Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Brain and Happiness: Alex's Easy Guide to Self-improvement

Your brain, your perception of the world, and thus life as you know it is not complicated or serious. The best way I can illustrate this is through the art of analogy, and it goes like this: When you are born, you are given a deck of cards. Only there aren't 52, there are a whole lot more, a practically limitless amount. The deck you get is based on the circumstances you were born into: Gordon and Sharon have a boy on February 23rd, 1987 in Minneapolis, MN, that boy gets this deck. Now, at first, you aren't the one choosing the cards. But as you get older, you not only get more control over which cards are chosen (until eventually you have near total control), but more of the cards become visible to you. So the cards you have and the ones visible to you are all based on the ones that have already been played. And life is a game, just a series of plays. Here's where it gets fun. If you don't like the cards you're holding, simply choose new ones. If the cards you're holding say you are depressed, bipolar, choose new cards. Choose the cards that say you are happy, in control of your emotions, welcoming to whatever the next day will bring. If they say you are unmotivated, that you'll never be the great guitarist you've always wanted to be, get new cards that say you will work hard and dedicate yourself to practice.

Okay, so you're sick of cards. But hopefully the analogy brought you on board to my line of thought. Another analogy, if any of my IPR frenz are reading, think about wires in the studio. "I don't like the sound of this compressor, I'm going to patch the signal through to this other one instead. Ahh, much better." It all comes down to the same thing, which is that our brain is just chemicals and connections, a living piece of machinery. You might be asking by now, "How do I just choose new cards, or change the connection? It's not that easy." And to that I say, YES, it is that easy. I'm asking you to change how you think, physically change the way your brain is wired. It's easy to understand how powerful your mind is and how it can cause physical changes in your body. A simple and crude example would be what happens to your body when you feel physical attraction. Your heart flutters, etc. So how do you change a connection in your head? Simple: a thought. That's it. Know what you want to change and what you want to change it to, and just DO IT. It is truly that simple, and ANYONE can do it. The key is to understand that you are in complete control of your mind and body, and that no outside force is as powerful as your own brain.

This is a good time to note something important, which is that there is no right or wrong way to think, and don't let anyone tell you any different. This is all about you, and how you want your own brain to work.

If you accomplish this simple task, you will find that you can be happy no matter what external circumstances are happening in your life. Again, the world is only how you perceive it, and your perceptions are based on the way your brain works. For example, I used to be unemployed, single, living on my mom's couch, and totally depressed. And in literally the span of one day, when I changed the way I thought about the world, I became completely happy, still unemployed, still single, still living on my mom's couch. I'm no stronger or smarter than anyone else, I just figured out how to rewire my brain, permanently, and the only way that really works. No drugs, no shrinks, just my head. I want everyone to be happy, and I believe that you can all do it.

Now go back to the deck of cards, or the patch bay, or whatever helps you, and visualize it. Find the things you don't like and exchange them for new ones. It is that easy, trust the power of your mind.

And some day, the card game ends. Maybe you'll get to play all the cards you want to, maybe you won't. But the game ends, and it's okay either way because you got the gift of being able to play it.

That's life.

1 comment:

Stefu said...

I want my deck to be all aces! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!