Your 15 minutes can go either way

PE harbour view across the beach

You can have your 15 minutes of fame, but you can also use your 15 minutes to train your brain – well these are the theories anyway. In the long term, time spent working on your brain is likely the better investment, but the decision is yours.

It was Andy Warhol who suggested, back in 1968, that “everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes”. This statement was included in the program for his Moderna Museet exhibition in Stockholm. As the story goes, Warhol was being photography by Nat Finkelstein and people kept trying to get included in the photos.

This caused Warhol to suggest that everyone wants to be famous, to which Finkelstein responds, “Yeah, for about 15 minutes, Andy”. Echoes of this sentiment can be found throughout history, popular culture, music and general society. People strive for recognition, no matter how brief.

The other idea, about investing 15 minutes daily in your self-improvement, well it can be seen in the opposite light because it means retreating from the world – but the results can be surprising.

Neural pathways criss-cross our brains, and due to neural plasticity our brains change daily depending on what we do and what we feed them. In terms of feeding, I’m not referring to the food we eat. My reference instead is to the emotions, ideas and thoughts we push through it every day.

If you push good things through your head, you will train it for good. Push bad things through there and the world will be a dark place. It’s the same with how you educate it, the more information you feed it, the smarter it becomes. Certainly, dedicating years of your life to achieving an education is one way of doing it but as you get older and responsibilities grow, so being able to do this becomes more difficult.

Spending 15 minutes daily on your education is nearly 100 hours per year – and there are some pretty bold claims being made around this. A book monthly for a year would put you in the top 25th percentile of intellectuals globally, complete five good books on a single subject and become one of the foremost authorities on that topic. Read 15 minutes daily for a year and that’s 20 books.

Whether you trust or believe these claims is immaterial. What matters is that you will advance, mentally and intellectually. Personal growth is a goal that never needs to change, throughout your lifetime.

Let’s be honest, books and reading are gym for the brain, why wouldn’t you want to work out?

On a final note, we are … 81 days from the end of 2020. Decided on your particular option for New Year celebrations yet?

Author: Morné Condon

Automotive journalist in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, following new models, old cars, car clubs and motorsport. My interests are not restricted to the automotive environment, although this is where I am mostly to be found.

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