The marimba has always been such a soothing sound…
What is a marimba? Does the sound it produces soothe or stimulate? Do I agree with that statement or not? I can’t go another second or read another line without knowing what a marimba is. Quick. Google “marimba definition”.
The italic portion above is what I think a transcript of my brain probably looks like when I read the first sentence of Your Daily Brain: 24 Hours in the Life of Your Brain
From the very first sentence, the book engaged my senses – casually throwing out unfamiliar words so I’d be forced to figure them out from contextual clues or look up the definition to learn something new; challenging common perceptions and introducing new ideas in a way that led me thinking, “What do I really know?”
That’s the reason to pick up a Non-fiction read. And Your Daily Brain provides it all. The book is meant to be an analysis of what your brain is likely doing at any given time during a 24 hour period but it is written in a humorous and conversational tone, as though Garth Sundem himself (along with the team behind Marbles: The Brain Store) was responding to your question, “What is my brain doing right now? And what should it be doing instead?” There is no judgment; just explanations for why things are the way they are, and suggestions, if you want them, of other alternatives.
Like setting your alarm 30 minutes early so you can enjoy 3 ten-minute snooze sessions before you absolutely have to get up. That snooze period when you’re neither fully asleep nor fully awake is often typified by creative insight. So being awoken by the jarring alarm and settling back in for a few minutes of unrest creates Situation A a.k.a exhausted creativity.
Situation B occurs when you set your alarm for the later, correct time. It’s the time you’re used to getting up every day so you can enjoying unabbreviated sleep, until your body naturally rouses itself, usually a minute or two before the alarm sounds. This creates another result, higher energy.
Both Situations have advantages (and disadvantages). Sundem tells you what they are and you choose whether A or B is more beneficial for the morning you want to have. No judgment. Maybe a little sarcastic humor. But that’s just to round out the conversation.
Your Daily Brain challenges popular mantras. Take the power of affirmation. It something we hear from almost all the popular motivational speakers. “If you think you can, you will.” “Imagine it’s already yours and you’ll get it.” Sundem pulls the plug on these theories, citing research that suggests that you are less likely to achieve if you imagine positive outcomes because you fool your mind into thinking you’ve already achieved them, in the process, stifling the drive to actually succeed. His alternative suggestion? You’ll have to read the book for that. Hint: it’s on page 35.
The book posits answers to many of our (my) brain questions:
- How does brain training (from things like crossword puzzles and Tetris) transfer to other, more usable skills? And does getting a million-plus points on Tetris make a person better at packing and parallel parking and doing architectural and engineering jobs? Read page 41 for that one before you include a completed NY Times crossword with your resume.
- Can creativity be taught? Flip through to page 107 to see if you should sign up for a class.
- Are there benefits to procrastination (other than having more free time right now)? That’s discussed on page 110
- Want to know what your spouse is really thinking? You’ll have to read all the way to page 174 for that one but it’s worth it, even if you’re not married.
- Do people really dream in color or monochrome? And when Joseph dreamed about his coat, was it multicolor or chiaroscuro? Get the answer to this age old question on page 185
Other things you might like about Your Daily Brain:
- Size: It’s short (less than 200 pages) and available in a paperback format that weighs just a couple of ounces so it’s perfect for reading anywhere.
- Controversy potential: If you like learning new things, or challenging the things you’re fairly certain you already know, you’ll like this book.
- Universality: The book contains applications in many different aspects of society and anyone, anywhere, can find something in this book to relate to – whether you’re a soda-guzzling gamer, a long-married mother of five, or someone who wants to create a product to market to either or both demographics.
Click to read more about Garth Sundem and the team at Marbles
Note: I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.
Disclaimer: This review also contains Amazon affiliate links so if you purchase a copy of Your Daily Brain: 24 Hours in the Life of Your Brain (which I strongly recommend), I receive a small commission at no cost to you. Thanks for the support.