“I can’t leave my phone in a locker, what if I need it? What if I need to look something up? Are there math problems inside? I won’t have my calculator. What if someone needs me during that 60 minutes? You took away our phones, how were we supposed to figure THAT out??” This is an everyday conversation at the School of Hard Locks. So we started asking ourselves, 'Why?' Is there something we have created that is so difficult we can’t figure it out using our basic mental skills?
In 2016 we are told look for the hack, or the shortcut, or the automation that will make thinking unnecessary. When is the last time you multiplied three digit numbers - without using the calculator function on your phone; or placed a telephone call without retrieving the number from your "Contacts." When is the last time you recalled an historic event from memory without consulting Wikipedia; or used a dictionary rather than Spell Check when you did not know how to spell a word? Are you feeling mentally flabby? I was doing long division and multiplication with my fourth grader last night (and please don't tell him, I CHEATED by taking out my phone, afraid I would flub in front of my aspiring math whiz). What did I find? Man, my mind is out of shape! I was a master at these...when I was 10!
It's already March, and time to discard, or a least rummage through some of the neglected gifts from December. Do you have old exercise equipment taking up space in your garage, attic, or bedroom. Perhaps an ab wheel, or a yoga mat still in it's box, an unassembled exercise bike?So, much effort, money, let's face it worry, angst, nerves is devoted to working out and keeping our bodies in shape in this post-industrial digital age.We DRIVE to the gym to get a workout, and no doubt you Google Map it to the Escape Room.But at least you are doing something - the first step, is to start.
But what about your mind? How does it get its exercise? Like an unused computer screen or phone it can go into the sleep mode. We lose skills we once had because we have found the shortcuts, the hacks, that make thinking unnecessary. And building that mind is important to reignite the skills that set human beings apart in the first place:The ability to collaboratively solve unusual problems.
To start at the beginning, to make it all happen, to build the life, job, relationships, accomplishments,we need to point the finger at the Head Honcho. Yeah, the HEAD. HeadStrong. Like that?
The fountain of youth, magic elixir, vitamin, beverage, meditationand cosmic chant that brings clarity ofmind, purpose and thought is already being sold elsewhere. Mind strength comesthrough use and effort - through solving difficult problems effectively, by facing new, unusual, novel challenges and forging new solutions. Exploration can cause a sweat, discomfort, fear, but also ignite the imagination and provide true exhilaration.
We'll call it the slow thought movement...??
Answer Key: Let your discomfort from not having your electronic devices at your fingertips be the motivator to start re-training your brain.