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The Benefits of Randomness

August 4, 2011
Lost keys random efficient solutions

This post is dedicated to one of my scientist friends, you know who you are

Do you ever misplace something, like keys? You search in obvious places and can’t find them. 10 minutes go by and you’ve searched the same place 3 times hoping they’ll miraculously appear. You say to yourself, “I always put them here. Where the f#*$ can they be?” Ultimately you either give up and retrieve the backup set, accidentally find them, or call your friend who has a backup set. Well I’m about to tell you the secret to finding those keys.

Over the years I noticed I had become “good” at finding misplaced objects. There was one common variable to finding my misplaced valuables, and it is summed up with 1 word: RANDOMNESS. Searching for keys can feel like the search for a soul mate (you know its there however you can’t find it), but usually when we misplace something, we do it subconsciously. So I started looking in places I would NEVER place my keys–in random places–with the hopes of out smarting my subconscious mind. I wouldn’t look in the normal locations you’d lose keys (pant pockets, in-between couch cushions, or by a door). I would look in the bathroom, or in the door—the random places.

WARNING: Randomness may not be for all individuals. Consult your physician first if you have high blood pressure, a history of heart failure, or a short temper.

Finding lost keys is not the sole benefit of being random. Randomness has also helped:

  1. Improve my memory (based on anecdotal evidence)
  2. Learn about myself (my likes and dislikes)
  3. Find opportunities to achieve my goals in life

Science chicago efficient solutions

How will randomness open the door to opportunities? Think of driving in traffic…Wherever you’re headed traffic is inefficient, it’s boring, and it’s slow–a recipe for unhappiness. However, you feel comfortable because even though it’s slow, you are familiar with the path to your destination. You can choose to sit there, incubating in an unhappy environment OR you can locate the nearest exit, bypass the traffic jam, and find an alternate route. This is the type of decision that manufactures opportunity: maybe you’ll save time, you might find a cheaper gas station, or a new favorite restaurant. Since you’re unfamiliar with the environment, maybe you turn the wrong way down a one-way street, hit a car, and your soul mate happens to be the opposite driver. One way or another, the more random you are the more opportunities present themselves.

Being random will place you in unfamiliar environments, but this is your opportunity to learn about your fears, your problem solving abilities, and your potential to adapt to changing environments. Let’s face it, if you want to survive and be happy in our complex world, adaptation is key. Charles Darwin would agree. So, if you ever notice your life being inefficient, boring or slow, be random and see what you find. I guarantee you’ll find some likes, and dislikes, along with plenty of new opportunities.

As far as the memory, I’m not a neurologist, but doesn’t it make sense that a linear way of thinking manufactures and maintains a fixed path of neurons? However, if you’re thinking is random, you create new paths and access new neurons to develop. This will increase the brain’s capacity to form memories. Maybe I’m totally off base, someone agree or disagree with me.

I wrote this post because I know someone out there can benefit from being random. The next time you lose your keys or your life gets stuck in traffic (literally or figuratively), be RANDOM. And always remember, be yourself or be no one, let you be you. Thanks for reading!

smile science chicago

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    November 21, 2011 5:00 PM

    This is amazing!

    • November 21, 2011 5:58 PM

      Thank you. Will you apply it to your life?

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