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Understanding yourself

Why do we think and act the way we do? 


If we just look at our own lives, humans are incredibly complex. We are capable of remembering certain moments in life unfailingly, like a movie playing in our heads. Yet we can't remember what we were just thinking about. When we view a problem as a neutral, it is clear to us that both parties have some right and wrong. But when we are the ones arguing, we can't see this. We are capable of the most vicious acts of violence and aggression, yet also the most selfless acts of kindness. We speak of being "true to ourselves", yet there are times when there seems to be 3 or 4 people in our heads - who is the "true self"?

Just like how our thoughts and behaviour are complex, naturally, so are the explanations behind it. There are a wide range of factors that influence what and how we think and act. For an introduction, check out our page on "what makes us think and act the way we do". 


But all these influences share one commonality, one channel through which all the different effects are processed and manifested. The human brain. Every thought, idea, suggestion, judgement, analysis, craving, feeling, action, and reaction we experience in life occurs first in our brains. It is also a brain that is constantly changing - it is changing even as you are reading this right now. 

To understand ourselves - what and why we fear, how we get angry, how to learn throughout life,  why we make certain decisions, the interaction between our logic and emotions - we first have to understand our brain. 


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The amazing human brain

Everything that you think, feel, imagine, remember, forget, learn, experience in your brain.

Image by Alexandra Gorn

The Amygdala

Fear, anger, anxiety, aggression. The amygdala governs all these functions

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We can smell fear, literally

Historically, fear has been very important in keeping us alive. And so, we have gotten really good at it

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Your brain is always changing, even as you read this. And these changes can be enormous, affecting our thinking and behaviour

Image by Peter Conlan


Universally misunderstood, dopamine is our natural motivational system



We can keep learning new knowledge and developing new skills to the day we die


3-layered brain

Your brain isn't 1 entity. Which is why sometimes you have that internal debate within you. The triune brain offers a simple model to think about our brains.



When you eat something gross, you have a bad taste in your mouth. When you watch something gross... wait a minute, it also leaves a bad taste in your mouth. Coincidence?

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Learning and Unlearning fears

Are some fears innate? Are we all afraid of snakes when born? How do we unlearn the fears that we had developed?

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Boost neuroplasticity

How can we increase neuroplasticity?

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Image by Chandler Cruttenden

Best ideas in the shower?

Why do some of our best ideas seem to come when we're not thinking about them?

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Our Grey and White Brain

Why the thoughts and action we repeat become easier and more natural

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Emotions vs logic

How does logic and emotions actually work themselves out in our brain?

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I wish I could be like Spock

Wouldn't it be better if we could be completely rational?

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Red alert

Notice anything common across all these fast food logos?

Piano Keys

Learning the piano

Can you learn the piano without ever touching a piano?

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I'm scared. My mouth goes dry. Why?

Why does your mouth go dry when you're nervous or scared?

5 major influences of behaviour and thinking

The subconscious mind

We filter out information subconsciously. Changing the phrasing of the same choices changes our answers. Holding a warm cup makes us think people are warmer. We are not conscious of many factors that influence us to think and act the way we do. 

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A different brain, a different life


Phineas Gage

What happened to a man whose brain was blown out?


Charles Whitman

Inside the mind of a mass murderer

Lisa Allen

Lisa Allen

Changing one habit changes a life 

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