First allow me to apologize to my readers who have been wondering where I’ve been the last couple of days. I moved to a new city this weekend, and in the hustle and bustle of moving I haven’t had time to write any new articles. Henceforth I shall be posing at my regular intervals, so those of you that have sent emails wondering what’s up, all is well. And thanks for the thoughts.
Moving to a new city is both exciting and sad. Exciting because you get to meet new people, introduce yourself to strangers, and explore new areas of a new neighborhood. One of my favorite parts of moving into a new neighborhood is finding all the local coffee shops and bookstores. It’s places like that where you can chill out and read something interesting that can perhaps expand your mind.
Another thing that is both exciting and sad is saying goodbye the old and creating a new morning walk. My previous walk in my old city took several iterations until it was just right. You know how you try something, and keep shifting it a little bit until you get it just right, right? Like when you order a coffee and you get the sugar and milk ratio just right. It’s as though you don’t really want the refill because you don’t want to mess up the perfect mix that you’ve created.
So I was on my first exploratory morning walk, going down this small side street, checking out this bridge, looking in the window of that shop. And it made me think of how the brain is able toÂ create new memories. From a structural standpoint, it’s almost identicalÂ to creating a new traveling route.
Like for example, if somebody says ‘baseball,’ and you automatically think of ‘hotdog,’ that means there is a strong electrical/chemical/physical connection in your brain between the collection of neurons for all things ‘baseball’ and all things ‘hotdog.’ Mentioning one automatically makes you remember another.
So as I was walking I started wondering, as I usually do, which isÂ one ofÂ the main reasons for my walks.Â What if you could engineer the connections in your brain, instead of letting them grow on their own? For example, what happens when you think of the following words:
What words did you come up with? Did you like them? Would you like to change them? One of the great things about human development is that you can learn to create associations in your brain, just like you create a new traveling route, as I was doing this morning. For example, when you think of the word ‘test,’ what if you automatically thought ‘a great opportunity for to showÂ your knowledge?’ Or if somebody says ‘economy,’ how would you like to think ‘a fantastic complex structure whereÂ you can make incredible amounts of money?’
Of course, just as it will take time for me to create and settle into a new walking route, it won’t be automatic for you to create new connections, but don’t you think that it’s worth the effort?
I can’t wait until tomorrow morning. There is another street I saw that I hadn’t been down yet. How about you?