Be Astonished and Upgrade Your Brain


I recently watched a video on Vimeo by Jason Silva called, “The Biological Advantage of Being Awestruck“. For me this video was a real eye opener. It also encouraged me to check out the book written by Nicholas Humphrey—who also wrote the book Soul Dust: The Magic of Consciousness—to read more about this advantage of being “awestruck”. Many college years were spent upset, irritated, and stressed because of my habit of wandering over to YouTube to watch awe-inspiring videos instead of completing my homework assignment for accounting class. I am sure many others are exactly like me, but I still feel as though I am different from most. Anyway, turns out what I have been angry at has actually upgraded my “mental schemata”, and created more drive to find the next big thing. That is right, I am saying that my procrastination has actually given me more mental capacity and other great benefits as well, and here is why.

My Mother and Father would always tell me, and still do, that I need to stop “wasting my time” on the computer.  Little do they know, much of my time is spent exploring, learning, and creating things on the internet.  When you understand the vastness and power of the internet it is no longer a mystery about why someone might be so caught up in spending so much time staring at the monitor. Now people are beginning to research more into why we are so addicted to finding the next big thing.

Apparently, all the years spent procrastinating has actually been paying off. I have began to see improvement in my grades, compassion, and drive to be successful.  I don’t usually get sucked in to the next celebrity gossip, or music videos online, but rather seeing a rover land on Mars or Terence McKenna talking about the meaning of life.   Maybe one day I will be listening to someone lecture about the meaning of life, and the next I’ll be watching crazy videos created by Jason Silva. One thing stays the same between every video, and that constant is that each one creates a gap in my mind that leaves me in awe.

Creating awe according to a Harvard Study is clinically good for you. It expands your understanding of time, increases compassion and empathy, and promotes well-being.  For some, memorable moments can be counted on one hand and for others it is hard to remember them all. Luckily, it doesn’t take a trip to the grand canyon to create awe.  Simply looking at a photo taken by the Hubble telescope will work.  Realizing that you are fitting millions of planets and stars into something as small as your optic nerve is pretty awe-inspiring.
The drive that is in all of us to find those special moments of awe is actually what keeps our species moving forward. As a human being we consistently want to move forward, become the next best athlete, invent the next greatest thing.  Now we know what motivates us. We now know what helps us perceive the world in a more compassionate way.  Now we know what helps us grow our minds, and it isn’t always by reading material straight from a textbook. Sometimes, you just have to go looking for something new.

What has left you in awe today? Leave some experiences below!

written by @CaddyQuinn
We are the Young Life Perception
Be sure to check out our podcast at www.younglifeperception.com

and you can also find us on iTunes and Stitcher Radio

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