Just Thinking About It…

A brain by any other name would be just a lump of calories...

Well folks this is the last month of yes, 2011 and the end is nearing as the sands of time in the hour glass of December start to run short.  With this we all know what comes next don’t we?  Alright, here is a hint as it all starts with the New Year and what do people typically do at that time?  Yes, they make New Years resolutions as what do they want to change in the New Year.  In essence it is one of the few times where we “reflect forward”, instead of the backwards as in what do we want to be rather then looking in the rear-view mirror at what we were.

The list is a pretty common one and typically topped with losing weight or quitting smoking.  Yet the problem with these as they are more “wishes” then actionable items for us to tackle which means it’s harder to make them happen.  So why is this, as there isn’t a question all of this is good stuff and good for us too?

Well part of the answer is energy as we create rules for ourselves which we have to think about.  So you’re “thinking” what does this have to do with “energy”, well its simple as your brain takes a lot of this.  As  this heat is generated by burning calories, yet this post isn’t about the physiology of the brain (however you can look at some of the back posts for more info).

Yet what I wanted to wax about today is the absolutes of this as how can we use this to our benefit.  As one of the things when we decide upon a resolution we want to make where we do not have to “think” about them.  As when we think about things, it takes energy; our brains want to conserve energy so no matter how great the logic, our brains still may betray us because of this.  So what’s the trick?

Simple, rules should be hard and not soft and before going further need to give the standard disclaimer as many of these affect our health.  So if they do, then please seek advice of a healthcare professional.  Now with this said, where failure typically takes place is flexible rules as in ramping up or down.  As when things are flexible you have to think about it, and if you have to think about “it”, you will burn more energy.  In burning energy, your brain wants to take the easy way so in the end the process breaks down.

The solution is hard rules on the other hand make for easy action as you don’t have to think about it as it is what it is. Therefore the brain burns less energy and bada bing, bada boom you move on rather than waxing about it (giving in to temptation) and failing.  Yea I know sound easier then it is, yet it does works save for one thing; yes you guessed it, food.  As cigarettes, alcohol and the like you can just say no to as you don’t need them (physiologically).  However food is a different story as you can’t live without it, so we always must think about it which makes it hard to form into an absolute.  This is why dieting typically fails as you always have to think about…


About Joseph Campbell

As a strong believer in the fact that "people work for people", it has been a life driver to better to understand the complexities of the various aspects which drive efficiency within this axiom, especially the concepts of leadership. Supporting this, I have been fortunate enough to having experienced this as leader on a global basis over the last decade and half. During this time it has been clear there are three core drivers being Life, Leadership and Economics.
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