Read Something… Read Anything… Choose Books… Switch Off Your Phone/Tablet/Computer Right Now (after you read this Post and click “Like” of course)… Read Something.
You wanna have knowledge? Read something. You wanna learn how to apply your knowledge? Read something. You wanna be as inspirational and enlightened as the ‘Heroes’ of old? Read something that they wrote; read something that they read; read something that tells you more about them.
Read Spiritual Books… Read Self Help Books… Read Inspirational Books… Read Fiction… Read Comic Books… Read Books You Wouldn’t Normally Gravitate Towards… Read Something… Read Anything.
You were not made to sit at a desk and stare at a screen. Nobody was made to sit at a desk staring at a screen for 8 or more hours a day. You were not made to constantly look down at a screen in your hand. You were designed to cross the road looking ahead of you and to your left and your right. You were not designed to cross the road staring down at a screen in your hand. WAKE THE FUCK UP! You were not made to exist only in 1s and 0s. The computer often referred to as your brain (you know, the one we all seem to neglect and forget about) is capable beyond your wildest imagination… feed it and watch it impress you more than any binary driven invention could ever hope to.
Around 13 years ago I attended a week long training course on ‘Manual Handling’. It was an in depth course aimed at Trainers and with the planned result that they could then go and train the staff at their base/depot. I had zero interest in the course until I realised the guy taking the course was one of those people who just teach you all sorts of cool things without the need for spreadsheets, powerpoint presentations, or awful low budget training videos – or as I like to call it “Death By Viewfile”. He was one of the smartest, most knowledgeable, and most interesting guys I have ever met. Why? Because he had knowledge to offer and a passion for what he believed, and because he read a lot of books. He was a professional drummer (my interest was piqued immediately) until he broke his back, (holy shit how’s he still walking? He’s bouncing around this room like Tigger) and then he discovered Yoga, which he claimed had saved his life. I found all that out within an hour of sitting at my desk, (expecting to be bored to deep slumber for a solid week), and that guy had my undivided attention for the rest of the week… and the rest of the class of hairy-arsed, burly warehouse/airport workers also gave their undivided attention.
One of the many ‘random facts’ I learned that week was that in order for a man made computer to be as powerful as the human brain it would need to be the size of Texas. Yeah, I never forgot that, and I never will. Seriously? Our brain is that powerful and complex that an actual computer would need to be the size of Texas to be able to operate and perform in the same manner? The whole classroom was gobsmacked. I kept putting my hand up to ask if I’d heard him right. Now that was around 13 years ago, and technology has came on quite a bit, so I don’t know what size that computer would be now, but that is something worth thinking about. Incidentally I have just finished reading Dan Brown’s latest book “Origin” where a Super Computer is one of the pivotal characters. That’s probably what brought all this back to my recollection. Again, the power of the brain is such that even though the aforementioned information from 13 years ago is buried deep I can still bring it to the forefront any time I want to… without having to type, write a program, employ a load of 1s and 0s, and without having to phone Tech Support. Come on, have I got through to you yet? Has the penny dropped yet?
You are walking around with a super computer inside your head. For real. For absolute fucking real. Do you realise that? Do you know what that means? Well, for a start, it means that you have no excuse for forgetting your Wedding Anniversary or your Wife’s Birthday. So, in the interests of marital bliss and peace on earth I suggest you don’t share this information with your other half until you’ve figured out how to crush the mutiny that has been running rampant for years and take back the Captain’s Seat at that Super Computer of yours. How do you do that? Start by reading.
Reading a real book (not an e-book or a kindle or a laptop) will increase your brain power; increase your intelligence, make you more empathetic, reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s, and help you relax. Those are just a few benefits of reading a real book. Turning the pages, smelling the paper, feeling the energy of the physical thing in your hand that was possibly made from a tree that lived for hundreds of years. Seriously, if that doesn’t get your motor running I don’t know what will. What about the fact that Women are more turned on by intelligence than abs? I don’t know if the same can be said for men. We can be fickle, shallow creatures, I know, I admit that. I know it can definitely be said for me. Give me someone I can talk to for hours, someone I can learn from, someone I can challenge, someone that challenges me – give me that over ‘thigh gaps’, ‘selfie trout pout’, and ‘flawless makeup’ any day of the week. Intelligence is the gift that keeps on giving – as long as it is complimented with wisdom and balanced with laughter & silliness. Give me a heart that won’t quit over a body that won’t quit any day of the week.
I don’t know where this Blog came from this morning. I was supposed to spend the morning in my recording studio finishing off a few projects, followed by a nice spell in the garden wielding my new sledgehammer (a birthday present from my Beagle – I shit you not) but here I am typing like a demon. Maybe it was the eclectic handful of new books I received as Birthday gifts. Maybe it was my morning browse through the Linkedin App – watching the whole world put so much stock into qualifications, cosmetic appearances, deadlines, goals, and stats. Maybe it was the fact that every post I read on Linkedin had all the ‘Buzzwords’ and all the ‘Image Requirements’ but none of them fucking moved me, inspired me, or taught me anything. Yeah, there we have it, that’s it right there – when I swear in mid flow I know something has struck a nerve in me. When I swear it means something is extra real to me. There’s a writing tip for anyone who’s willing to take one from an ‘unqualified, no degree to his name, didn’t even go to college’ unemployable writer. Let your writing flow and watch what comes out. Learn your tell tales signs that will guide your writing. You have a fucking super computer in your head – don’t rely on someone else’s. Don’t wait for a qualified person to grant you permission to write. Don’t ask for a qualified person to review and submit feedback on your writing. Read like a fucking demon and then write like a fucking demon and watch how your super computer starts whirring and purring like an unstoppable machine. Watch how every aspect of your life will start functioning better – all because you blew the dust off the super computer and switched it on. This advice isn’t just tied to writing. This advice will transpose to any skill or vocation. All you need to do is to start reading…
Your life is not what you put on your CV. Your achievements are not made up of graded qualifications or controlled assessments. Your potential cannot be quantified by a job description or a video interview or a panel of specialists. Your potential is limitless. Your achievements are potentially infinite. YOU are infinite. Don’t let anyone tell you what you are worth. Albert Einstein is quoted as saying: “Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Now I don’t know if he did say it but that’s irrelevant. The substance of that statement is incredible.
I once posed the following riddle to my kids (I love making up little parables/anecdotes to get their wee minds working): “Three men get into an elevator. One is a Mathematician, one is a Musician, and the other is an Elevator Repairman. Who is the most intelligent person in the lift?” My eldest daughter said “Hmmm, maybe the Mathematician?” to which I replied “What if the lift breaks down? Who is now the most intelligent person in that lift?” That’s when the penny usually drops. Intelligence isn’t based on the size of your cranium or the letters after your name. Intelligence isn’t something that you can use to stroke your ego. I know guys who have oodles of intelligence and zero common sense. I also know guys who have zero qualifications but who could solve any problem they’re faced with, and do it without breaking sweat. I know scientists who don’t know how to change a tire but who could construct you a diet plan that would get you to a certain bodyfat goal to within a 0.1% differential. I know factory workers who can barely write without committing grammatical mass murder but who can repair their car exhaust with an empty tin of beans and a length of hose from a vacuum cleaner. I know unemployed people who can’t solve the simplest mental arithmetic problem but who in a game of darts could tell you your score, what score you need to finish, and how many darts you can do it in, all before your last dart even hits the board.
Intelligence is not measured by paper…
My youngest daughter, what can I say about her? Well, I can tell you that when I posed the Elevator Riddle to her she nailed the answer before I even finished asking the question. “The Repairman, Daddy. He’s the smartest guy in the elevator.” I almost crashed the car in excitement and pride. She couldn’t tell me why he was the most intelligent guy or how she came to the answer. She just knew that was the right answer. That’s where things get really interesting when it comes to the super computer; that feeling of ‘just knowing’; that experience where you say “I just have a Knowing that this is right.” That’s a story for another Blog and another day… It’s time I started throwing my sledgehammer about… no, that is not a euphemism.
One other little nugget of knowledge I picked up form that Training Course 13 years ago springs to mind. The Trainer told us how Scientists had managed to engineer a disc to replace prolapsed discs in a patient’s spine. Years of studying the human spine and years of technological advancements had meant that they had arrived at this momentous achievement. The operation was performed to insert the disc in a human subject… the disc lasted one day before collapsing on itself and proving itself to be useless. We are not as intelligent as we think we are… That’s also a topic for another day and another Blog.