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Information Connection: Tapping Unused Brainpower

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How much brainpower do people use? Estimates vary from 20% to 1%. In the case of some politicians, the number may even be negative! All kidding aside, let's clarify this and then look at some ways to tap into the unused portion.

Which brainpower?

When people talk about the amount of brainpower being used, they are referring to the higher functions--the thinking, conscious part rather than the automatic part. That is, they are referring to the frontal lobes.


You can begin to estimate the percentage of use by simply looking at your daily activities. If you sleep one-third of your day, that leaves you with 16 hours. If you engaged in brainpower use for the full duration, you would top out at 66%. Yes, there are ways to tap into brainpower during sleep but most people do not even consider such things. So, start with 16 hours.

How many mindless activities do we engage in, during a typical day? Here are some--you add up the minutes and hours in your day and see how much you come up with:

  • Driving to work while listening to a talk show or music, day dreaming while riding the subway, and so on. Commuting is generally not a brain-active time.
  • Reading the same nonsense in the newspaper each day.
  • Bathroom duties, eating, dressing, and so on.
  • Doing the same tasks at work each day. You simply follow the program. If you take a close look, you will see most people simply engage in activity and put in their time. They master most of what they need for their jobs pretty quickly and go on autopilot.
  • Making chit chat with friends and others--talking about sports, weather, politics, and other topics that you have no control over. E-mail
  • Shopping, seeing movies, standing in line, watching television.

When you are not doing all of these things and others like them, how much time is left? An hour? Half an hour? For most people, the answer is "a few minutes." That's all the time we spend thinking in any given day. The rest is filled with activity. That's the reason we keep electing politicians who give us tax increases.

If you think about it, a tax increase is simply a wage cut. We cry foul when our employers come out with a wage cut, and we begin a job search. But, when politicians do it we tell them to keep doing it. This is an example of how people don't think. Another example: Most people drink "osteoporosis in a can," put out by companies such as Pepsi. Folks don't think about what they put into their bodies, but you have just the one. Amazing.


Let's assume a person does actually have half an hour for thinking. That is 2% of the whole day, in which that person is using brainpower. Do you ever just sit and think? Most people do not. So, is the 5% figure way too high? No. In addition to time set aside for thinking, people occasionally add thinking into their activities. For example, Fred is overwhelmed at work because of all the layoffs and task reassignments. So, instead of putting his nose to the grindstone, Fred stops to think about the job. "Hmm. Here is a wasted step. There is another. I can save time here and save time there...."

This kind of thinking does go on. But, not very often. Why? Because we are status quo creatures. We like things just the way they are, thank you. Change unsettles us. If it works (or appears to work, actually), don't fix it.

On top of everything else, we fear failure. We don't have the knowledge to feel comfortable implementing a change, so we stay in our comfort zone. Even when they want to spend time using brainpower, this fear factor stops most people cold.

A solution

Mindconnection has developed short courses to fill in that knowledge gap, so you can engage in that thinking. You can go well beyond 5% brainpower engagement, because you will have the knowledge and confidence to do so.

In fact, if you begin to apply these courses, the rewards of doing so will move you toward a mindset in which you are increasingly using brainpower in your daily activities. You will solve a minor problem while brushing your teeth, and solve a major one while you are sleeping. You'll figure out how to do a task better while you are commuting to work to do it.

Can you engage more brainpower without these courses? Probably. Will you? Probably not. Why? Because you probably don't have the knowledge to do so successfully enough that you will make doing so a part of the way you do things. Nor will you take the time to find this information on your own.

We save you hours of research by providing the information in tidy, well-written packages that allow you to quickly master the concepts and start using them. Thus, we strongly encourage you to at least try the Mindconnection Brainpower Builders. A mind is a terrible thing to waste--what are you doing with yours?



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