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Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Review of Incognito: Chapter 3

Reviews | Moose

So yesterday I found out that the authors name is David Eagleman, and not Engleman. I preferred it with an 'N', but so is life.

Chapter 3 of the most fascinating read was completed on the train this afternoon. I reiterate, there is not a more mind-stimulating book available. If you really want to understand yourself and others, I would highly suggest reading this book.

You can buy it here:
Others - Quite an easy book to find, but I'm not going to link every country here! Don't judge me.

Chapter 3 is called 'The Mind - The gap', and it is mostly about the unconscious thinking we do, and how repeated conscious thinking can create that 'computer-like' tendency to be able to perform tasks with greater ease.

To summarise this chapter, it is all about doing something repeatedly to perfect an action, so that it becomes second nature. And that is when you think about something that it becomes difficult. For example, try this:
Let's suggest that someone is constantly beating you in tennis. They have practised much more than you have. Ask them how they became so good at a certain action, for example their backhand. This stimulates the brain to think, and it should put him off his game!
I will admit that this is an example from the book (copyright guys, please don't get me. I'm a simple man, and that example is as good as anything! Well done you David!!)

For me, this chapter has changed the way I am approaching certain situations.

I am someone who is not particularly effective at talking to someone that I do not know. In fact, in my head I will tell myself that I am going to do it, and may even have the perfect opener, but something always stops me (that something is obviously myself). In those times that I do go chat to someone, I will often falter and not be able to progress the situation much further, and then as I walk away have something incredibly intuitive to say. I'll laugh about it and move on. I like talking to people of course, and I also enjoy, in principle, the act of getting to know new people.

By reading this chapter, and having certain aspects of his his points explained to me in a way that is easily digestible, I know that to improve on this, I need to do it more often. To put myself in that situation more often, and as a result, my brain will be more efficient at knowing the right things to say quickly. Watch this space, but it is something I will be working on, and I will update you, my loyal readers.

And there are so many other things that I can do to improve on every day life, notably in training or writing. Writing here, for example, more often, will make me better at writing (though obviously I will need feedback, something you can help me with! We'll work on this together!). Similarly, writing about every day, the way the birds sing, the way the cold air hits my face will quite simply make it come across more effectively.

Simply, to become great at something, I need to work on practising it over and over again until I become an expert - "I'll do it on the day" will not suffice any more!

This may seem obvious to you, but putting it into context really helps. Hey, it's all about growth in life!

A couple more points interested me:
- Priming
Mentioned in the chapter is the fact that you can be primed to do something. Similarly, you can you are more likely to listen to a brand/slogan if you've heard it more often, as it becomes engrained into the mind, and you end up having a bias towards it.
- Ever wondered why basketball players will have a ritual before shooting a three-pointer?
Quite simply, it is a way of calming the mind to prevent thinking, and therefore to prevent you listening to the crowd. You will perform a regular task that you are used to that allows you to go into autopilot and take the shot.

So instead of hearing the bullshit quotes about 'don't think when you go into a situation', and many of a similar nature, I'm going to revise it:

Go into a situation, and keep doing that over and over again, so that you won't have to think about it again!

Maybe that's why I'm able to clarify my thoughts in the shower.... Hmmmm.....

Moose out!

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