I’m intrigued and constantly amazed by the power of the human brain. I’m convinced had I not taken a liking to computers and electronics growing up that I would have ended up a neuroscientist. The more I read about the brain, the more fascinated and interested I become. What’s most amazing to me is how little we understand of its operation, even after all the brain research that’s been done over the last century . After all that time and energy, researchers have only scratched the surface. There is still so much more they have yet to discover.
A lot of my interest in the brain is understanding how to maximize its utilization. If one was to compare the human body to a computer, the brain is the microprocessor. It has the job of processing the inputs our senses provide, which is our interface to our environment. Those inputs, which make up our experiences, in turn affect the make up of our brain, which in turn determine our personality, which is in effect who we are. In my opinion, the better we are at using our brain, the closer we get to realizing our true potential.
Based on these interests, when the book Super Brain: Unleashing the Explosive Power of Your Mind to Maximize Health, Happiness, and Spiritual Growth by Deepak Chopra and Rudolph E. Tanzi showed up in my Amazon recommendations, if felt like the perfect fit. Of course I had to read it.
Super Brain did not disappoint. As I read through the book, I found myself marking a ton of passages and capturing a lot of notes. To be honest, I’m still digesting a lot of the material I read.
What I liked about their approach is how they compared the brain to a computer, and how we program that computer through our thoughts. Our thoughts interpret the information our brain processes through both our external environment and internal feelings. It is those thoughts, that constantly running voice in our head, that tells our brain whether this information is good or bad, useful or not, whether we should act on or react to it, and how. When you look at it that way, it separates the mind from the body. It puts a premium on our thoughts as they are the key to how we can alter the composition of our brain, which in turn affects our mood and the operation of our body.
I like the way Chopra and Tanzi describe the four roles we serve in using our brain:
- We are a leader – we hand out the day’s orders to the brain;
- We are an inventor – we create new pathways and connections inside our brain that didn’t exist yesterday;
- We are a teacher – we train the brain to learn new skills; and
- We are a user – we are responsible for keeping the brain in good working order.
It is our job to use our brain well, to feed it, to stimulate it. As they put it, we don’t know what our brain can do until we test its limits and push beyond them. Our brain is the gateway to our future. Our success depends on our brain since all of our experiences come to us through it.
Using this as a starting point, Chopra and Tanzi get into a detailed discussion of how we can use our brain to its fullest. Their suggestions are based on their research, observations from their practices, and the latest science. They break things down into actionable items that you can incorporate into your daily life, which is one of the many things that I really liked about the book.
Super Brain is a superb book on the power of our mind and the effects our conscience thoughts have on the brain, which in turn affects our body. Just be aware that it isn’t a light read. It delves deep into metaphysical questions about why we are here and the existence of a higher being. It will leave you contemplating the nature of the mind-body connection, more specifically what came first – the brain or the mind.
I liked the book, a lot. It’s a must read, especially if you are interested, like me, in how the mind, brain, and body are connected and work together, and how to use your brain to reach your highest potential to get the most out of life.
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