Have you ever wondered why some choices are hard to make? Others are, as clear as fresh running water from a river. At times it feels as if the brain prefers confusion rather than certainty.
What about when you want to begin something new? There are several reasons to go ahead and countless excuses not to start at all. Leaving us frustrated by indecision.
Do you know how your brain works? Have you ever stopped to listen? To find out what goes on in there?
I have two main characters residing in my mind. Both generally hold opposing views. One representing the right part of the brain. The emotional side. I call her ‘The Girl’.
‘The Professor’ who takes up the left hemisphere forming the logical side. The rationale area of the mind is not in charge. Although it does take control when the passionate side gets out of hand.
Two completely different personalities talking, debating, arguing and on the rare occasion working together.
Once I identified these decision makers, my life became a little easier to navigate.
Permission was granted to use the above illustration from The Brain Made Simple.
Who chooses what to wear?
‘The Girl’ likes to dress in vibrant of colors, her creative side comes into play. Enjoying matching shoes and clutch bags. She would spend a fortune on make-up if that ‘Professor’ guy would relax a little on the purse strings.
‘The Professor’ gets no say in what’s worn. He is at home wearing jeans, a T-shirt and a business jacket. How simple the wardrobe would be if only that ‘Girl’ wasn’t so fancy.
Money matters are ‘The Professor’s’ area of expertise. He won’t allow ‘The Girl’ any decision making power when it comes to spending. She would go on shopping sprees purchasing shiny things and exotic foods. Her favorite past time.
Budget days are a trying experience for ‘The Professor’. She is never far away. Demanding to know what her portion of the budget is for the week. Her voice echo’s throughout the hallways of the brain.
‘The Professor’ is all too familiar with the ‘The Girl’s’ sticky nose, loud voice and irritating presence.
‘The Professor’ often wonders if ‘The Girl’ realizes she looks over his shoulder each week. Ensuring she gets her cut of the cash.
He would put aside money for her, if only to shut her up.
One lives the other collects.
‘The Professor’ is considered a stiff by the other side. He is a no nonsense character and guides ‘The Girl’ by the hand into acceptable life experiences.
‘The Girl’ is passionate, mixed with a reckless abandonment and a child-like imagination. ‘The Professor’ embraces these traits. If only to observe and collect statistics rather than for entertainment purposes. He likes to experiment, record outcomes and identify patterns in behavior.
‘The Professor’ does appreciate her enthusiasm for life. Allowing her all the human interactions and enjoyment she desires.
The only time he takes control is when she becomes over indulgent. Eating too much and binge drinking are the starting points. There’s a long list of habits she would consume if he was not overseeing each action.
Pulling her up before she spins into chaos to avoid a potential crash. Over the years she has slowed down a little. Although she still requires steady guidance at times.
‘The Girl’ is a junk food addict. She loves donuts, pizza, cake, chocolate, cookies and sugar. ‘The Professor’ prefers a stable diet. The brain is in regular conflict, addressing this issue. ‘The Professor’ refuses to back down. Fresh fruit and vegetables are a must.
The drama of moving to a vegetarian diet was years of continued debate. For several decades these two have been a logger heads over this matter. A firm decision was made only six months ago that meat was no longer an option. ‘The Girl’ could be seen with her hands on her hips. Yelling that steak, eggs and chips should never be taken off the menu.
Although she knew ‘The Professor’ had made up his part of the mind. She quickly negotiated on the carbs. Wanting extra rice, potatoes and bread. ‘The Professor’ duly noted her requests. Wondering how he was going to get around this new problem.
‘The Professor’ would love ‘The Girl’ to sign a contract confirming their agreement. Presenting this signed document as back up, when she attempts to renege on any of the food deal.
He puts that to the back of the mind. He knows well enough to joke about something like this. To put it into action, would create an explosive scene in the brain.
Quiet time is a must.
‘The Professor’ demands regular commitment to meditation. This is an area where ‘The Girl’ constantly attempts to talk her way out of it. ‘The Professor’ will never hear of this. There’s always time throughout the day to sit and breathe.
First and foremost it stabilized that ‘Girl’ far better than anything else. Gives her balance. “Who needs it when we are happy?” A comment regularly heard through the walls of the brain.
‘The Girl’ is easily irritated when ‘The Professor’, turns into a nag. She simmers down and meditates to avoid the lectures on the benefits of balance.
‘The Professor’ dare not say in his jovial voice, “I told you so”. That would instantly evaporate a good mood created by their quiet time. ‘The Girl’ doesn’t like reminders from the man with all the rules.
The human divide.
Other humans. ‘The Girl’ loves them in all their glory. Appreciates all the good and bad each person has to offer. She’s curious, nosey and every now and again intrusive. She simply cannot help herself. Individuals, society and cultures are her passion.
‘The Professor’ doesn’t care too much for people. He is an expert in behavior and reading body language. He bores easy over human drama. Preferring projects of observation rather than interaction and activity.
If anyone was to attempt to dampen ‘The Girl’s’ spirit, ‘The Professor’ steps in. ‘The Girl’ may be a lot of things but it is only ‘The Professor’ who gets to pull her into line, nobody else.
‘The Professor’ is generally calm, calculated and controlled. Those who attempt to mess with ‘The Girl’ do find themselves at the hard end of ‘The Professor’. Who firmly takes control of any relationship causing upheavals.
Sharp tongued and well versed in truth telling. The voice of reason has no troubles in showing others he was in the background all along. It isn’t vital he assert himself until necessary.
‘The Girl’ is fondly aware of ‘The Professor’s’ protective nature over her. In these times she takes a back seat.
Brain hemispheres. The dynamic duo.
This odd couple make a good team. ‘The Girl’ would be lost without that annoying guy. And ‘The Professor’ would not have nearly as much data without her.
Where ‘The Professor’ lacks human tolerance, ‘The Girl’ has more than enough for the both of them. ‘The Girl’ does not weigh up consequence and will leap at every opportunity possible.
‘The Professor’ will pull her up when he calculates unpleasant outcomes. She listens but not without a snotty attitude to go with it.
Both sides have strengths and limitations. Accommodating one another. Life is so much easier when one understands their brain and how it operates.
Are you well acquainted with how your brain operates?