This morning I remembered what I was going to blog about yesterday! Brains!
No, not zombies. But rather how our brains work. I read this post a while ago (warning, it’s churchy) but here’s what really stood out to me:
…In this information age when messages, images, and information are coming at us almost faster than we can receive them, our brains are creating new neural pathways to accommodate the input. The first time we see an image on a screen (we’re not talking about pornography here, although it does apply) – like a blog page, a news feed, texts, or facebook – our brain creates a new neural pathway to process that image. It is the same with new sounds or any stimuli to the senses, but let’s use the visual image for this discussion.
Input always travels the path of least resistance. So the second time we see the new image, it will travel the same route. And before long, the new neural pathway has been stimulated enough to “desire” of itself continued activation. A habit is born.
After that, when the brain is not currently occupied, we long for that image. That is why we constantly check our phones or email. That is why, when we have a free moment, we click onto a favorite blog, check facebook, and tweets, or any other source of input we frequent. Without realizing it, we have begun to crave these places of input, hunger for them, to the point where they can surreptitiously dominate our time.
While the post is making a case for serious daily scripture study and meditation, the same principle applies to pretty much anything we choose to do in life. What kind of input do I crave? And if there is simple biology involved, shouldn’t I be able to be more proactive in deciding what I crave?
Even though I came across this article after I set the goal to “run” 100 miles this summer, I’ve since tried to make this goal about creating a new neural pathway, one in which I crave and hunger for exercise. I hesitate to write about future happenings, but after I go for a 1.5 mile walk later tonight, I will have–for the the first time in my life–walked or “ran” every single day this week for a total of 10 miles.
Conditioning the synapses. A different way of thinking about how to make life changes…
Speaking of which, I’m thinking about doing this.