“Cogito, ergo sum”
(Rene Descartes, 1596-1650)
… with apologies to Ratso Rizzo of “Midnight Cowboy” fame .
This is a very elegant phrase.
It describes something that we do throughout our lives, something which affects our every action, emotion, and thought, and which determines ultimately much of the quality of our days.
Every one of us has a brain … even though some try to convince us otherwise through their behavior and words.
Yet most of us know very little about how we do this all day, every day.
… not because we don’t have enough options to learn. My preferred learning route is reading a book: A recent Amazon.com search using the term “Brain” resulted in over 11, 000 titles, “cognition” yielded just over 7, 000, and “thinking” produced just under 7,000 hits and I only noted hardback titles. Add in paperbacks and these number grow significantly.
Books about how the brain works, often attached to a promise to “reveal the secrets” or “learn better” are prominently displayed in most book stores.… and this is just the popular press. If I had looked at academic articles, professional journals, and other sources of credible information, the list simply expands.
How we perceive, learn, change, sell, decide, and experience emotions are critical functions.
If we do not have some understanding of how all these and related functions occur, we are at the mercy of what often appears as a random or mysterious world. One in which our lives are experienced as a series of “magical moments” or indecipherable actions.
So I have some questions for you today:
Questions: If you have read some on thinking, cognition, and how our brains work, what was the specific title and how would you rate it in terms of
1) Clarity: How clearly written was the book? Did it include understandable explanations? Can you remember the points?
2) Focus – What was the specific or main focus (neuroscience, politics, emotions, or other)?
3) Usefulness – How did this book help you in your daily professional or personal life?
I have my own recommendations, but those are for another day. I want to hear from others about what has helped them understand this distinctly human function.
If you have not or are not engaged in a personal learning project around how we think, choose a recommended title and start now. It’s sort of important.
“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.”
Well, something to think about anyway:)
Thinking my head off in the Heartland ….