#SoG142 - SSAAVVEE your brain 💪muscles💪!

SSAAVVEE your brain 💪muscles💪! (#SoG142)

The idea for the day is easy to explain.
The brain is like a muscle. You don't exercise it, it atrophies.

What is atrophy/atrophies?
The easiest way to explain this is the loss of muscle after a prolonged period of inactivity.

In terms of a scientific definition, per Wikipedia, it is "...partial or complete wasting away of a part of the body. Causes of atrophy include mutations (which can destroy the gene to build up the organ), poor nourishment, poor circulation, loss of hormonal support, loss of nerve supply to the target organ, excessive amount of apoptosis of cells, and disuse or lack of exercise or disease intrinsic to the tissue itself." Highlights are mine.

Keywords are wasting away due to disuse or lack of exercise.

So how do you not let your brain waste away?
"It's elementary, Watson!"
You use it more often. And you exercise it!

How do you exercise the brain?
Tons of ways.
Here are some things I use to keep the brain going.
While these are what I have picked from all the things that I've read over years from credible books recommended by thinkers I respect, there may be limited scientific evidence of these working. But then, if this works for them, I am sure it will work for me as well! In other words, I hope like hell that these work.

1. Play those brain games.
I have written about them in the past. And like I've said in the past, the jury is still out on the efficacy of these. However, I believe they help. If not in helping me keep the brain active, then in giving me that fake confidence that automatically puts me in the right frame to do more!

2. Learn a musical instrument.
Again, I wrote about this in one of the previous letters. Krishna has been after my life to start playing the Uke. I bought also. And I know that it will require just about 10 minutes a day to be able to learn it. But I haven't got around to it.

I even added it to my daily to do things but it did not happen. Too low on priority I guess. I mean if I can take out time to write this, meditate and all that, how tough could it be to take out 10 mins?

3. Get multi-disciplinary.
Identify problems that are not in your regular line of work and think hard on those and try to solve them. A corollary is, read about a wide range of things. Prof. Bakshi is a huge proponent of learning about multiple disciplines.

Oh, the trap to avoid (the one I have fallen in) is to not become a Jack of all Trades (though I've made a conscious choice to be a Jack, rather than being a super-specialist). In general, Jacks are not respected well. A Feynman would probably frown upon Jacks. Prof. Bakshi is a T-shaped personality (knows a lot about a lot of things and then knows more than almost EVERYONE about one thing.

You need to decide where you want to stack yourself. And even if you choose to be that super-specialist, you ought to read about multiple disciplines.

4. Access to better people.
Spend time with people that challenge your thinking.

The pitfall to avoid? Don't get trolled. People that are better than you could be kinda warped in the head and could troll you, rather than giving you feedback and ideas for you to feed on. You need to avoid all negativity at all expenses.

Of course, I chase people. Jack said it best in his iconic book.



He says, "...the only people that interest me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones that never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes “Awww!”

In my blind chase for people, I often meet people that are great and well-meaning and all that but tend to fill me with negativity. I have limited my interactions with people that troll me. You need to do the same. And how do you know someone is negative? If the after-taste of your conversation with them is unpleasant (you feel tired after you've talked to them, you are exasperated, you get angry etc), they need to be cut off immediately.

***

So yeah! These are the ones that I could think. What are some ways that you use to prevent your brain from atrophying? Do write in.

Thank you for reading and this one was tough to write :)

Thanks for your time,
@saurabh
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TAGS: popScience, Brain

STREAK: 2

NOTES
1. This is not a "science" article. This is quackery if you ask me.

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