We all have a brain, but do we have a mind to use it? In life, we gravitate to those who possess and dispense wisdom. I have had the benefit of countless mentors, sages, and confidants sprinkled throughout my life. The brain is one of the busiest (second only to the liver) and the laziest organs in our entire body. Our brains tend to focus on things which make it feel good, keeping us in our comfort zone. If your brain is left unstimulated, it results in a condition known as lame brain or dull skull, both of which fall into the untremendous category.
Emerging research on neuroscience confirms the brain is a muscle and mental fitness is as important and real as any other health regime for our bodies. In evolutionary as well as theological constructs, man occupies a unique space in the universe, the only known living entity capable of striving for, creating, and achieving greatness and oneness with, or as, God. Hence, there is inherent greatness in every human being, and every human being has a role in unlocking that potential via self to claim their intellectual or spiritual birthright (or both).
Which brings me to the question, is your brain HOT or COLD? And by HOT I mean, Higher Order Thinking and by COLD I mean, Can’t Organize Logical Deductions. Retraining your brain has broad implications for behavioral transformation. Behavioral transformation is why we seek out people and books smarter than ourselves. So when you are unpacking an issue in your life, be sure you are getting prescribed solutions from individuals or research that exhibits higher order thinking. In laymen terms, higher order thinking is what we all do when we think deeply about a problem or situation. HOT is also reflected in the six levels known as Bloom’s Taxonomy.
Stay away from COLD brains. They are chalked full of emotions, faulty assumptions, logical fallacies, and jumping to conclusions. As John F. Kennedy so aptly put, "Too often, we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.” COLD brains result in automatic thinking which is triggered by a spontaneous event. It is based on personal opinions or beliefs and accepts present realities as they are. HOT brains, on the other hand, are cautious and look for main contentions, evidence, and assess reasoning. HOT brains are open to alternatives and go deeper into the issue and ask questions.
So why don't we use our HOT brains more and revert back to lazy heads? First, we are taught since we are school-aged children to answer quickly in a multiple choice world where there is only one correct solution. We aren't paid to think at work, instead to accomplish tasks and meet metrics. We also get a great deal of satisfaction by crossing things off our "to-do list" rather than our "to-think-about list." Lastly, heating up your head is tough because it exposes our ignorance.
So what’s the temperature of your brain? We can control the setting of our brain. We hold the keys to adjusting our cognitive thermostat and not just passively reflect the frigid, lack of critical thinking going on all around us. That’s why my father always said you’d be the same person five years from now that you are today except for two things, the people you meet and the books you read. So make sure they are both blazing with brilliance and not numbing with nonsense.