Imagine getting a phone call that your mom has died. You are probably devastated, overwhelmed with emotion because the life you knew has ended. Now imagine you get a phone call to tell you that someone you don’t know has died. You might be sad to hear the news, but you keep your composure.
In this scenario, you have much more information synapsed to your mother’s character than the stranger’s. The information of their death must now be synapsed with the idea you’ve made about each person.
With the stranger, the only thing you know about him is that he died. With your mother, you must synapse the information that she is gone to her neural cluster which is synapsed to every memory you have ever made with and about her. The large amount of information collected about your mother means that she has been solidified in your memory greatly, we call this importance.
Think about what you consider to be important to you, and think also about how much time you’ve spent thinking about it. If music is an important part of your life, it’s probably because you have listened to a lot of it. Neural paths are solidified after being stimulated and repeated stimulation solidifies further.
When studying for a test, you choose to spend more time thinking about the parts you deem important, solidifying them more than the minor details. This choice to focus on important parts allows us to more strategically allocate resources when solidifying information.
Let’s say you need a new car: the seat has a spring poking your butt, the heat won’t work, and the steering wheel always felt too small. Driving to and from work, you are constantly reminded of the spring as you shiver in the traffic.
You go to the dealership and when checking out new cars, you will focus on the important features: the ones you think about all the time. You’ll check the comfort of the seat, the reliability of the heater and the size of the steering wheel. However, you might completely glance over some other detail. It wasn’t a problem in your old car for you to think about, so it has less importance to you.
It’s helpful to learn about your solidification process for a number of reasons. You can choose to place importance on specific thoughts and remember them better by stimulating the neural path repeatedly. You can choose to ignore information that you do not deem important, an impressive feat as it inhibits completion. You can also recognize the neural paths that you have solidified in your life and reexamine them, understanding that their importance is just a matter of use.
When we learn new information that contradicts an important belief of ours, it’s helpful to recognize that importance is merely a matter of solidification. You’ve solidified those important ideas but that doesn’t inherently make them right. Remember to take all new information at face value and remember that it is okay to be wrong about something important to you. You are a human and you will always be able to adapt and find something new to make important.