The body and the mind


I recently subscribed to Netflix for the sake of House of Cards and one of the first videos that I saw was a TED talk by Dr. Amy Cuddy. When there are people who despise TED talks, I personally like some of them, if not all. I find them interesting because it is an avenue to know about people and how they are touching others’ lives. This talk by Dr. Cuddy is one that I found interesting and worth sharing.

Dr. Cuddy talks about how the body can influence your mind. We all know how the mind can influence our bodies. If someone’s exuberant, you can make it out from his body language. If one’s low on morale, you immediately see it on their faces and bodies. But is the reverse possible? Can your body influence the mind? Can you try to fake a powerful pose, perhaps an overbearing grin or a haughty walk, and trick your brain out of the low-morale state? Apparently, it is possible. Though I haven’t checked the publications of Dr. Cuddy, I could see it happening through the experiments performed and not to mention the anecdote she gives about how she faked her way through Princeton. I’d say that I myself have done it to come out of a rut. I look at myself in the mirror and try to sneak in a condescending smile and it has worked flawlessly.

She also makes a point of faking it until you internalize it. This was interesting to me as that is one way you can put the past behind you and become what you want in life. I read somewhere that the state of one’s mind changes from decade to decade. What you were thinking in the last decade is not what you think today. Things have changed. Priorities have reshuffled. Your brain thinks entirely about different topics than it did a few years ago. Anyone can witness this fact. People have been homophobic or have been indifferent to homosexuals only to be more welcoming of them after getting to know them better. But a word of caution before that phrase is interpreted in the wrong sense. That doesn’t mean that one should portray a false sense of themselves just for the sake of doing it.

Again as before, another House of Cards quote to end this post with.

Such a waste of talent. He chose money over power. In this town, a mistake nearly everyone makes. Money is the Mc-mansion in Sarasota that starts falling apart after 10 years. Power is the old stone building that stands for centuries. I cannot respect someone who doesn’t see the difference.

Always been fascinated by the dynamics of money, this quote allures me. I have a different take on this quote which is quite in contrast from its literal meaning. I consider knowledge as Power. The ability to make yourself heard is Power. The ability to lead is Power. The ability to put forth your ideas is power. The ability to contribute to the betterment of the society is Power. Pure money is almost always certain to bring you nothing. This quote reminded me of this beautiful verse from Chanakya Neeti.

विद्वत्त्वं च नृपत्वं च नैव तुल्यं कदाचन ।

स्वदेशे पूज्यते राजा विद्वान् सर्वत्र पूज्यते ॥

(Plain) Kings and the learned can never be compared. Kings (with pure money) will only be celebrated in their country but the knowledgeable (with Power) will be celebrated everywhere.