In today’s noisy world, choosing what to care about is important.
Our brain neurons still keep sending messages even when we want to stop thinking. Sometimes, it is impossible to control our thoughts.
We hang out with our friends on a Wednesday evening or a Saturday night. We listen to music or Netflix or drink — to take our mind off things we do not want to think about, anymore.
Imagine — if we could be in that chill phase all the time. If we could block the redundant noise.
We think about two kinds of things:
- The ones that are important
- And the ones that are not
Unimportant things cloud our mind like the winter fog. Except that they never clear out even when the sun shines out our window.
Here is some of the fog that we can lift.
I went to Chile in July 2016.
Going to South America was the best decision of my life. That vibrant continent added an additional layer in my personality. It was like discovering rosemary suddenly.
I learned so much in those nine months that I would not have in many years in my home country — India.
I started speaking a new language — Spanish, made friends from all over the world, taught English, lived with complete strangers from different continents, ended up loving them, experienced the Latin American culture closely, traveled to places that I had no idea existed, and met people who continue to love me.
The Spanish accent in Orange is the New Black was the initial pull but there is a difference between the fictional world and the real one. In fiction, everything looks glamorous. In reality, it is not.
Except that it was.
South America gave me a new energy and a new outlook.
I did not know all of this when I left. Then why did I leave?
Once when I was in the sixth grade, I asked my sister to make sandwiches for my school picnic. A string of events occurred, and she declared I was selfish. I used to often realize that I was more interested in getting my work done, rather than the feelings and engagements of other people.
The realization that I was a bad person and that people knew about it was suffocating. I understood that I would be left alone if I did not change.
I consciously tried to become a better person by caring for other people and showing that I cared.
Why relationships are important?
Neuroscientist Anil Seth says, each fraction of a second, millions of neurons work in your brain to generate your conscious self-experience — your experience of the world around you and of yourself within it. Without consciousness, there is no self, nothing.
Our brain receives signals from outside and also, inside. The signals that the brain receives from inside are not only of our experience but of millions of years of experience that has been passed through our DNA. Consciousness is an interception of two different signals: coming from outside (the sound and smell and noises and information) and coming from inside (of yourself and based on your beliefs and information).