We literally have two brains: The Conscious Brain and The Subconscious Brain.
- The Conscious Brain -The conscious brain is the newest part of the brain. It has been around for approximately 300,000 years. It is located in the brain’s topmost layers and includes the neocortex and the lobes. More specifically, it is located at the top and sides of our brain. Some neuroscientists refer to it as the upper brain or new brain. It is responsible for voluntary thought, awareness, self-control (willpower)and planning. It can overpower habits (automatic routines). It can mute our emotions and sudden impulses.
- The Subconscious Brain – The subconscious brain is located in the limbic system and the brain stem. Some neuroscientists refer to it as the lower brain or old brain. It’s been with us for millions of years. Our old brain has massive computing power. It operates constantly, solving complex problems offline (without conscious effort). It is responsible for autonomic nervous system (controlling our internal organs), forging and managing all habits, it is the birthplace of insight and creativity and it is where our emotions reside. The Subconscious Brain is much faster and more efficient than the Conscious Brain. It gives us the ability to make quick decisions. While our Conscious Brain is at rest, our Subconscious Brain is at work helping us solve problems, alerting us to opportunities, helping us comprehend the incomprehensible, solidifying memory and nudging us into doing something or advising us to stop doing something.
Inspiration is one of the means by which the Subconscious Brain communicates with the Conscious Brain. Oftentimes inspiration occurs while we are engaged in other activities such as work, exercise, showering, dressing, eating, walking the dog, etc. Never ignore inspiration. Inspiration is fleeting. It is your brain’s way of communicating to you profound life-changing information that you need to act on immediately. Inspiration is literally the door of opportunity being jarred wide open. If you don’t act on that inspiration immediately, that door will close and the opportunity will be lost.
In many ways, inspiration is like a doorbell ringing. You need to answer it. You need to run to the door and open it up. This means of internal communication is why so many successful individuals carry a pen and paper with them and immediately write down the profound information being communicated.
Albert Einstein was famous for writing his inspired thoughts into his notepad. There is a famous story about one occasion in which Einstein was walking and talking with his Princeton students. In the middle of their walk and in mid-sentence, Einstein suddenly stopped, pulled out a pen and pad, and for the next twenty minutes he wrote down some formulas and ideas as his students just stood around watching in awe. Einstein understood the fleeting nature of inspiration. He never ignored it. When that doorbell rang, Einstein never failed to answer it.