Wisdom and the Power of Adaptation


  Wisdom and the Power of Adaptation

The power of adaptation is something many animal species possess. Some of these animals, including humans, can receive information through their senses, such as sight or hearing. These perceptions are translated into nerve impulses that travel to the brain and activate neurons in the visual cortex or auditory cortex.

The brain then processes and interprets these signals in order to make sense of them, and ultimately form a response that will ensure survival. Much like an animal's instinctive behavior, our brains can also pick up on what other people are thinking or doing without needing an explicit message from them - just by watching how they carry themselves and act towards us we'll somehow develop a smart reaction for ourselves.

We may not be able to identify exactly what someone is thinking or how they are feeling, but our brain will act accordingly the same way it does when we're dealing with an animal. We don't need to be told what a bear is about to do - we just feel and adapt to the situation as it happens.

Experts in the field of neuroscience agree that the brains of both humans and animals share very similar processing mechanisms. The two different outcomes these mechanisms produce, however, are governed by the internal states of each individual (the animal's instinctive behavior vs. a human's self-awareness), as well as their respective environments (an animal's natural habitat vs. a human's social environment).

You won't find much of self-awareness in the animal kingdom. Particularly among animals that are biologically adapted to their environment, our higher cognitive functions such as self-awareness and language are surprisingly lacking. The biological make-up of animals limits them to the most narrow spectrum possible that's suitable for their survival. When it comes to self-awareness, your brain isn't really designed for it - it simply doesn't serve a purpose in the animal kingdom.

On the other hand, human beings are designed with an immensely complex brain that can simultaneously think, talk and reason in a non-biological way: we call this "self-awareness". Self-awareness is a mechanism designed to help us survive in a social environment.

The need for language and reasoning is what gives birth to our self-awareness. The need for language is what created the process of thinking, which essentially generates our self-awareness and in turn, allows us to be able to recognize other people's self-awareness (i.e. their consciousness). Thus we are able to relate to and understand other human beings. And this applies on an individual basis: when you recognize another person's self-awareness, you'll most likely be better equipped at communicating with them and making sense of any interaction that may arise between you two (i.e. understanding their intentions).

The more people you meet, the more opportunities for conflict and confusion you'll have. Humans are social animals that require interaction to survive, so miscommunication will naturally occur from time to time. And along with this, there are endless ways people can respond to each other - so it's nearly impossible for two individuals to think or act in precisely the same way in any given situation. We're literally all differnent - which poses another challenge we all have to deal with on a daily basis: understanding how other people's minds work and figuring out what they're thinking or why they did what they did.

This is where our brains come into effect. Our brains are not designed to comprehend and thus respond to another's thoughts, but they are designed to adapt to the new information they receive and change their behavior accordingly (this is what's known as "thinking"). That is why adapting to a new situation can be so hard for all of us. We don't have the capacity or tools biologically-speaking that animals have - we can't literally just think about something and have it automatically happen. We must rely on our behaviors in order to do things, and those behaviors may be different from what we originally intended. Our brains are designed to adapt to any new information that comes our way, and that can prove to be a problem at times.

Our brains are best suited towards learning about the information given to them in order for them to make sense of it. This can mean things we think of as obvious (e.g. 'my dog is dead' vs. 'hey, I heard your cat got run over'). It can also mean little things like when you hear someone say "I'm hungry" and automatically have a thought process in your head about what they're eating and how you'd like to prepare it for them, even though you may have no idea what they're talking about or why they said it. You're not thinking about it consciously, however. Your brain has picked up on the sounds you heard (food) and began to analyze them (what you would like to eat). It then made an internal connection between the two ideas (you'd like to prepare food for this person) and thus began formulating a response.

This is another example of how our brains are always adapting, even when we didn't intend for them to do so. We can learn all we want about other people in order to better understand their actions or intentions, but it still doesn't mean we'll always have the exact same reaction as each other - there will always be some level of difference between our reactions. This is why it can often be difficult to understand and react to another person's intentions or thoughts. We may not find ourselves thinking about their perspective the same way they do - even when we try to.

This is in part due to our different interpretations of language. When one person says "the weather is cold", they may be referring to the physical temperature of the environment, or perhaps a change in their mood state. Considering that we all have different meanings for words, it's easy for us to interpret those words differently and have a different reaction according to the interpretation we make.

Our biology simply doesn't allow us to comprehend another person's thought process or determine what they're thinking, even if it's just the tiniest thing. All we can do is make sense of the things they say and try to comprehend their intentions from there - which is often much harder than you'd think.

And now... back to those headaches!

I hope this article has helped you better understand how our brains work in relation to communicating with others. Understanding that the thoughts of another are often unpredictable, especially when meeting someone for the first time, can be very useful to reduce any anxiety you may feel when trying to figure out what's going on in a conversation between two people.


We may not always be able to comprehend the thoughts and intentions of another person, as our brains are not the best at it. But that doesn't mean we can't figure out a lot of what they're thinking, or even why they do what they do - we just have to get out of our own way. We can do this by learning about others in order to better understand their interactions with you, but that does not mean we exactly think the same way or react to things in the exact same way. Although most people may think or act differently than you, it does not mean that every time you interact with someone they will respond in the same way as well.

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