Ever since I watched Disney’s Aladdin, my head has been doing its rounds around the movie, and has at last, arrived at the conclusion that it (my brain) is just like Aladdin’s genie.
Terribly excited over the idea of transforming into a princess of some sort and getting all (or at least three) of my wishes fulfilled, I decided to listen to what my brain had to say about this connection that it had made with the magician genie.
The Brain Needs to Be Woken Up
So, this is what Aladdin does every time he has to summon genie – he needs to rub the lamp that contains the genie. Well, our brain works no different. Nestled within the protective layering of the grand skull, the brain is busy in its own world, putting information together, and forming its own connections.
We cannot observe what it is doing from the outside. But there are several parts working on several different things at the same, only some of which, we are aware of. To bring forth the complete capabilities of our brain, we need to put effort into pushing it towards working for us. Otherwise, the pasta turns out extra salty, the passport comes out with a spelling mistake, the deadline goes missed, the relationship turns sour, and sometimes, life, turns upside down.
There are several ways to wake up our brain. One of my favorites, is to walk. Walking builds neural strength. The other way is to keep practicing. I learnt this lesson from my son who does his best to stick to certain routines that he knows will help him achieve his goals. One of my friends suggests that we create vision boards and take a look at it every single day, in order to remind our brain about the wishes we have consciously and sub-consciously dictated to it.
Count Your Wishes
Three wishes. Just three wishes. That was all that Aladdin got. Ever wondered why his wishes were limited to such a small count? Because, the smaller the quantity, the more effective the management. In simple words, the brain needs Focus.
If I wish to become a writer, and a speaker, and a film-maker, and a musician, and a chef, and a doctor, and a…whew! What are the destinations that I am leading my brain towards, and how far away are they from each other?
How much of the world can we see in ten days?! Because, when we sum up our life, it all amounts to a measure of time. And our time is measured. So, yes, there is only so much that we can do. No, we cannot wish for the world, unless we want to go around in circles.
Given the time-limits, the brain can only lead us towards fulfilling a “x” number of wishes. The more we figure out our individual “how much” we can do and cannot to do, the more realistic we will get about our wishes.
Make Your Wishes Count
Aladdin wished to be turned into a prince. And he was indeed, transformed into a prince. But his princely status came at the price of his happiness, which, he regained only after he undid his false royalty.
Wish-making is a serious business. While there is no perfect way about this, we can make our wish as complete as possible by trying to understand the big picture. What is it that we want, how much of ourselves can we invest into our wish, and what do we stand to gain or lose in the process. Then, we put everything together to create the best possible wish.
Keep in mind that there is no one thing without another. If we wish for a family, we are also accepting the responsibility of caring for that family. If we wish for good health, we also accept the hard-work that comes along-with making this wish happen. Our brain can only show us the gym, it is up to us to get off the couch (note to self).
This point is also where we deviate from the magical world of tall-tales and bring ourselves to the reality of life. Magic does not happen. We, make magic happen.
Beware of the Jafars
The world is full of Jafars. These people are the ones that try to influence others into doing things for selfish gains. We all do it in some way or the other. It is neither possible, nor healthy to always stay mindful of other people’s wants over the negligence of ours. But downright evil is where we draw the line.
The biggest Jafar of them all, was Adolf Hitler. An entire country-load of brains, including scientists, philosophers and modernists, followed him into the pits of hell. It is very possible for one person to take over the mind of another.
So, keep away from the Jafars of this world. If you find the courage, fight them. In short, do not let other people’s words get into your head. Become your own, best judge.
Give your Brain its Wish
Let it go.
Aladdin’s genie wished to be set free, free from the constraints of the lamp. Our brain wishes for the same too. At the end of every day, and at the end of every lifetime, the best gift that we can give our brain, is the peace it deserves.
There is no doubt that the modern brain is over-worked – wants never-ending, wishes over-flowing – the quest for “more” is driving the brain into the depths of madness. An increasing number of people are reaching their breaking points – spirals of depression, dis-satisfactory relationships, stress and anxiety, and everything, because we seek more, we seek abundance, we keep coming back again and again, and never say “enough.” We never stop.
And we never slow down.
Slow the heaven down, count the stars, laugh with your loved ones, pass your fingers over the leaves, feel the breeze, and just…slow down. Give your genie the peace it deserves.
Here’s to caring for our genie just as much as it cares for us!
Join me as we dive into tales, big and small, and undo them all.