This article is the first in a series about leveraging your brain to its full capacity to make law office management and life as a lawyer more productive. It’s based off a presentation I gave at MILOFest 2012 called “Hacking Your Mind”.
You’re an intelligent person. You’re educated, well-read, and a successful professional. You’re impervious to mental manipulation and advertising trickeries, right?
Wrong. Your mind gets hacked all the time. If you don’t believe me, let’s start with a simple question to prove a point: What do the following heroes have in common?
Answer: They’re all orphans. Technically, Luke’s father is still alive (for a while), but he was raised thinking he was dead. And the only people who aren’t hacked by these conventions are the ones who can spot the rules.
Is it coincidence that some of the most celebrated and profitable stories share this common element? Or does growing up without parents resonate deeply within us? It appears that the orphan backstory serves as a perfect canvass to pain a myth on. Your mind has been hacked for storytelling’s sake, and this is just one of many examples that we’ll explore in this series.
As it turns out, our minds work in very specific ways. Our brains have a specific architecture composed of 100 billion specialized cells called neurons, each of which is connected to 1000 others through what are called synaptic connections. People are all individuals, but we share biology, an evolutionary history, and cultural norms that that are thrust upon us from our earliest ability to observe the world around us.
Mind hacking is kind of a personal journey for me. Once I learned how eminently hackable I was, I started consuming books on psychology and behavioral economics in an effort to learn more. This series is a digest of some of the more striking ideas I’ve come across that can be used to improve your professional life. It turns out that you can improve your memory, willpower, arithmetic ability, decision-making, and happiness by learning just a little bit more about the grey matter in your skull and how it operates.
As a result, your law office management gets easier, your mind will get less hacked, and you might just do a little healthy hacking of your own. Stay tuned!