“If you haven't found something strange during the day, it hasn't been much of a day.” – John Archibald Wheeler, Born Jul. 9, 1911.
One of the features of life is that it will adapt to meet the challenges of the environment it finds itself in.
A hard life will make a body strong.
But in modern life, many of us live far from the kind of environment that would naturally shape us. So we have gyms and equipment to simulate hard labor.
And that's what we should do with our minds, too.
It's a safe bet that if you aren't encountering something strange – something you don't understand – something you have to look up more about – then you aren't challenging your brain enough for it to grow.
And if you purport to want to make a living off of that big beautiful brain, that's a problem.
You have to push into new territory. Not necessarily new subjects, but dive deeper into your own subject. The history. The science. The research. The fandom. The competition. The myths and misconceptions.
And as you fill your brain with stuff few other people know, your exploration ALSO gives you material.
Content that seems fresh. Solutions to problems that may have snuck by everyone else. Answers to questions people have been searching for.
What people call “brilliant” is basically just someone digging in the dirt of a given subject far deeper than most people would have found boring.
But that's where the weirdness is.
What's weird is interesting. What's interesting is valuable.
So what did you find out today about your subject that was weird? And how will that weirdness profit you?
<!—- lagniappe Let’s talk about tactics you can use to make sure you’re bringing fresh material to your audience. Notice I didn’t say “new” which is an absolute, but FRESH, which is relative. 1. Appear responsive. So whatever the topic the audience is buzzing about, have something to say about it. Make predictions, offer solutions, whatever is relevant. The pro tip here is that if you been at this long enough, you know it’s all cyclical, so save your answers to re-use the next time a topic rolls around again. 2. Collect sparkly tidbits. They can be anything. Quotations. Metaphors. Odd images. You don’t have to use them as the backbone of anything - just as slight seasoning sprinkled in. You’ve seen these things in my own work, and they are there to elevate whatever I am sharing, even if in a small way. 3. Dig into the past. Doesn’t have to be ancient, but it can be. Just revisit stuff that was relevant to your niche some while ago. Dust it off and take a fresh look. Share what is still valid. Point out what isn’t and why. Old books and periodicals are great for this. 4. Cross-over ideas. Study other stuff outside your field - things you enjoy for their own sake. Science, tech, arts, sports, hobbies, whatever. And use those pursuits to give you new insights into your work. Find the anecdotes that give swipe-able lessons. 5. Recycle and repurpose. Provided you have been doing this long enough, at some point you can begin to cannibalize and plagiarize yourself. Revisit old content and refresh it. Either do it blind, or make it explicit that you’re doing it. Convert it into new formats. Post it places that you haven’t previously. The overarching theme here is that it’s not about creating something new. It’s not about being original or even innovative. Become a treasure-hunter, looking for value in stuff that already exists, and becoming a distribution point for that, putting only a small twist to make it uniquely you. Can you? Of course. And then YOU will be the one challenging the audience to grow just like the devotional describes. —->
10 thoughts on “To Make Your Brain Beefy, You Have To Flex It Daily”
Nugget of the day.
“What people call “brilliant” is basically just someone digging in the dirt of a given subject far deeper than most people would have found boring.”
That would make a great meme.
I come for the insights, but since you’ve asked for it… like the old look feel / better and curious… what prompted the change?
Being dangerously out of date down to the operating system, and the fact that the old site theme was abandoned by the original devs. I picked this one because it was very similar to the old one, and actually handles the images in a way I like better.
Ah! Yeah, that’d prompt a change from me, as well.
Thanks for everything.
The universe is full of strange and wonderful things. Some are weird at first, but only because we do not yet understand them.
From Alice in Wonderland:
"Alice laughed: "There's no use trying," she said; "one can't believe impossible things." "I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."
Love it! And as you point out, bringing the weird things into the light and explaining them is valuable to an audience that needs to understand those oddities to achieve their own goals.
You inspire me, CofCC!
I'm off, now, to dig in the dirt & locate my daily weirdness
Hey brother! Very very long time no talk, but I needed to bust out a super fast video this past week so I dug out your invaluable Rapid Script Template from 900 years ago and like always it never fails me!
Said success thereby triggered my brain to seek out my ole' genius buddy Colin to see what he was up to and verily I didst stumble upon thy witful musings once again! And again (as always) I find yet another beautiful pearl of wisdom and truth waiting to be discovered.
Thusly to echo your point – I've heard our Right Righteous Reverend Perry Belcher say many a time that perhaps the most powerful instant authority & credibility tactic you can execute is to give your present audience as many "Oh Sh#%!" moments as you can as often as you can.
The simpler and more obvious you make something, or the ability to get people to look at something in a completely different light or from an entirely original angle that illuminates their mind and clears up fog that they didn't even realize was there is perhaps the most powerful skill set you can develop.
So Amen, Amen & Amen! Keep 'Em Coming!
It brings joy to my soul to reconnect with your genius!
I love hearing that! I’ve spoken plenty of times about how an “aha” moment in the brain is like the same “pump” feeling that bodybuilders get when their muscles rip and repair themselves bigger and stronger. It’s euphoric and addictive and they’ll come back for more. The secret is, it’s really easy to do and you don’t have to be that smart to create this feeling again and again…