Thursday, November 02, 2006

Condition Lather Rinse Repeat

You can condition your body. With practice and familiarity, you can get used to little sleep (right now I have crazy insomnia and I am getting 3-4 hours a night). You can condition your body to eat less food and survive without caffeine and to accustom itself to discomfort. You can even condition your body to run and exercise on little or no sleep. It’s a pretty versatile machine.

But you can also condition your brain. The longer I work in advertising, the faster ideas come to me. It is like my brain has reprogrammed the synapses so that they fire more frequently in a creative/problem-solving area (and less frequently in other, more practical areas). Same goes for writing. If you are writing constantly, it’s just a matter of sitting down and picking a topic and it flows out of you.

I remember reading about a psychology study once where they had an experimental group of students that they would give two different lessons to, one would be visual, through material they were supposed to be reading that was in front of them, and the other would be a spoken presentation at the front of the classroom. At first, they couldn’t absorb both lessons at once, but over the course of a month, they conditioned their brains to do so. I always thought was a pretty inspiring idea about our potential as humans.