Saturday, January 11, 2020

Mind, Body, Social

I've been thinking about the way that I frame almost everything that I do. I use this everyday for things like prioritization, self-improvement, and motivation. I wanted to share this not because I think it is revolutionary in any way but because it helps me and I thought it might be helpful for others. I call this way of thinking "mind, body, and social" or MBS for short.

Another note, I apologize if this is rather dry to read, I basically just wanted to get these thoughts written out and published so that other people could start using and criticizing it.

What is mind, body, and social?

The very basics of this is that I believe there are three aspects of every person. There is the mind which is most easily defined as the inner self, the body is the physical self, and the social which is the version of you that exists within the minds of other people. Each of these plays a role in how we interact with other people and how effective we are at improving the world around us. They give us a way to categorize activities and skills to help focus your time where it's most necessary.

What is the Mind?

Digging deeper into the mind and isolating it from the other two aspects we find that our inner self is the source of our ideas, personality, and education. We can improve the mind by learning and understanding how our inner self works. I like to think about this as being who I see myself as. Am I a funny person? Do I know a lot of facts? How quickly can I do addition? There are many pieces that make up the brain and its functions and those would all fall under the Mind. Anything that goes on in your head without directly connecting with other people would be considered part of the mind.

What is the Body?

The physical self is probably the most obvious aspect because it consists of the body itself. There is nothing here beyond what you literally are made up of. You could also call this your “health” but it is made up of anything physical in your body. Things that readily come to mind are things that are easy to improve and are malleable over time like your strength, endurance, immune system but digging deeper this could also be much more difficult things to change and even impossible things like your genetics even though it would not make much sense to try to improve your genetics at this day and age.

What is the Social?

Your social, which is admittedly an odd phrase because the word social is typically an adjective and here we’ve turned it into a noun, is more to this than just the people you socialize with. Parts of social include communicating, even though the skill of communication is from the mind, the act of communicating is purely social. You could see the act of socializing as a way of trying to spread your idea of who you are and make it match up with how other people see you. This goes both directions, sometimes you learn more about your social self and it adjusts your inner idea if who you are but more commonly you’re expressing your feelings, beliefs, and ideas to other people and they’re changing their mental model of who you are, this happens millions of times a day with lots of people.

What do I do with this?

I typically think of this as it relates to activities or skills. It's very easy to say that reading a book, as an example, is an activity that engages the mind primarily. I like to think of each of these aspects as a stat that has an unknowable and incredibly complex score and by performing activities that align with an aspect I'm improving that score. If I take 15 minutes to meditate then I'm likely improving my mind score in some way. Alternatively, if I'm eating an entire bag of candy that probably takes points away from my body score. When I frame things that I do in this way it appeals to my natural urge to improve myself and motivates me to act better.

Thank you

Thank you so much for reading all the way down here. I really appreciate it! I've been thinking about this for a long time and there are so many other facets to this that I'd like to explore. If this is interesting to you please let me know.