Monday, December 22, 2008

Fly Like a Bee!

'Sooner or later those that win are those who think they can'

Scientists used to believe that humans responded to information flowing into the brain from the outside world. But today, they are learning instead that we respond to what the brain, on the basis of previous experience, expects to happen next.

For example – in Texas, doctors are studying the effect of arthroscopic knee surgery - they assigned patients with sore, worn out knees to one of three surgical procedures: scraping out the knee joint, washing out the joint, or doing nothing.

During the ‘nothing’ operation, doctors anaesthetized the patient, made three incisions in the knee as if to insert their surgical instruments, and then pretended to operate. Two years after surgery, patients who underwent the pretend surgery reported the same amount of relief from pain and swelling as those who had receive the actual treatments. The brain expected the ‘surgery’ to improve the knee, and it did!

Similar with athletes who visualize their performance beforehand and see a marked difference in how they perform. Scientists have hooked up electrodes to these athletes and discovered that during these visualizing exercises the same muscles are being recruited at the same rate as they would if they were actual in competition – so when they step onto the field, the brain believes they have been there before.

Why does the brain work this way? Neuropsychologists who study this say it’s because we spend our whole lives becoming conditioned. Through a lifetime’s worth of events, our brain actually learns what to expect next – whether it eventually happens that way or not. And because our brain expects something to happen a certain way, we often achieve exactly what it anticipates.

So what does this all have to do with bumblebees? Well the bumblebee can't watch tv, read books, listen to his teachers and others telling him he could not. He had to find out for himself if he could accomplish or achieve something he wanted to do - like fly for example. Scientists have come to the conclusion that the poor bee is incapable of flying---its wings too small and too slow and its mass too great---yet somehow no one ever relayed this message to the dumb old bumble bee, who goes about his business soaring from flower to flower, seeking the fruits of his labor.

Today, things are not about 'trying it out first'. We rely on the security of the world around us to tell us what we can and can not do. The bumblebee had to believe he could, he had to at least attempt the impossible or he'd would surly die.

We're told what's right and wrong and what we're supposed to do, not just by our parents but by our "civilized" society itself; that if you play with fire you will get burned. We accept mediocrity and have gotten rid of our curiosity.

We don't think or act for ourselves. Instead we - go to school, take IQ tests, earn our pieces of paper, get jobs, do our jobs, ensure our survival and ask no questions until it's too late, then die. Because you're told that if you don't "choose" such a path, someone else will and they'll be the ones reaping the rewards. Essentially, we do what we're told; we're told fire may burn us and we believe it must be true because that's what we were told. We keep working at the job we hate because we are told that there is no such thing as enjoying your work. We choose not to take on the next challenge because the last guy that tried told you it was impossible and much to tough. When we should respond with ‘well maybe impossible for you, but I’ll try for myself’, we instead accept this as gospel and don’t even attempt in the first place.

Experiences and discovery is how we learn. And what we learn along the way will condition our brain of our beliefs – of life, goals, the future, and what we CAN do.

We read and we begin to see.
We see and we begin to learn.
We do and we are.
We gain our beliefs from putting it all together OURSElVES!

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