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How often do you give your brain a work out?

I often turn to quotes. And movie/book references. And songs (although rarely so on this blog). It is the easiest way to index the incidents in my life that I come across in multitudes each day. Just like Google Search turns up relevant results that have the most 'hooks' to the search term, the mind turns up relevant incidents (real or fiction) that have the most 'hooks'. Given that most of my time is spent reading/watching/listening to something, they are natural contenders for good 'hooks'.

I often start my posts with a quote that I've liked. Although I'm not starting with one today, here's Cheryl Strayed saying she does something similar:
"I've always been a quote collector...From the comic to the profound, the simple to the complex, the sorrowful to the ecstatic, the inspiring to the stern, whenever I need consolation or encouragement, a clear-eyed perspective or a swift kick in the pants - which is often - quotes are what I turn to. They've been tacked to the walls of every home I've made. I've written them down in my journals and kept them on files in my computer. I've scribbled them on the back of ripped-open envelopes and drawn them across stretches of sand."
If you don't know who Cheryl is, she's the author of Wild, which was turned into a movie that released earlier this year starring Reese Witherspoon. It is Cheryl's own story of hiking a thousand miles on the Pacific Coast Trail from the Mojave desert near Mexico all the way up to the Canadian border. Alone.

That's a trek I'd like to take myself one day when I can afford to take a four month sabbatical.

The quote above is actually the introduction to her new book 'Brave Enough', which unsurprisingly, is a collection of quotes.

Nowadays, if you talk to me, I often bring up quotes and references in conversation. There is more content being generated every day than any of us can consume in our entire lifetime. Obviously, we can't consume it all. But we don't have to. You all know the 80/20 rule. You pick up 80 percent of what you need to know by consuming 20 percent of the content. Apply the rule twice more, each time to the 20 percent of the content that give you the 80 percent of perspective. And you will see that 1 percent of content will give you 50 percent of what you need to know. This one percent is your 'hooks'. This one percent can be in the form of quotes, good books, inspiring movies, thought-provoking articles and talks.

Once you have enough 'hooks', you will start noticing that most of the things (half the things to be precise as per the previous math I described) already align with your perspective. Then you go seeking the ones that don't align, and reconcile.

This is the best way to keep those synapses in your brain strong and create more connections. This is the equivalent of taking your brain to the gym.

How often do you give your brain a work out?

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