Neural pathways and ruts

So there is this story I tell often to explain many of my perspectives on the world.  I realized it wasn’t posted here and I really should post it so that people have some contextualization.

So have you ever had to stop yourself midstory?  Do you find it painful?  Do you feel like you just stumbled?  Maybe even stumbled and fell?  Have you noticed that it is even worse when it is a favorite story or a frequently told story?  Have you noticed the elderly people often have a stuck set of stories?  I mean you know they are old – they most have more stories than that and yet… they keep applying the same ones to the same phrases?

Well your brain is not unlike a network of roadways.  Paths become easier to take the more often you take them.  I mean this is normal – it is called learning.  It is how we survive.  It costs us less energy (literally) to think the same way.  The problem with this is that our brains can get so used to things that it creates ruts – deep grooves.  Those ruts can become difficult even painful to deviate from.  They become so deep that they become tunnels so that we can’t see the other possible paths.

I know that I already have those ruts all over my brain.  And for the most part, I tried to make sure those are worthwhile journeys.  But I purposely try to make myself jump out of them from time to time to keep my brain nimble.

So when you tell a story… look around – anyone bored?  You might be in a rut where you can just barely see over it.  Stop engage that person – jump off the path and see what’s there and have a little conversation.

oh yea – and if you notice me getting in a rut … PLEASE ask me a question to gimme a little push out of it 😉