brain massage

Suppose a brain cramp is a real thing. Furthermore, suppose that quitting or taking a break isn’t an option when the cramp manifests itself, much like a marathon runner who cramps up in the final meters.

Undoubtedly, the results of that forced endurance will be felt afterward. Likely, the marathon runner will find it (more) difficult to walk. The brain cramp may result in a reduced ability to think straight.

What’s the way out? For muscles, a massage seems fitting. Perhaps applying alternating hot and cold pressure alleviates the pain? If so, what’s the alternative for a brain? How does one massage it?

What helps muscles is moving them in the exact opposite direction. To recover from a figurative brain cramp, does one need to stimulate it in the opposite way of what caused the cramp? Refrain from stimuli altogether?

Given the complexity of the brain, a single, correct answer is unobtainable. Doing nothing can be strenuous.

brain train

Every day a different muscle group. That’s what it takes to train muscles. Train them to become larger and more powerful.

Training the same muscles within 24 hours has a detrimental effect. The muscles need a day to restore. Training within the timeframe the muscles require to rest has an adverse impact. It makes the muscles smaller or less powerful.

What is true of muscles is perhaps also true of the brain? Provided that excessive use leads to cramps, how does one train the brain?

What’s the ideal balance between doing something every day to become better at it and resting sufficiently, again, to become better at it?

the elephant in the chair

Instead of carefully dancing around the elephant in the room, pull up a chair for the majestic creature.

Elephants have huge ears and are sentient beings. If they’re in the same room with people talking about them, no doubt they will pick up on it.
Avoiding conflict is not a sound business strategy.

There will always be proverbial elephants in the room. Regardless of attempts to keep them out. Ignoring them just makes them sad and angry. Invite the elephant to the table.

Acknowledging is better than avoiding.

exhibit problem

Creating is easy. The best way to write is to start writing. What’s true of writing is true of many creative activities.

Exhibiting, that’s where the going gets tough. What will people think? Will this resonate with my audience? You’re paralyzed. Never made it out of the gate.

Knowing and understanding your audience is super important. Without proper insights, you’re flying blind, and targeting will be inefficient.

Create for yourself in the first place. Don’t start with an exhibition or publication in mind. Enjoy the process. The rest will follow.

maintenance is no fix

With a blown-up engine, changing the oil isn’t going to reassemble it magically. Similarly, depression won’t go away by meditation.

Prevention is better than cure, obviously. The danger lies in prevention advice being passed around, disguised as cure advice. They’re unequivocally not the same.

Maintenance is, of course, an excellent strategy. Meditation or prayer, among other initiatives, can help keep you grounded, focused, and grateful. Think of it as the oil recommended by your car manufacturer (not the cheap knockoff either). Proper and regular servicing will make you run smoothly for as long as you can.

make haste slowly

For the last couple of decades, humanity should have enabled itself to work less instead of more. As time progresses, people can reduce or eliminate the need to reinvent the proverbial wheel. Setting us up for something that is often referred to as the “innovation dividend.”

On the one hand, there is mindfulness, a trend that keeps gaining popularity. On the other hand, the pressure to perform is presumably still on the rise. Do these two balance each other out? They could.

Calm the hell down quickly! One of the key elements in mindfulness is to be completely aware. To be fully present in the moment. In business, as in leisure, the balance between speed and thoroughness is vital. Fly through your work, and recklessness may cause errors to creep in. Short term delivery goals may be met, but the chance of missing long term goals increases. Rushing work may hinder (seeing) the long term vision.

Achieving “flow,” a state of mind in which people are totally involved, is such a blessing. Losing track of time during work makes it feel like play.

Double down on those moments. Perform like there is no tomorrow but enjoy it thoroughly while you’re at it.

our brain is a compression algorithm

Human brains are the most expensive organs in terms of energy consumption. As a self-preservation tactic, we try to save energy where we can. Therefore, being lazy could be considered smart.

Compression algorithms, the technology that makes files smaller, work similarly. There are many different ways of going about this. Still, fundamentally, many compression algorithms share the same approach at their cores. Look for similarities and omit excess information. For example, you take a photo of a loved one on a clear sunny day. The blue sky’s pixels could be rendered individually, or, in an attempt to reduce file size, the pixels could be clustered. Meaning, as long as the next pixel is similar to the previous one, we can group them.

Even cats go about their day applying compression algorithms. Our domesticated feline friends have excellent spatial awareness. When you put a cucumber, or any object for that matter, behind them when they can’t see, they lose their minds upon noticing. Why? They scanned the environment when they entered the room. The new information being introduced unknowingly is rather shocking for them.

People do the same thing. Cities can be tumultuous. If we have to pay attention to every single detail, our energy would be absolutely drained before we arrive at work. Riding a bicycle in a city, for instance, requires paying attention to cars, traffic lights, pedestrians, and so on. That’s plenty of information as is. Our brains will filter out the smell of the bakery, the sound of the birds, among many other distractions, in an attempt to save energy.

Have you ever turned down the music to better park your car? I sure have. That’s a semi-conscious action. Our brains continuously apply many compression tactics without us being aware. Depending on your energy level, we can try to bypass the compression or deliberately pay attention to things we’d usually miss. Children can notice pretty much everything, but as we grow older, we somehow lose the ability.

Suppose we want fresh perspectives and really be present in the moment. In that case, it’s interesting to be aware of our compression algorithm and turn it (all the way) down when we can and want to.