The Bobby Rock Newsletter #29 (10-13-2021) - Blow Your Mind & Melt Your Heart!
The Bobby Rock Newsletter #29 (10-13-2021) - Blow Your Mind & Melt Your Heart!
Hey Gang -
Hope everyone is well this week. As always, I appreciate you guys joining me for another round here. Let’s jump right into it!
In This Issue:
- Melt Your Heart: If you might indulge me, here’s a quick, personal update on one of the most important beings in my life.
- Blow Your Mind: Curious to know how into something you really are… or someone else is? Check this out!
- Blow Your Mind Some More!: Continuing on with our 21st-Century Brain theme—and our humble aspirations for “superhuman” mental potential—we circle back around to one of my favorite concepts: left-brain/right-brain development. And who better to examine than two of our greatest geniuses?
Let’s start with dessert...
Update on Juju: My Brave & Beautiful Fur-Daughter
Juju was part of a feral colony I looked after for nearly ten years, which was based in a parking lot near my drum studio in LA. The colony—with a core group of five or six—was TNR’d in 2008 (trapped, neutered, returned), and lived large through the years, enjoying a lifespan far longer than most feral cats. But one by one, they all eventually graduated to that “great kitty paradise in the sky”… except for Juju, who was the last one standing in the spring of 2017.
My precious Juju… and her unique, misshapen right foot!
I was never able to offer her a real home because I’ve always lived alone and traveled a lot, so I’m not exactly the ideal guardian for a companion animal. But thanks to two very special, yet different, LA-family home environments (my extended family, by the way), Juju has been thriving as an indoor kitty since September of 2017. This is especially the case in her current digs, which is a calmer space that she's been sharing with her two new kitty siblings—and her beloved “mamaw”—since April 2020. Life could not be any grander for her, let me tell you!
The Proud Papa
Juju’s right foot never grew out all the way. This, along with her skittish nature and smallish stature, always gave her somewhat of a weakened, runt-of-the-litter presence… and always made me fear that her "Darwinian odds" were unfavorable. Still, I can remember a few late nights in the parking lot early on, when I was out there giving the kids their “kitty-crack” snacks (AKA Temptations, of course), and I would have a word or two with Juju as she crunched on her treats. I told her about how the legendary placekicker, Tom Dempsey of the New Orleans Saints, set the record for the longest field goal back in 1970… with his “misshapen” right foot.
“Juju,” I would say softly, "if this motherfucker can kick a 63-yard field goal with his foot, you will do just fine around here with yours. You can be and do whatever you desire."
And sure enough, I would watch with great joy through the years as she would lift her right leg and gallop around the parking lot at full speed with the rest of the gang. Call it a proud papa moment because, after all, Juju is the closest I will ever come to having actual offspring!
And I’ll tell ya, she has already outlived the rest of her tribe by more than four years, as she continues to enjoy great health.
Long live Juju Dempsey Rock!
(And yes, “Dempsey” really is her middle name. What else would it be?)
The "Untold Secret" of Knowing How You (or someone else)
Might Really Feel About Something
Last week (issue #28) we talked about the “Fuck Yes!” Philosophy: the idea that our more important life decisions—particularly as they relate to how we spend our time and energy—are best made from an emphatic “Fuck Yes!”… as opposed to the more noncommittal, luke warm “yes” that we offer up when we just think we should say yes. This distinction is often quite visceral, so we typically will have no problem deciphering a “Fuck Yes!” from a weak-ass “yes.” But is there another way to tell if something is an unconfident “yes” vs. a “Fuck Yes!”?
On a recent podcast, I heard my brilliant, long-time friend, Boko Suzuki (virtuoso keyboardist and fitness expert—among many other things), describe a subliminal behavioral “tell" that many of us tend to exhibit. When we are asked about something that we are half-heartedly agreeable to, or lack real conviction about, we respond in a higher-pitched voice!
Think about it.
Imagine someone asking if you would be interested in doing something that you are absolutely on fire to do, that pays extremely well, and that will also be lots of fun in the process. You would likely respond “Fuck Yes,” and it would ring-out in a confident, full-bodied voice, emanating from deep in your diaphragm… direct from your soul, basically.
On the other hand, imagine someone asking if you would be interested in doing something that sounds pretty decent and sensible—like something you probably should do—but that you aren’t especially stoked about doing. In this case, your voice will typically come out higher in pitch, with a tentative overtone: “Yeah…sounds pretty good... I think I might like to do something like that…”
Once you're aware of this, it’s crazy insightful: as if the tentative response is emerging from the neck up, physically and symbolically disconnected from the root of your soul! Be on the lookout. It could be a future clue for what’s a “Fuck Yes!” and what’s a hard “no.”
Additionally, I’ve noticed this also shows up in less consequential, everyday life situations. For example, if a friend or loved one asks if you would like to grab some Chinese food, but you’re not really in the mood for it: (Voice up an octave) “Yeah, that sounds pretty good…” As opposed to when it’s something you are really craving: “Fuck yes, let’s do it!"
And, as an added benefit, you may now be better able to tell when that friend or loved one really isn’t into something!
Obviously, I’m sure there will be exceptions to this concept and, to be clear, I don't think Boko was presenting this idea as an across-the-board absolute. But I think it's a great “tool of observation," both for your own experiences and potentially where others are concerned.
Catch the podcast episode here. (Boko mentions this phenomenon at the 7:00 mark. But scope the whole episode if you can. Tons of wisdom here…)
Super Mind Power Via Both Sides of Your Brain
In issue #26 a few weeks ago, I mentioned this idea that we are all trying to navigate a 21st-century culture of information with a brain that was never properly trained to deal with it. The main thesis emerged in one of the longest sentences I had written in quite awhile:
We have dragged our 20th-century brains, which have been developed and conditioned to learn, read, study, discern, memorize, and archive a somewhat finite amount of readily accessible “content"—as well as navigate a finite amount of outside stimuli and distraction—into an age of an incomprehensible degree of technology and access, where content, outside stimuli, and distraction are now infinite.
So… what to do?
Step one in the process, I feel, is to understand more about how our big, beautiful brain actually thrives.
In the early ’70s, we took a major step forward in understanding how the brain works. A Nobel Prize-winning neurologist named Roger Sperry confirmed that each of the two sides, or hemispheres, of the brain—known simply as “left-brain” and “right-brain”—serve a distinctly different function. (*See PS below for more recent observations about this.)
Understanding the Left and Right
Left-brain function has to do with tangible, structured things such as logic, words, numbers, analysis, lists, form, calculation, sequence, and language.
Right-brain function is more abstract and creative-oriented, dealing with color, music, art, rhythm, imagination, daydreaming, space, emotion, and dimension.
To reach our true intellectual and creative potential, we will want to develop and condition both sides of the brain… even if our primary expression is based primarily toward the left (as in science and math) or to the right (as in music and art).
Obviously, we use some part of both sides in everything we do. But it had commonly been assumed that creative or artistic people are almost exclusively right-brain types, while accountants and science people are almost exclusively left-brainers. And yet, when it comes to the actual study of peak human performance and mental capacity, we find that some of our greatest geniuses have had impressive development on both sides of the brain. Let’s look at two of them: Leonardo da Vinci and Albert Einstein.
Da Vinci was a brilliant artist, perhaps best known for his classic paintings, “Mona Lisa” and “The Last Supper.” Einstein was one of our most renowned scientists, bringing to the world the Theory of Relativity and many other revelations. So one might deduce that da Vinci was mainly right brain and Einstein mainly left. Not so.
As it turns out, da Vinci famously exhibited incredible left-brain development. He was an inventor and visionary with a staggering aptitude for math, science, astronomy, engineering, and many other disciplines. Heavy left-brain.
At the same time, Einstein was much more right-brain than most people know. He was a concert-level violinist, he loved to paint, and one of his favorite “hobbies” was daydreaming. In other words, heavy right-brain.
So what this tells us is that it’s the development of the whole brain—both the “left” and “right” sides—that leads us to our greatest capacity. This happens for two primary reasons:
1) As we develop both attributes, we are stimulating more brain cells and expanding the brain’s overall working capacity.
2) In both creative and scientific endeavors, we actually engage a lot of mind-power from both “sides” of the brain.
Example: Beyond the obvious right-brain aspects of, say, making music, it is also a very left-brain activity, as well. There are the issues of song structure and arrangement, scales, keys, time signatures, drum rudiments, effects processing, dexterity, midi technology, digital audio software, running sound through a complex network of microphones, wires, and outboard gear, and a myriad of other left-brain elements.
Conversely, it is typically the creative, outside-the-box kind of right-brain thinking that partners with the methodical left-brain power of our scientific minds that brings about our greatest innovations. In fact, it was Einstein’s “riding on a sunbeam” daydream that was the impetus for his theory that the universe is curved and finite.
So for anyone wanting to increase their overall brain capacity and function, the hot ticket is in conditioning both sides of the brain.
Look for more specifics soon, as we continue our quest for that 21st-Century brain!
PS. More recently, there were some new revelations swirling around the neuroscience community that refuted some of the biological components of Sperry’s early work. This revised position took issue with the idea that these hemispheres were so compartmentalized. Fine. We’ll let the brainiacs slug it out. (In the meantime, for the sake of distinction, I still like to use the terms “right-brain” and “left-brain,” as they have become part of our vernacular.) Nonetheless, the fact remains that, in broad strokes, we do utilize our brains in two distinct ways, regardless of the “geographical orientation” of what’s firing where.
Thanks again for scoping out this Newsletter! Connect next week...
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