I had a different post scheduled for today about blogging efficiently, but in-spite of recent events, I decided to do a spur of the moment write up. If you haven’t read some of my posts in the past or know me very well, I really enjoy studying people and the psychology behind what we do and why we do it. I don’t publicize this except to people who know me from the business-side. It has really helped me with my business and evolved my marketing greatly, but also to understand why we do what we do.
Over the weekend I read an interesting post that had some very interesting tension behind it. Drama often is determined by how we receive and perceive information. The way you react is very indicative of how evolved you are as a human. Some people react fiercely, others calmly. But before drama even gets started what is the initial topic of discussion – what did it start with? Was it about a great idea that will solve the worlds hunger problem? was it about something that happened in the news? or was it about other people?
A great quote that ties this together is “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” – Eleanor Roosevelt is credited for the quote, but probably not the first to say it.
Dissecting the Quote
Small minds, discuss people. They gossip, usually negatives, about other people. They do not strive to make something better in society. They are typically complainers, not about society, but about other people.
Average minds focus on discussing the events that already happened or are going to happen. They talk about their ideas and opinions about what’s going on in society. This is the state most people are in most of the time.
The greatest minds who are the thinkers often typically think about ideas improving the world and work at improving it, to help others, to make change, and make society a better place. They focus on solutions to problems or make something better than it was.
This quote was popularized around 1948. Around 1960 Maclean came out with the Triune brain model. Its interesting how these two tie in together. Making a quick connection between these two is not difficult.
The Triune Brain by Paul MacLean
Let’s discuss the triune brain model. The triune brain on the basic level is what drives humans in their actions. We all have three brains that evolved over time. I will try to simplify it for you.
Reptile: this brain handles aggression, social hierarchies, and territorial things such as “our girl friend” or “our status.” It is a quick response without any thought behind it at all. A brain that was used for survival billions of years ago, however still used in society during possession, territorial situations, aggression, anxiety, etc.
Mammal: this brain focuses a lot on belonging, empathy, and focuses on social awareness and relationships. it is the emotional triggers that represent humanity but are not really special to humans. (For example dogs have this as well). I would say that most people fall into this brain most of the time but I have not done any studies behind it.
Thinker: this brain separates us humans from other creatures. At the top of the Neocortex is the human brain. It is the thinker side of us. This is what allows people such as Thomas Edison to come up with so many great ideas. Everyone tends to use this part of their brain at sometime in their life, just some use it more often than others. The more you use it, typically the more successful you are because you are above the societies “norm.”
These three brains are connected and integrated to some degree but do not function very well together. It is great to have all 3 brains. Some may question this and think why? Don’t I always want to be the thinker? Well not really. Imagine you are in a defensive situation such as a house robbery. When the reptilian brain kicks in you are bound to defend yourself much better or faster as its more instinctive. Same goes with reproduction.
However since these 3 brains are not integrated very well, this is why we see such erratic and spastic human behavior. Each person that you run into typically will have a dominant brain within them.
Connecting the 3 Brains with the Quote
It’s probably pretty easy to see now how the Triune brain model connects with the quote…
- Reptile Brain -> Small Mind
- Mammal Brain -> Average Mind
- Thinker Brain -> Great Minds
The quote is nearly a replica of the triune brain model just phrased slightly different on the scientific level. The more important question is which brain do you use more often? Are you someone that talks about people? Or are you a person that discuss the days events? Or do you have something you are doing thats big and bound to change society, the world, or even just change someones life?
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