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Using Everything in Your Brain Box

You’ve probably heard the statistic that we only use about 10% of our brain. That’s not true. Sorry to burst your bubble. It is true though that we only use a small fraction of it for conscious thought. There is, however, a middle area that isn’t under our conscious control that we can still use.

I speak of the subconscious.

I’m not going to get all Freudian on you in this article. Jungian either. Instead, I want to talk a little bit about how you can leverage the way your conscious and subconscious work together to find solutions to your problems.

Your mind works in loops. A loop is a complete thought. You want to recall the name of an actor, your mind serves up that information, and the loop is closed. Your mind likes closing loops and; it hates open loops. It hates them so much that it will continue to try closing them even after you’ve moved on. That’s why you sometimes shout “Scarlett Johansson!” three days later when you’re in in the middle of dinner with your spouse. Your subconscious worked to close the loop in the background.

Sometimes that’s what we need. We can all hit a point of diminishing returns hammering away at a problem with conscious thought. That’s not to say that we should walk away from every problem as soon as it becomes difficult, but when we hit that point where we can feel that more digging is only going to lead to more frustration, it’s worth trying walking away and delegating the load to your subconscious for a while. Change it up. Shift focus. Put your conscious mind on something else. Or maybe take a break and go for a walk (more on that later). You might be surprised at what pops into your head all of a sudden.

Here’s a suggestion for a quick change of pace: have a look at our new mobile-friendly courses on the Epicor Learning Center. You can play these short bits of training beginning to end in just a few minutes, giving your mind a quick, productive break.

Clifford Horowitz