We’ve often heard that we use only 10% of our brain, which begs the question: what would happen if we used ALL our brain? What amazing things could we accomplish then?
The brain is made up of areas that do very specific things: an area for processing visual images, an area for eye movement, an area for language, and so on. So when we’re doing a very specific thing, reading this blog, for example, we’re only using those specific parts of the brain necessary to take in and process the information. The rest of the brain is quiet.
On the flip side, when the brain is presented with chaos: whirling images, sound, patternless stuff, the whole brain lights up, searching for structure, trying to figure out how to deal with it all. Kind of like when we’re under stress, when we’re overwhelmed and can’t handle everything that’s going on. So, in a weird way, we’re using MORE of our brain when it’s under the most stress, a lot closer to that 100% that we think is the ultimate goal.
When we’re in periods of calm and flow, when we’re performing effortlessly, the brain is quiet except for those discrete areas that light up to move us around the court and swing the racket, consider our next chess move, or make the next brush stroke. Rather than using more of our brain, it becomes more efficient in times of our best performances.
So in a strange way, to reach our best performance, to get into the zone, our goal should be to use LESS of our brain, not more. Quiet the brain, stop thinking so much and let your performance emerge.