The Power of Thinking has become an over-expressed topic with time especially after the success of ‘The Secret‘.
You have already heard and read about the power of positive thinking through different books, blogs and even advertisements. Everyone is trying to capitalize over this topic and trying to present you with some commercial views.
I’ll try to present something different in the same topic of ‘The Power of Thinking’. It’ll a different viewpoint from the general perspective.
My name is Lalit Adhikari and we are at LTY. Let’s begin!
How our Brain Thinks
At this internet age, information is all around us, there are so many ways to acquire information like YouTube videos, Blogs, Forums etc. But having an idea or knowledge is far more different than having an understanding.
Having an idea or acquiring knowledge just means storing the facts in our memory where as developing an understanding means that you use the information to change the way you think and act.
It’s a common misconception that our brain is some kind of a supercomputer like the ultimate calculating engine. Well, in fact, it is supposed to be extremely fast, super connected and highly accurate. But it’s not the ultimate calculating machine.
When you have something on your mind like a picture or an image, you can visualize it very sharply and precisely and switch it with other images easily much faster than a computer. But here’s some points to consider about computer and brain:
- When it comes to operations performed per second, brain cells are much slower and can only do 500 operations per second where a computer can perform 3.4 billion times faster than the brain cells.
- Computers don’t do any mistakes; the rough estimation of making mistake is 1 error in a trillion operations but comparatively, brains are much more error-prone.
- In computers, you can connect to the internet and you are connected to the world contrary to the brain.
So, from this perspective, you might say that our brain is lame and lousy. But still, each of us has the power to outperform every computer system by just a simple experiment, have look at the images below.
So, what do you see in the images? A tiny vegetable face right! Or I could just say a collection of vegetables but your first thought might be you see a face.
Well, the most interesting part of this experiment is not that you recognize the facial pattern, but how fast you can do it. Because when our brain cells are that slow, we can only do 30-40 operations within that split second.
Surprisingly, computer software needs many more steps, thousands and even millions of steps to come to that same result. And this simple experiment leads us to the fundamental principle of how we think.
When an external input hits our eyes, it gets processed by sensory cells which gets activated and that further activates the neural network. The brain doesn’t distinguish between processing and output because processing the information is the ‘Thought’ itself.
The thought is how the brain cells interact and how they process information. This is different from a computer because no matter which type of processing a computer uses, (whether it is algorithmic, deep learning network or any method that will come up in the future) it’ll always be input, processing and output without mistakes.
But if we, as humans, don’t do any mistakes, you just end up at the place you are programmed for but nowhere new.
Computers are intelligent but intelligence is nothing special. Intelligence means you follow the rules as fast and efficiently as possible but not to change rules. No super intelligent computer can ever rule the world because intelligence is not enough; you need to be a rule breaker and a game changer to do that. This is called Creativity.
It’s the mistakes in our thinking and not the perfection that separates us from non-creative machines. And by mistake, I mean we can come up with a new thought, a new activity pattern without knowing before whether this is correct or not. There’s no objective criterion for a good idea.
Now-a-days, it is so easy to be surrounded by convenient but non-inspiring opinions. In fact, we don’t like creative opinions. We use media like internet, TV, radio to confirm our beliefs but never to challenge them.
By doing so, we create an echo chambers and filter bubbles around us. In order to spark new ideas, we should do the opposite. We should provoke ourselves from time to time, to read something we disagree with and have a productive argument with a friend.
Try to see things from different perspectives. Try to challenge your opinions and ideas instead of confirming to them. Try to break your thinking rule instead of following them.
So, what will be the next great idea that is worth spreading? I don’t know yet.
But I’m pretty sure that it will be created by brains and not because we are smarter, faster or more intelligent than computing machines but the opposite. We are slower, irrational and imperfect. That’s why we need to understand the world instead of analyzing it and that is what makes us human.
Power of Thinking
One of self-help classic, ‘As a Man Thinketh‘ by British philosophical writer ‘James Allen’, has greatly explored the power of thinking. Here, Allen argues that your thoughts ultimately shape your circumstances. They also majorly dictate your physical health.
So, either for the ‘Good’ or the ‘Bad’, the way you think makes a difference. Hence, Power of Positive thinking and Power of negative thinking are merely two sides of a same coin.
Power of thinking and human history
Great thinkers throughout history have echoed the philosophy of Allen, which says that our thoughts influence our actions and shape our destiny. In his book, Allen has discussed the power of thinking and various ways that thoughts manifest in reality and how to direct our thoughts in order to create the life we want.
The title of the book was inspired by the Bible verse, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he”.
Power of Positive Thinking
Before we begin, have a look at this short video first.
What happens when we Think Positive and Be Positive:
- Cope with stress faster and more effectively – instead of dwelling on the negative, positive people look for solutions and when we find solutions, stress starts to dissipate.
- Improved health – there are several evidences that positive thoughts boost resistance to disease and improves the ability to recover from setbacks of health.
- Better relationships with people – everyone is drawn to positive people, so being positive brings more people into our lives. We’re also better at communication and negotiation with positive attitude.
- Become more focused – as seen in the video, positivity helps us in being more focused and productive. You’re driven to achieve the things that matter to you. It becomes easier to tune out the noise and tune in to what needs to be done.
- Feel more confidence – it extends to your view of yourself and your value, boosting your self-worth.
- Be more successful – as a positive person, you not only attract success through the Law of Attraction but are also better at networking and inspiring others.
- Experience more happiness – it brings more joy, optimism and satisfaction. You start to notice and appreciate beauty in life.