Five of most interesting truths about the mind

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Emotional intelligence defines your success.

If you can understand yourself, and those around you, you have a distinct advantage.

By simply understanding how your brain reacts or processes certain facts, then you can start to be who you want (or need to be) at work. For example, if you have a tendency to be more emotionally, than rationally driven you can find ways to make sure you always make the best decision, at any one time. Or, if you find it difficult to manage certain relationships at work than you can start by understanding that person's mind which in turn will help you to build a suitable relationship.

Here are 5 of the most interesting truths about the human mind;

1. Your mind is irrational

Most of us assume we are rational decision makers, but in the last 10–15 years, research has challenged this assumption.

Irrationality isn’t always a handicap. Malcolm Gladwell explains in his book, Blink, that gut feeling decision-making can be even more effective than rational decision making. This is because when we follow our gut, we follow a body of experience, so familiar to us, that we are able to act fast than our minds can process.

In the workplace, this kind of intuitive decision making is called, "hot decision making" as opposed to “cold decision making,” — choices based on reason and logic. Knowing that your hot decision making can be just as effective as your rational mind, start to practise using it more. Make hot decisions, as much as you would cold ones. Train your mind to make good choices faster.

2. Your mind needs work

According to Daniel Pink’s Drive, humans are built with intrinsic motivation — a desire to do something due to craving a feeling of internal satisfaction. Intrinsic motivation is natural to humans: we are predisposed to perform, to work, and to tackle problems. It satisfies our primitive genes. So why do so many of us perceive work as a terrible chore? Neil Fiore’s The Now Habit explains that we begin to lose our joy for work through negativity picked up from school, studying and even parents! Luckily, this mindset is reversible. Simply recognise that work, prevents you from feeling lost, and without purpose. So start to enjoy your professional life and use the opportunity it gives you, to edify your mind! If it doesn't satisfy you, maybe it's time to consider a career change?

3. Your mind believes talent trumps hard work

Many studies have shown that talent isn’t essential when it comes to excelling in life and work. In Outliers and Mastery, the writers explain that success is mostly about gaining experience, practising, and mastering a skill, through sheer dedication. What does all this mean? Simply, that talent is 90% made, not born. All you need is the correct mindset and work ethic. Pick how you want to be successful and get to work.

4. Your mind is programmed to be negative

In his How the Mind Works, Stephen Pinker explains that, from an evolutionary perspective, it is important for humans to be negative creatures. This means that negative emotions such as fear and anger have a purpose. They stopped us from being attacked by predators and enemies. Meanwhile, positive feelings such as gratitude and humbleness did little to aid our survival.

However, we are no longer primitive animals. Research now shows that people tend to live longer, more fulfilled lives when they’re happy. Positive emotions might not have been critical for our caveman ancestors, but for the modern day worker, they are crucial to our survival.

Investing in your happiness, now, will greatly assist in the success of your future professional and personal life.

5. If your mind is present, you are performing at your best

Focusing on the task at hand and being present can be incredibly hard to achieve for most people. Our minds are constantly racing, constantly trying to multi-task. But, if you can try to be present, throughout all of your collective moments, for example, when you're breathing, eating, walking or working it can make a huge difference to your happiness. Whatever you're doing, if you can remain present, you will be your most productive, focused, and happy self.

For more on this topic, read the excellent blog written by Blinklist for Medium, here.

Follow Blinklist for more great blogs, here.

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