All the experiences in your life is constantly shaping each and every microscopic details of your brain. Neurally speaking, who you are depends on where you’ve been and what were your experiences.
David Eagleman said in his book The Brain, “Your brain is a relentless shape-shifter, constantly rewriting its own circuitry and because your experiences are unique, so are the vast, detailed patterns in your neural networks. Because they continue to change in course of your whole life.” Your entire identity is a moving target; it’s a continuous work in progress, it is yet to reach its finality. Hence the entire attempt of falling in love with your own identity is nothing but an excersie in futility.
Human brain is born remarkably unfinished. Instead of arriving with everything “hardwired” ; a human brain allows itself to be shaped by the details of life experiences. This leads to annoyingly long periods of helplessness as the young brain slowly moulds to its environment. It’s “live wired ” through variety of experiences.
At birth, a baby’s nuerons are disparate and unconnected. During the first two years of it’s life they begin connecting up extremely rapidly as they take in sensory information. As many as two million new connections, or synapses, are formed every second in an infant’s brain. By age two, a child has over one hundred trillion synapses, double the number an adult has. It has now reached a peak and has far more connections than it will need. At this point, the blooming of new connections is supplanted by a strategy of neural “pruning”.
As you mature, 50% of your synapses will be pared back. When a synapse successfully participates in a circuit, it is strengthened; in contrast, synapses weaken if they aren’t useful, and eventually they are eliminated. Just like paths in a forest, you lose the connections that you don’t use.
Focus expands your unique vision
Once you know this fact about yourself, you can make some conscious effort in strengthening a particular group of synapses by choosing the right pathways to reach your desired destination. But it’s quite ironical that most of us are scrambling to reach goals or acquire things we don’t even want. Because we have absolutely no clue about what we want or where we are headed. We jump at every opportunity that comes our way making us more and more busy and speeding up our lives. Being busy has acquired quite a status symbol in our time.
In contrast, if we know what we want and align our life to what matters most, we end up opening a lot of opportunities for ourselves. All of those things we have spent our life chasing are nothing more than a distraction from what matters most. In the end, we’ve been brainwashed to believe that what we want is to become rich, famous, or prestigious. We spend years, if not all of our lives, pursuing other people’s agendas and end up living an impersonated life. https://studentlifemadeeasy.com/stop-living-the-impersonated-life/
Derek Sivers said in his book Anything You Want, “Most people don’t know why they’re doing what they’re doing. They imitate others, go with the flow, and follow paths without making their own. They spend decades in pursuit of something that someone convinced them they should want, without realising that it won’t make them happy.”
In spite of this we are always chasing happiness by acquisition of materialistic things. And in the process we often forget that the things that we wish to possess so desperately ends up owning us. We need to remind ourselves we are far better off reducing the quality of our stuff in order to improve the quantity and quality of our time. What’s the use of money if we don’t have time.
We are often found in pursuit of happiness, because for us happiness seems to be ultimate aim of humanity. People primarily make all their decisions right through their life based on a belief that happiness will somehow translate into a fulfilled life. We spend our lives pursuing goals we think will make us happy. We spend our money acquiring things we think will make us happy. We get into relationships thinking it will make us happy. However the problem with pursuing happiness is that it is elusive. As Wayne Dyer has said, “There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way.”
There are primarily three basic prerequisites for existential freedom:
- Alignment of heart and mind
- Habit of Gratitude
- Being true to yourself
True peace comes from living a life in alignment with one’s inspired vision. This seemingly elusive peace comes from orienting our hearts in such a way that we are in no longer conflict with our brain (an organ so easily susceptible to being influenced by innumerable extraneous factors). Mind without the direction from heart ends up enervating the soul. Whereas the proper alignment of these two is capable of pushing every boundaries of our limitless potentials.
Inculcating the habit of Gratitude is a perfect antidote to fear and anger. We do have an incorrigible habit of taking so many things for granted we stop appreciating them. We just need to be aware that all those things gifted to us may not last for the entire duration of our life time. Once we reconcile ourselves with this harsh reality that many of our gifts (our health, relationships and hard earned possessions) can be taken back by single stroke of misfortune, the sense can be developed into a habit.
You can have a jar of gratitude. Write down two of the most precious things that you are grateful for on a piece of paper and drop it in that jar. Keep doing it daily and you would be in for a major surprise after a period of two months. The sense of fulfilment will start flowing back and should make the journey of your life pleasantly beautiful.
Lastly, without being true to oneself, a person can’t truly be free, or at peace. By being true to yourself https://studentlifemadeeasy.com/being-true-to-yourself/, you build quality in your character. And character is all about consistently doing what’s right regardless of the extraneous circumstances. Doing the things that are completely in sync with yourself: i.e you are completely at peace doing those things, there is absolutely no war, fear or greed within you, and this is true even when you are not being observed by anyone in particular.
Like self alignment for lasting peace and habit of gratitude, being true is such a rarity. Few people have it; and when people see it in others, more often than not, they are invariably offended by it. They are offended because it is a reflection of the self-alignment they lack in themselves. Strength of character by being true to yourself reflects an authentic freedom that can’t be imitated or replicated. Even if you happen to achieve every possible outward success, without presence of these three necessary prerequisites, freedom and fulfilment will always elude you.
David Eagleman “The Brain: The story of You”
Derek Sivers “Anything you want”
Benjamin P Hardy ” Slipstream Time hacking”
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