How Your Brian Problem Solves

If the worst possible problem happens you need to know your brain has your back because that's what its designed for

Dr. Conor Hogan Ph.D.
5 min readJul 1, 2021

Imagine the worst thing that could happen and double it.

Now that’s a problem!

Photo by Michael Aleo on Unsplash

And if you`re in a problem of that size you`ll have no option but to solve it. Because a problem of that magnitude will ruin your life. You won’t be able to focus on anything else as it will be in your mind as you try to figure through it.

Something that’s going to change your life must have energy behind it.

So much so that you can’t control it. A problem that will wipe you off your feet. A thing you`ve never seen coming.

You may think I`m admiring the size of the problem but I`m not.

Rather I`m remembering back to my problems in the past. Because that’s when you know how much it hurts. Because problems that are so big are very personal.

People say it’s good to separate business and personal stuff and in general, it is. But when a problem comes that’s so bad it flicks your business and its plans aside and destroys your personal life, that’s when you know you have to pivot.

By that stage your choices are limited.

And from that, you can either crumble and be down in the dumps or you can react and see it as an opportunity to improve.

Because when things hit your business and personal life like a tsunami you`ve nothing left to do but pick up the pieces and try again.

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After all, our brain loves challenges.

It was built for them. Historically, you hunted and gathered. You didn’t have all of the sophistication of the present day.

Your first thought every morning was ‘Where will I get food?’

There was no way you could hop out of bed, run downstairs, and pull open your refrigerator to serve yourself up to something fresh, clean, and tasty. You wouldn’t have stairs. Nor would you even have a bed.

If you were lucky you`d be huddled under a tree or you may have found a shelter of sorts outside to call your home.

As for the refrigerator, an oven, or a microwave, or anything with a plug they never existed.

So all you had was yourself.

And your instincts.

But in many ways, your brain was wired for that. Sure, it would be an initial stress if your world comes tumbling down but when you discover your brain can survive when its back is put up against a wall then you know you can overcome the problem.

Because your brain has two hemispheres and both do different things in general.

The left hemisphere controls logical thinking. It concentrates on mathematics, facts, thinking in words, linear thinking, writing, speech controls, and comprehension.

Whereas on the other side other things happen.

Because the right side of the brain deals with artistic and creative thinking, spatial ability, and musical skills.

Interestingly, each hemisphere takes control of the opposite side of the body. And in over 90% of people the left hemisphere control language and hand use.

Then there’s the corpus callosum.

It delivers messages over and back from left hemisphere to right via a series of fibers.

Photo by Zulmaury Saavedra on Unsplash

Suffice to say your brain is well equipped in different areas!

So, when a big problem exists the prefrontal cortex of your brain kicks in.

Your prefrontal cortex deals with complex emotional and cognitive behaviors. It controls cognitive functionality and dopamine which has a knock-on effect on prospective memory, impulse inhibition, cognitive flexibility, and influencing your attention.

Located in front of the frontal lobe it is concerned with planning.

And when things hit you out of the blue you have to pivot to plan immediately. Because everything you thought you knew about tomorrow is now gone. If you don’t pivot you ponder and that won’t progress you.

Instead, you wait and wonder why things are so tough on you all of the time!

But if you know your brain has the functionality to react and move on with things then you need to utilize what’s there and let it plan your way out of the problem.

Start by thinking:

‘Well I never saw that coming so whatever I do in the future I`ve got to be crystal clear I can control its outcome because my previous plan was not controllable’.

Once you admit that to yourself you can look forward and start thinking about how you can get to where you want to go. Shift your imagination to the future and where you`d like to be. If you want to be beyond the problems you`ve experienced you need to have an aim that’s free of that distraction.

From there you get clarity.

Okay, it may be a huge goal to attain the future aim but that’s now why you need to put your prefrontal cortex to work to plan every step to get there. And when it gets to work on this planning it will have to be aware of outside forces that could throw you off your course.

Because that’s where experience comes in having learned from the problem that set you on this new course in the first place.

So if you see the problem as a new way to learn better you`ll improve yourself and your skills sets as a result.

Will it be challenging?

You bet it will!

Will it be easy?

No, but you’ve got the brain to do it so you’ve got to use it.

Will it take time?

Yup, it sure will.

But remember you have a refrigerator with some fresh produce inside so sit awhile, eat, and then start to figure out your next step before you set off on this new and rewarding journey.

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Dr. Conor Hogan Ph.D.

Forbes, INC. & Entrepreneur Magazines, CBS, & NBC Featured, Dr. Conor Is The No. 1 Best Selling Author of The Gym Upstairs