Saturday, January 19, 2013

The secret lives of me: Neuroscience, Edna, and Eloise

Woo HOO! Edna, Eloise, Astrid, and Elora LIVE!! Some of you have read my thoughts on how I manage my time, my memory, my social interactions, my calendar and my creativity ( I have given names to each of those aspects of myself. 

Edna rules my memory and knowledge. Eloise rules my social interactions. Astrid (she's new but she's smart) governs my schedule(s). And Elora takes on creativity.

When I originally dubbed Edna as the part of my brain that I view as knowledge, it was rather as a joke. When I needed to remember something, I would get frustrated at not being able to think of it in the moment. So, I created Edna (who looks a lot like Edna Mode from "The Incredibles"). When I need to remember something, think up something, or put things together, I turn to Edna and I ask and let her do that thinking/remembering for me. After a while, I realized that other aspects of me needed equal time and so those other characters were "created."

It turns out, I wasn't that far off. According to the book below (I just heard the story on NPR and absolutely need to buy the book now), that appears to be how our unconscious mind works. It is sort divided into those various "people," and they take care of those jobs for us. 

According to Eagleman, the author, when we think that we've just come up with some great idea, it's actually many facets of our unconscious minds that have worked sometimes days, sometimes weeks, on the problems or the ideas before either the solutions or the ideas came to the forefront of our conscious selves. So, we tend to take conscious credit for it, but Eagleman says that in fact, it's all those unconscious selves inside us that are responsible and our conscious selves are rather the receptacles that receive those ideas. When I think about it, what I've been doing with Edna and the other ladies is giving them purposeful missions in the various fields in which I feel need to have specific purpose. For me, what works is when I give unconscious self, conscious goals and personify those portions in such a way that I have some part of myself I hold accountable for the tasks I will need to complete.

I believe it was Mozart who said that he didn't so much compose his music as he took dictation. And that appears to be borne out in the research as well.

Hey, I think I just compared my process to Mozart's. Considering he is one of my all time idols, I'm in pretty good company. :) 

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