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How we decide

July 14, 2011

girlie and edThis week I have been reading Jonah Lehrer”s book “How We Decide” and has learned how to improve my bodytalk processes.  Jane Maestro-Scherer gave us this book.

I read page after page because  Jonah wrote about the different  mysteries like a movie  and linked them to brain issues. The brain has several features and of the many parts, Jonah stressed the prefrontal cortex – which he compares as the conductor, the CEO in our daily lives.

After finishing 3 chapters, I realized how important my modules one and two in BodyTalk are. Now I tap my crown, temples, tap around my forehead and ask myself “what’s the most important thing I should focus on today  as a wife, a mother, a sister, a daughter?”  As a senior, I decide 5 hours for my  wellness chores and 7 hours to enjoy my life.

How?  I begin by  tapping  on the cortices,around the forehead and eyes and sternum . It is called in BodyTalk “tapping the cortices.” It helps to get me creative and the outcome is – meaningful and  joyful. my heart and mind literally sings rather than palpitates.

I tap  Ed and Ayen also and told them  to read  the book  because Jonah writes like Robert Ludlum.  The research cases he cites read like a novel. Jonah describes  the various parts of our brains in very graphic and persuasive case studies , eg.  in the Mischel study  of 1970 to 1985 – he explained why  four year old children who ate their marshmallows at once did not fare as well as those who waited – they did not  control their impulse.  The children who waited used reason to control their impulse to eat the  first marshmallow. This is evident in the development of children – the  growing ability to withstand emotional urges and use of their pre frontal cortex.

Now what is also useful in this book? Insights  on learning from mistakes. The physicist Niels Bohr defined an expert as “a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field.” Citing Jonah, “from the perspective of the brain, expertise is simply the wisdom that emerges from cellular error. Mistakes arent things to be discouraged, they should be cultivated and carefully investigated.” Successful education is the “ability to learn from mistakes”  according to Carol Dweck, Stanford psychologist. This is relevant for families with children  with learning issues, who have ADHD, for  teenagers and adults with bipolar  issues,  and even with siblings  and partners  who cannot control their debt and financial  issues.We should look at their efforts, not discourage them, but praise and help these children for trying to learn from mistakes. And also learn from our own mistakes in treating these issues.

Mistakes will help you understand not only why but  how to solve emotional issues and how to make better decisions involving problems with family, with work, even with the larger society. Investigating mistakes will also allow you insights on how to deal with anger and rage, loss,sadness and grief.

Jonah wrote also why we make moral decisions as human beings and how our brains lead us to these moral issues. Relevant for the bishops, the clergy  and laity on why we need to do reproductive health education.

Thought for today – “Chance favors the prepared mind”. Louis Pasteur


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