Yesterday we spoke of doing things from our youth and how it can prevent our minds from growing old. There is another way to keep our minds young and flexible. Acting crazy. Now before you think I am going to suggest something that would land you in jail or a nice comfortable padded room with a jacket that fastens in the back, let me explain. What way to you drive to work? Have you ever arrived there and not remembered anything about the trip there? Providing you arrived sober let me explain what happened. When we travel the same course five or six days a week it becomes almost ingrained in our mind how to get there. So much so that much of the duty of arriving there safely is delegated to the subconscious mind. Think of the act of driving itself. When we first learned to drive our minds were on overdrive. There seemed so much to pay attention to. How fast are we going, don’t look at that too long, check the review mirror every 8 seconds. After a few months we pretty much just get into our car and well, drive. We don’t think about making sure our foot is on the brake before we put it into drive. It all seems to happen automatically. So what is the problem with this? Well, when we lose our focus on the present two major things occur. One like physical exercise if we use our brain for the same things over and over again we plateau. We cease making new pathways in our brain and it fails to get a workout. How many times has a new business opened up on the path to your work and you fail to notice until somebody else points it out to you? Just because you are not looking for something you ‘know’ is not there. The other thing that happens is we fail to appreciate the beauty of the present. A lot of what we do on a daily basis is nothing short of a miracle and was considered, even by ourselves in the beginning, to be a monumental task.
So, how can we avoid getting in these ruts? How can we keep our brain sharp? I am going to take a lesson from the Shaman. For those of you who do not know Shamans were spiritual, and sometimes political leaders of indigenous Peoples. Quite often people would think of them as crazy. They would do things like walk backwards, eat hot food cold and cold food hot, wear ridiculous outfits, or even say things that seemed to make no sense. This all was part of the way of keeping the shamans mind from falling into a rut. Now I am not suggesting you come into work dressed in drag as the boss may frown. What I am suggesting is do a few things to shake up your routine. Take a slightly different path to work. Eat a breakfast meal for dinner. Most of the things we do out of habit are really not all that serious. It will give your mind a jolt and keep it sharp!