For what is, in simple terms, a bag of water and sugar and fat powered by electricity and dreams, the brain does a pretty good job at some pretty complex things.
To be better people and professionals it’s important to understand the basics of the brain, which we have begun covering as follows.
To the shock of all engineers and logicians, the brain is based on emotions, and these are distinct from feelings. The creation of emotion is an automated survival function, whereas feelings are influenced by experience. Fear of a snake could be the former; fear of getting stuck in an awkward elevator conversation with that co-worker the latter.
One of the most important aspects to consider is the continuum of threat and reward. When you move towards threatening situations, the brain abandons energy supply to areas of itself required for logic in favour of supplying muscles to protect us. In this respect, the brain can be like a drunken sailor in a bar fight; less inclined to use reason when most required. It’s a good organ, but it’s not perfectly evolved! On the flip side, in the reward stretch of the continuum we are more logical, creative and productive.
While a clubbing at the hands of a Neanderthal on the savannah has been replaced by, well, clubbing with Neanderthals at 3am on a Saturday morning, an understanding of primal threat/reward element of our brains is critical.
In any adverse circumstances, consciously position both others and yourself to stay out of threat response. Society gets more reasonable as a whole.
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