Human subjective experience has a structure. Knowing the specific elements that make up the structure of our internal reality enables us to alter the structure so that it serves us better.

That personal bank of references is composed of an amalgamate of all the experiences that we've had in the past. It's a composite of the deductions that we unconsciously reached following every new experience that we've had.Some of these deductions may be quite accurate while others might be so fanciful as to make the angels cry. Yet, it is from that bank of reference and all those past conclusions that we view our world and everything in it.

And, as if that was enough, it gets worse. It is also from that bank of references that our fundamental beliefs are created. Beliefs about our identity, about life in general, about religion, relationships, about mankind and about just every subject under the sun.

Throughout our lives we have fought with our emotions and struggled to change habits and behaviours with little or no success. We have been attempting to change the symptom of some cause without getting to the source. Trying to change with willpower alone is like trying to weed a garden without getting at the roots and wondering why the weeds keep growing back. We wonder why change is so difficult, but it's not that change is difficult, it's that we've been going about it the wrong way. Trying to shovel the snow of your driveway with a rake isn't going to work very well, so why not trying something else? To change emotions and behaviours we need to step behind the scenes and peek into our internal experience to see what is going on behind our emotions and behaviours. We need to look beyond the surface and find the source.

If there is any doubt about the veracity of that theory, we only have to look at the way that most extremists of the Christian and Muslim worlds see each others to understand that it is sadly so. Fundamental beliefs have the power to so hopelessly distort reality that it becomes unrecognizable.

After the objective reality has finished being distorted by our previous references and our fundamental beliefs it has to contend with the ubiquitous mediatic barrage, most of which is taken at face value. What shreds of truth could maintain its integrity once it has been through all these distortions? No wonder that most of us are walking contradictions.

And here is why you want to know what they do for a living. A manager would be a left brain person (appeal to his/her logic and love of analysis). A leader would be right brain (appeal to his/her emotions and imagination). A producer - that would depend on the kind of work done. If the work done is verbal, logical, and analytical - that is left brain. If the work is intuitive, emotional, and creative - that is right brain. Can you be a combination? Yes, but usually one is more predominant that the other.

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