What Makes Your Brain Happy And Why You Should Do The Opposite by David DiSalvo (book review).

February 13, 2018 | By | Reply More

‘What Makes Your Brain Happy And Why You Should De The Opposite’ by David DiSalvo has been reviewed before back in 2011 but it has now been updated and revised for 2018. As DiSalvo points out, a lot of research in brain cognitiveness has been carried out in the past 7 years, showing this kind of work doesn’t stand still. If you missed this book the first time around, then you’ll at least consider it again now.

Essentially, DiSalvo explores how much you allow your brains to act in habit than at least give some thought to the decisions you are making. It can also let you make the wrong decisions without necessarily realising it. I wish he’s account for people like me who already do tend to think before decisions more than most of the time as to what makes us different to the rest of you people out there. We British are especially cynical and prone to questioning everything. This doesn’t mean we aren’t susceptible but we do tend to learn quickly to change as well. Some of us anyway.

Looking at how people can go on autopilot in doing some activities, although not explored here, might also explain why some people think they can use text on their mobile phones while driving their cars. I suspect, as you read this book, that you’ll find your own examples of behaviour from yourself or the people about you.

For those who solve problems while sleeping about it, be assured that your brain switches between one of three states. If you’re not focusing on a problem, the other part of your brain can get on with solving it. Not so clever with doing exams but a good example of having a good night’s sleep before hand. It also encourages creativity. So if you find your brain dragging from staying on the Net into the early hours, get some rest and come out formidable. You’re just outstaying your welcome in one are of your brain.

I did wonder at DiSalvo’s description of being able to call work ‘fun’, not that it can’t be but I used to get funny (not in a good way) looks from bosses and fellow-workers about that technique for getting through jobs that they thought were boring and I turned into efficiency exercises.

Likewise, I wish he had qualified which version of diabetes he was referring to when he put insulin in context with Type Two diabetics as what he suggests could be fatal to Type Ones.

Oh, you’re now meeting someone who has never used eBay to buy anything, someone DiSalvo has never met. We do exist. Maybe I’ve also avoided the ‘rush’ of getting something that I didn’t really need. For those of you who do go a bit crazy on eBay, you really do need to read this book to get a better grasp of such behaviour. It also can apply to all selling techniques. I tend to see it as a ‘magpie response’. You want something because other people want it and more about winning than use. Maybe I don’t have that kind of mindset. Then again, earlier expressions by people who’ve seen my collections, I suspect I’m the one people would most like to have their own Aladdin’s cave of things.

However, if you’re going to make worthwhile decisions then don’t rush over them. Something I’ve applied since reading the first edition of this book is never to make any serious decisions, especially when buying something, when your blood sugar is low. With Type One diabetes, that can happen at any time, for the rest of you when it’s close to meal times when you need food.

The same also applies with keeping up with a social group because it’s the group identity although I would call it running with the herd. I have to confess that I tend to look on social status as an onlooker than someone who would indulge. That also sounds contradictory to the fact that I’m a clinical empath but all I’ve learnt over the years is step back and think about the connection I’m feeling isn’t connected to me and work out where that emotion is really directed. Something salesmen take advantage of is your willingness to be liked and I find DiSalvo’s piece interesting in that regard.

Things I’ve learnt. If you want to look authoritative, have a heavy clipboard in your possession at work. If you’re in hospital, ensure you have a photo of your loved one with you as it’s supposed to speed up recovery. You’re going to learn a lot from this book. There’s a lot to learn here.

I’m less so sure about being able to draw some logos from memory. Then again, I rarely come in contact with the Apple logo but can easily do it with the Dell logo and can probably do it with a different set of logos I come across on a regular basis. Mind you, I tend to think artist’s visual memory is different to normal people. You should also not depend totally on your memory to recall events and get anything important on paper while it is still clear in your mind.

In many respects, I saw this book as a refresher course from the earlier edition. The main structure to learn from this book is how to think and not be led by the herd. As most of us are geeks here, we’re probably beyond that, but even geek herds exist. Read, digest and think. Nothing is ever what it might seem. Being able to think before acting is your biggest asset.

GF Willmetts

February 2018

(pub: Prometheus Books. 303 page indexed small enlarged paperback. Price: $18.00 (US), $19.00 (CAN). ISBN: 978-1-63388-349-9. Ebook: Price: $11.99 (US), $13.99 (CAN). ISBN: 978-1-63388-350-5)

check out website: www.prometheusbooks.com

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Category: Books, Science

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About the Author ()

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 15 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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