Today’s prompt from D65’s 7 Posts 7 Days challenge is: A book/film that has changed the way that you think.
I have to say, that’s a tough one to answer. Before books and movies, my first love was music. A band called James really shaped my thinking about life, love, and politics. One song that really struck a chord with me was Government Walls. As a kid who grew up in Scotland while Thatcher used us as guinea pigs for her cruel policies, this song really upped my scrutiny of those in power.
Back to books and movies
I haven’t come across anything fictional that’s changed my way of thinking. On the non-fiction front, The Chimp Paradox has undoubtedly helped me to change how I think about myself and others.
The basics of the book (think bare minimum basics as this is a book on psychology): Have you ever felt that there’s more than just you in your head? You know there’s you, the rational you, and then there’s the dickhead, idiot you—the one that does the stupid shit that still haunts you years later when you can’t sleep? Well, according to the author, Prof Steve Peters, we have two brains in our noggins.
One brain is the frontal or human brain, where rationality and reason reside. The other one, the limbic or chimp brain is the one we seem to have zero control over, is the emotion center of our brains.
The chimp brain is powerful. Way more powerful than the human brain, and it doesn’t listen to reason or logic. It just feels.
Anyway, The Chimp Paradox helped me to build a relationship with the chimp part of my brain. The book encourages us to name our chimps. Mine is called Janine (Neenee for short).
At first, I hated Janine and her destructive ways. Then things started to change. I began to understand her needs (she’s territorial, loves hot chocolate when she’s been good and has let me get work done, and loves learning languages) and grew to love her.
This book changed how I reacted to people and their chimps. It opened my eyes to the chimp behavior in others and helped me to take a step back and wait until their chimps stopped throwing tantrums.
As books go, this one is always at the top of my recommendation list. If you’re wanting to feel like the you that you know is inside, make friends with your chimp, and things will start to change for the better.