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058: Brain Surgery and Avoiding Financial Mind Traps with John Howe!

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I used to be a neurosurgery resident–at least for a couple years before I realized that brain surgery did not suit my lifestyle. Actually, brain surgery was not really compatible with having a lifestyle at all! Anyway, I moved on but I sure did love neuroscience and the brain.

When you operate on the brain, it gives you a little bit of a different perspective on what it is to be alive. You realize how life is, indeed, quite fragile and you wonder how most of us make as far as we do.

You also start to see how all of our thoughts and movements are quite mechanical in nature and driven by electrical impulses. It’s a rather depressing way to think about it, but it is true.

No where is that more clear during awake brain surgery. Sometimes with brain tumors that are near speech centers or vision centers, it is important to stimulate brain around the area to do your best to avoid cutting out. For example, stimulation near a vision center may cause some sort of visual hallucination–avoid it if possible. Freaky right?

Anyway, all this electrical activity happens as we develop and in many cases is learned. Electrical pathways strengthen with certain behaviors. When a right handed person breaks their fingers and needs to use his or her left hand more for a while, we can see brain activity change through modern imaging.

Other activity is less learned and more primordial. Your pupils dilating while you run away from a tiger, for example, is not learned–nor is perspiration.

We are the product of innate and learned behaviors. To a certain degree everything we do and think is based on some sort of reflex. The way we behave in personal finance is no different.

Find out how on this week’s episode of Wealth Formula Podcast!