Dear Friends,

We have grown up listening to the statement that most of people use only 10% of their brain power throughout their life, and anyone who just uses 1% more could be a genius like Einstein, who was CLAIMED to use just 1% higher than the average and became genius. Wow! Just 1% more and hack the life!!

But is it true? Lets explore deeper into it and find more relevant answers.

Neuron Doctrine: Big Urban Myth

In 1936, an American writer Lowell Thomas is the 1st person to document 10% myth statement and later on Wilder Penfield, US Born neurosurgeon and director of Montreal Neurological Institute of McGill University, was the 1st practitioner to claim it. This 10% doctrine had been found to put people on amaze all over the world especially in late 19th and beginning of 20th century. Even this myth is ruling the world today. You can find a lot many books, articles, movies and various other audios videos claiming the above myth to be true.

In late 19s and early 20s more and more researches started focusing on brain anatomy and physiology. The studies were indicating that brain has mainly two kinds of cells named Neurons and Glial Cells. Brain is made with 10% of Neurons and rest 90% are Glial cells. During early studies, it was believed that 10% neurons are responsible for all the major nervous system functions and glial cells are merely supplying, supporting and protecting in function. Anatomy clearly showed that neurons are deeply embedded in the dense mass of glial cells meant for protecting neurons.

But studies done in few of last decades found that there was an misunderstanding of the information.  Studies have come up with some fantastic discoveries that although neurons can be found firing and creating complex connections with each others to create new memory and storing new information but glial cells are not as dormant as they were supposed to be. Rather glial cells have much more functions like, glial cells can activate and deactivate neurons. Glial cells also create connections with neurons thus Glial cells have been found to control the neurons. So all those cells which were supposed be passive cells have turned out to be quite active and functional. It is now well know to all the neuro scientists that 100% cells of human brain are functional. Yes!! all of your brain parts are absolutely functional.

But does this mean that you use all of your brain functions all the time? Does this mean  that you have been living upto 100% capacity of your brain?

The Reality:

Dear friends, this is the twist for which this post is meant for. Modern studies have shown that we live by building habits and patterns. Every new information we want to absorb, forces brain cells to get activated and create new connections with each others. These connections can be termed as pathways for the processed information. These new connections get stronger and permanent when we repeat learning process for same information or act. As we all know that repeating something create longer and relatively permanent memory as an expression, but in terms of neural language,  the connections among neurons get stronger and permanent. These permanent connections lead to the formation for habits.

Once we have develop habits, we play all such pathways on automatically (subconscious) and put all other cells at rest. When something new is available there to digest by brain, again whole cells on rest get activated till new pathway is established.

When we expose our self to any new information, Best attempt that our brain tries to do is to somehow analyse and resolve new information using existing pathways or habits. If new information is somehow liked to existing pathways, the new information is absorbed and engraved very easily on brain. But we get exposed to entirely new piece of  information, it activate the brain cells to process new information and create a more stable and meaningful pathway. Setting new pathways sets brain on unrest and consumes a lot of energy. (Remember learning trigonometry for the first time in school??). New pathway formation can also be know as CREATION. Creation requires both conscious as well as subconscious involvement of brain. The level OR EXTENT of brain you use in analysing and understanding current task is called AWARENESS.

Once pathways are set and stored, there is a very little or no need of awareness to process similar types of tasks at all. This stage can be called AUTOMATION and this happens subconsciously.

For example: When you drive on any road for the 1st time, you are more aware, more active and use grater part of your brain. On that first day, you were noticing each and every details minutely. You were unknown about the other side of that big curve of that path so you were prepared and super cautious while negotiating that curve.  But when you drive on a road you have been using for last 1 month, you are less aware and more on automation (habit). Because your brain already is having minute details of that path.  Each of these pathways engraved into your brain can be termed as PROGRAMS. This means throughout of your life you keep programming your brain and live mostly on stored programs.

Entire engraving/programming take place on Neuron cells, which contributes to 10% of total brain mass. So if you are ruining completely on daily routines, habits, patterns or programs, you are merely using 10% of your brain potential. 

The Automation problem:

Automation or Programming takes place unconsciously/subconsciously. It means mind activities are at the level of SUBCONSCIOUS when pathways on brain are engraved. So most of the times when we are developing habits, we really are unaware or conscious about those habit formations.

Automation is absolutely useful in saving energy and while dealing with routine tasks. But these automations create problems if we are fully dependent on them. Circumstances and scenarios are changing at a pace, thousands of changes are taking place each seconds. In such cases there may be need to update or revise completely new programs to resolve new life challenges.

While dealing with more practical and real life problems, if we use all those old programs of our brains to process the task in hand which otherwise may require the new and updated pattern, we may end up with nothing but unresolved problems and hence the Stress. We do avoid new learnings and CREATING new patterns to avoid all the restlessness and pain caused due to stepping out of our comfortable zone. This happens when we have poor or no WILL to resolve the challenges”

Left and Right Brain

Scientists have found that if we observe brain activity (through various recent technologies like MRI etc) while doing routine tasks, some specific areas of brain show very little active areas. But when Brain is  busy in dealing with activities which are not in routines at all, the greater part of brain shows activity in it.

Left brain is responsible for all logical and analytical functions whereas right brain is Emotional brain hence it is a store of all Emotional and spiritual espects. Life is productive, beautiful and harmonious when there is greater balance between the two.

Scientists have also found that most of the time in our day, we keep fluctuating between right and left brain usage. Some of us use left brain more and very less of right and those are called left brain personalities. Others use very less of left brain and more of the right, such people are called right brain personalities.

But the moment we use both parts of the brains equal or balanced, is considered best state for learning along with enjoying. And this happens naturally with children under age 8. Hence most effective and quick learning takes place under this age. This state of brain is SUPER STATE and is considered that brain is in its maximum potential. This state is considered best for learning anything quickly. This state is also known as the best and most harmonious state of brain. Scientists also call is “Brain Synchronization”.

But as we grow old, we tend to loose this potential of using both brains equally. And this happens because we become full of automated programs. These programs are either left brain concentrated or right brain concentrated. We become so lethargic that even new life challenges are dealt with existing old habits. But there is no need to worry as a few of exercises have been developed to make both parts of brain work simultaneously and achieve the balanced state.

Brain Gym:

A lot many exercises have been developed to reach this state of brain synchronization. These exercises are popular with name of BRAIN GYM. Thease exercises are extremely useful in achieving BRAIN SYNCHRONIZATION and should be adopted as a daily habit. One of most popular and my personal favourite exercise is given below:
Cross crowl:

Stand with right elbow touching left knee diagonally and left elbow to your right knee. Repeat this process as a march past for next 2-3 minutes.

Left side of your body is controled by right brain and right side of body by left brain. It makes both sides of brain work in a sync to perform this exercise.

This exercise is very useful in achieving more receptive, more learning as well as relaxed state of mind. It will help you to optimize the use of brain potential.

Find more “mind gym” exercises on public domain. Public domain is full of such a beautiful and useful informations.

Your friend

Manoj Sharma

Picture Sources: Internet


Please Like, comment and share if you find this post useful in anyway.

7 Comments · February 16, 2018 at 3:40 am

At any one time, only a small proportion of brain cells are signaling, a process known as sparse coding , allowing the brain to use the least amount of energy while transferring the most information.

Guadalupe Soules · January 27, 2018 at 2:07 am

Thank you for the good writeup. It in fact was once a amusement account it.Glance advanced to far added agreeable from you!However, how could we keep in touch?

Anonymous · September 9, 2017 at 3:14 pm


Nisha · September 8, 2017 at 12:00 pm

Very good

Kiran · September 8, 2017 at 11:59 am

Very well done

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