For the book report, I chose to read The Influential Mind by Tali Sharot. The author is a neuroscientist who in the book explains how our minds work and how influential it can be from day to day in our lives. One of the most interesting topics in the book was how automatically we are hard-wired to not be flexible with our thoughts. Once we make our minds up about something we are pretty much stuck to it. I personally understand because I am such a stubborn person who can be very set on certain decisions or thoughts. I have heard over and over again how I should be more open-minded and think “outside the box” but it can be hard for me.
In the book, the author talked about a topic called “cherry picking.” Cherry picking basically means we are naturally curious about ourselves and how we want to see what others think about us. I personally don’t like worrying about what other people think about me but sometimes, I just get so curious. I remember back in middle school how worried I was about other people’s opinions. It’s just how our minds work and it can be hard to come out of it.
In the book, she talks about self-control. In class, we talked about self-control and impulsivity. My favorite analogy she used was being on a plane. You have no control over the path or the speed of the plane and you are pretty much giving all control to the plane. I had never thought about it like this before and it was a really good analogy. It perfectly explains how self-control feels. Now when I get on a plane this is what I’m going to think about. But like she said it would help so much if the airline could give the people data on how fast we are going and everything that is going on. When it’s available, I am constantly looking at the map on the little screen in front of me to see where we are and how fast we are going. I need to know everything in order to feel in control of myself and the situation.
Another topic I found interesting was how influential our minds can be it can affect others’ moods around us especially when there is an emotional connection. When I’m mad, my boyfriend is gonna be mad also. Our minds pretty much sync and we are able to feel the same thing and we react the same. Moods are contagious and I am also very aware of it now.
I truly did enjoy reading this book and I found it interesting how our mind is so influential can really be.
I was able to learn more about the mind with the author's TED talk.