October 7: Our Brain: Automating Happiness

In the book, The Rise of Superman, Steven Kotler speaks incredibly eloquently about the brain and all we do know about it.  (Which in actuality, is very little.)

He points out the chemical dopamine, and how important it is in our brain.  It is usually associated with addictions (drugs, alcohol, cell phones, praise, food, etc.).  The rush of dopamine actually reinforces pattern recognition.  We get a little hit of it as a reward, every time pattern recognition takes place.  It is also used in the learning process.

He states, “Noticing patterns actually prepares the brain to notice more patterns.  It’s why creative insights tend to snowball. Once we do the hard work of identifying that first pattern, the dopamine dumped in our system primes us to pick out the next.  And the next.

Neurons that fire together wire together.  The more times a particular pattern fires, the stronger the connection between neurons becomes, and the faster information flows along this route.  When the pattern recognition system correctly identifies a pattern, it’s stored not as a series of steps, rather as a whole – a chunk.  Chunks get added to chunks which get added to chunks, until seeing the front edge of a tiny pattern allows us to make very complicated predictions about the future.”

Wow-talk about evolution at its most incredible!

He also states, “The goal is to cut out consciousness.”  As humans, we are capable of automating certain aspects of our lives, conserving energy to be used elsewhere and allowing for consciousness to thrive in OTHER areas of life.

Becoming automatic in mindset, therefore, is a real thing.  Automating gratitude is incredibly useful.  Mindset is a skill which can be learned of, then acquired and practiced consistently, until it literally becomes an automatic response, a habit.


Today I will think of ways I can improve mindset in my own life.  I will remember by doing so I will not only improve my own life but the lives of those around me.  EVERYONE stands to benefit from any improvements I make.

The audio version of Steven Kotler’s book, The Rise of Superman, is free on YouTube.

goodinthehead is also on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter.  Follow me there, as well, for daily messages, inspiration, motivation, and reminders.  Please pay it forward, and share this, and ANY message, which may empower someone you love or may care about.  It is through adding value to others by sharing and spreading wisdom, that we become more valuable as individuals, and collectively, as a whole, we all become wiser.

Remember:  Mindset matters.  Character counts.  That which we choose to consistently focus on is what EXPANDS in our lives.  WE CREATE our realities.

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