Hello world, this is my blog. You might be wondering, though, about its title. The Faulty Walnut.
The name is an inspiration that has been drifting back into my mind every time I find myself in a mental “pickle”. Every time I struggle to quiet my monkey mind, every time I see myself acting contrary to my values and every time I see myself regressing to child-like behaviour that doesn’t really reflect the real me. This is when I remember – our brains are a faulty walnut.
The name was taken from a concept from The School of Life, namely from this video. The basic idea behind it is that our brains are an impressive piece of matter that make us capable of astounding feats. However, our minds are profoundly flawed, full of weaknesses and inconsistencies that we need well be aware of. No matter how much we identify with the idea that we are rational beings, our minds are not always to be trusted and the messages it sends us are to be taken with a grain of salt.
The evolution of our brains has made it greatly apt to dealing with threats, but not so good at recognising when that threat is real or simply stems from an automatic response. Hence our everyday anxieties to which we react as if a cheetah wants to hack at our neck. My own “pet anxiety” being answering a phone call from an unknown number. Go figure.
Our minds are also not that good at recognising the role that our physiology plays in the messages it sends to us. That hormones, sleep, sugar levels and external influences shape the way our minds perceive the world and react to it. Maybe your partner is not really being a douche and you might just need a good meal and 8 hours of sleep before continuing a conversation. Just maybe. 🙂
The mind also likes to believe in its rationality and objectiveness. Ah, now this is a big one. The mind is sure that we are perfectly objective in judging the situations before us, forgetting that our past experiences make for a foggy filter through which we see the world. The faulty walnut we possess is primed to see things only from its point of view, making it nearly impossible to see situations from varied angles.
When you jump to a conclusion that someone thinks badly of you, maybe it’s the faulty walnut. When everyone around you seems annoying, maybe it’s the faulty walnut. When you want to abruptly leave your partner or quit your job, maybe it’s the faulty walnut. When you are SURE you are right, check back in – is it the faulty walnut?
We are inherently flawed, as are our minds. And these flaws make up most of the quirky behaviours that we present the world with. Our sometimes hilarious traits of personality can mostly be tracked back to our foggy, quickdraw minds. But there is no need to dispair over this imperfection. It is enough to train ourselves, bit by bit, to take little baby steps back from our faulty walnut and start noticing the potential errors of our judgements and ideas. And with a little bit of room to breathe, we might not latch on to every thought and idea our minds throw at us and learn to watch it with delight and even laugh about it.
Hence this blog. To share and celebrate all of the flaws and quirkiness that make us. George Bernard Shaw once said: “If you want to tell people the truth, you’d better make them laugh or they’ll kill you.” So if I want to face the truths about my own flaws, I better learn to laugh at them. I invite you to do the same. Happy reading 🙂