It's a fact: you are the most intelligent species to walk the earth. Now, what if I told you that despite the magnitude of intelligence you possess, your brain is playing games with you every single day? What if I told you that you fall for it repeatedly without even realizing, and what if I said that it's not really your fault that you are so easily manipulated? If you have been a victim to your two brains, then you are indeed a human being, and I fall in your category. I say that science has heeded reasoning for why things happen, but simply studying it does not solve personal problems. Alas, I sometimes sit here with all the answers, but not enough strength to actually act and apply. That being said, I would like to discuss my brains: one has ruined my life as much as it has kept me alive, and the other is not there for me when I need it most. I want to tell you why we may be the most adept creatures on the planet, but truly, we have yet to persist in outsmarting our own brains. An afternoon in high school involved the tedious travel down clogged hallways to where my English class was held. Upon entering the class, insightful students, who were indeed intellectually intimidating at times, filled the seats. English has always been my favorite class and specialty: opinions are evaluated instead of judged, and the beauty of language is used to express various ideas and facts. What sends my nerves down a dark tunnel is the discussion period of English class. Everyone is to sit in a large circle as ideas, quotes, questions and opinions are thrown into conversation. Sounds simple, right? It does not make me anxious to speak and confront others, but I sat in that discussion circle holding my tongue, because I felt pulled back by something, and I was overthinking it. Put yourself in my mind for a moment: ideas are circulating, but they are not formulated correctly, so I must structure these ideas before I can project them out loud. I must then quickly script the order of how I will emit my scrambled words out into the open, and recite them in my head a few times beforehand. At this point I have no clue what carries on in the class conversation, so now I must listen in, and wait to add my contribution within the perfect moment. Then, the most tragic occurrence takes place within the dialogue in my mind. I wait for the opportune moment to speak, and in that time frame I decide this: my ideas aren't even important, and they were never good enough anyways. And I did not speak in that discussion. This happens daily, in conversational scenarios, in life changing steps, anything that requires an instinctual override and an emotional stability. Overthinking and excuses have stopped me at my limits, where I turn around, then walk back to the comfort zone. I face my limits every day, and yet I still turn back every time. We are right to blame ourselves in this feat, but we are wrong to wallow in doubt. To make this as simple as possible, our brain is made of two parts: primal instinct and complexity. This complexity is the best representation of ourselves. It's love and beliefs, emotions and morals, and it's what makes us the most different from any other species. It's what makes us diverse individuals. What disturbs this complexity is the other guy who does not sympathize with you at all: primal instinct. This part of the brain only cares to increase our rate of survival. When the two parts interact, it can get quite foggy, and disable us from making decisions that would benefit our lives. When I chose not to speak in the class discussion circle, my instinct brain made excuses for my complex brain: "Your ideas aren't good enough" really translates to "your comfort is being threatened". This primal part of our brain serves to help us survive, but it can really interfere with the goals we make as a progressive species, and that's why we must learn to outsmart our brains. We think to just change habits, right? No. Change them FAST, and I mean within five seconds fast. An instinct is an unlearned behaviour that happens quickly without any thought process. When I now have ideas, I simply say them without the extended process of overthinking. Repeating these actions creates habits, and there is no reason for the complex brain to make excuses. It's as easy as it sounds, but it takes quick determination and perseverance, and more importantly it makes us mentally stronger to withhold the instinctual brain. We are creatures of complexity and discovering our capacities to control and change our mental functions proves that we are rightful as the smartest organisms on earth. With two brains we are goal oriented. We are dreamers and doers with passions and plans. We are able and worthy of far more than we hold accountable for ourselves. I force myself to contradict the negative comfort tactics my brain can succumb to, and I find myself becoming more armored every day. With two brains, the limit is undefined.
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