You Gotta Have Soul
Alright this post is going to be a little more...out there. More abstract, less concrete. So if you want out, hit the eject button now because I'm about to get a little spiritual on ya.
High quality livin' (and superb academics) require all 3 parts of you: mind, body, and soul. Often in academics, we focus on the mind only. I mean that makes sense. The emphasis in academics is on thinking and thinking takes place in our mind, so it seems natural to focus only on that one part. But this, little legends, is a blueprint for dastardly disaster.
We need that "oh so sweet" soul too. Soul is that feeling that there is something bigger than you out there that connects everything.
You feel it when you hold your breath for a flash moment as LeBron James go soaring through the air for a dunk, you feel it at a Beyoncé concert when Queen B triumphantly appears on stage and a ripple of energy and screams vibrates through the crowd, and you feel it when you hear FDR powerfully deliver his famous line, "We have nothing to fear except fear itself," and a chill goes down your spine.
A snapshot of soul in action
There is another way to experience soul that we are going to talk about here. That's right, I'm talking about having your MIND BLOWN. Not that overly exaggerated throwaway kind where you see something kinda neat, and you're like, "Oh yeah, mind blown!"
I'm talking about that kind of mind blown when you suddenly see the truth. I'm talking about the kind of mind blown when Neo first comes out of the matrix and he sees that the entire world is different than what he believed! (And if you haven't seen The Matrix yet, stop reading this and go watch that movie right now)
Would you choose red or blue?
Mind Blowers: A Deeper Look
Let me elaborate on what I am talking about. I can still remember in high school when I had to read 1984 by George Orwell. To avoid any spoilers, I am going to drastically strip down the scene here, but the exact plot details really aren't important.
Anyway, there is scene where two men are having a conversation, and one of the men essentially says to the other man, "If I say that I am levitating around the room, and I agree it's true, and you agree it's true, and everyone else agrees it's true, then who's to say that it is false even if it never actually happened?"
I thought to myself, "Holy s***, he's right!" In that moment, I realized there is a difference between what ACTUALLY happened (objective truth) and what people SAY happened (subjective truth), even if a bunch of people SAY the same thing. MIND BLOWN.
When you have your mind blown, you see a truth about the world.
Mind blowing moments can come from anywhere. They don't just have to come from books.
You could have your mind blown by a song lyric that you have sung a million times over and over, and then one day you suddenly "get it".
You could have your mind blown from a movie quote that brings a big, sobby tear to your eye or lights a fire under your gluteus assimus.
You could have your mind blown by a passing comment made by a friend or someone you trust.
And that's right Rufio, you could even have your mind blown by something you learned in school (math and science being my favorite culprits).
Wisdom can come from anywhere, and truth will randomly jump out at you from time to time. It's these moments where you feel like you can see everything clearly. You feel like a fog has been lifted from your eyes. Everything suddenly makes sense. You get it. You understand it.
Unfortunately, more often times than not, we only get to savor these mind blowing moments for but a second before we get sucked back down into the matrix. Sucked back into mindless scrolling through Tik Tok and Instagram, back into binge watching Netflix, back into Minecraft, Call of Duty, and our other virtual worlds.
Remember, Remember All of Your Splendor
In that moment while reading 1984, I suddenly had a much deeper understanding of the world than I did before. For teenage Greg, that one was quite a mind blower (like a mind blower of mind blowers), so I remember it even to this day.
But here is the thing. Sometimes we forget. Even though I knew better, there were still plenty of times later in my life where I just believed something was true because a bunch of people said it was true. I'll still do it today. I simply forget. And that's OK.
It doesn't mean that my mind blower is lost forever, banished to the realm of "lost laundry socks". It just means that I need to be reminded of my mind blower, and the understanding will all come rushing back.
And that's why when you have a mind blowing moment, it is so important to write it down or record it. Writing down my thoughts is something I didn't do very much when I was younger, and I regret it now because I bet I had some pretty interesting thoughts back then (and plenty of not so interesting ones as well haha).
You are way smarter than you realize, and when you have your mind blown, you are tapping into an intelligence that is greater than you. Give yourself some credit for your thoughts. Realize they are worth writing down no matter how silly they might seem. You have interesting things to say, so say them.
Why Writing Down Your Mind Blowers Is Important
Here are the 3 main reasons I think it is important to record your mind blowing moments:
1. It will help you refine your thoughts
If you write it down (or make a recording) right when your mind gets blown, it will help you work through your own thinking about it. The best way to solidify an idea in your mind is to try to explain it to someone else that has no idea what you are talking about.
Write like you are explaining to someone that's clueless. Read it back and see if it makes sense to you. Make changes until it does. When you get it to the point where it makes sense to you now, then it will make sense to you again when you read it later. By doing this, you will solidify the mind blower in your brain.
2. It will help you remember if you do forget.
You should make a habit of going back and reading the things that you write down.
I do it once a year at the beginning of the year. I don't journal that much, maybe a few times a month, so it doesn't take me that long to go through everything.
When I am looking through my previous journal entries, I often find myself being like, "Oh yeahhhh, I remember that," and it brings the whole experience and thought back to me. It helps re-solidify those thoughts in my mind.
It also helps me check in with myself and see if I even still believe the things I wrote down. Sometimes, I have changed my mind!
3. You will be able to track your progress as you get older
Lastly when you are older, you will want to go back and read what you wrote. Your thoughts in a journal are like a time capsule. It is fun and interesting to see how your thoughts have changed over time.
When I was young, I recorded videos with my friends. Little skits we would act out. We had WWIII with plastic green army men. We had a mock trial of someone that allegedly murdered the Jackson 5 and all the lawyers and jury members were stuffed animals. (Where did we come up with this stuff? I'll never know.)
Now, it is fascinating to watch those videos and see how I thought as a young boy and later on how I thought as a teen. I can mark my growth and see what parts of me stuck around and what parts changed.
Sometimes we can feel like we are stuck. We can feel like we haven't really made any progress. And sometimes that might even be the case. If you write these mind blowers down, you can use them as guideposts to see where you may need to make changes if you are feeling stagnant.
So write this stuff down. Leave a trace of your thoughts. It will help you evolve your thoughts and that's what Think & Evolve is all about after all! It might seem silly now, but trust me your adult self will thank you for it.