Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Breaking A Life-Long Habit

I have been using my right hand doing pretty much everything all of my life. Something simple like holding chopstick, using mouse to surf the Internet, doing accounting work in office and everything in between, the right hand seems dominating the entire landscape of accomplishment.

The truth is I was naturally left handed by birth. During my impressionable young age, my father insisted on training me using right hand to do almost everything because he was afraid that I might be laughed at by other children if I showed my left handed way of doing things. Living in a conservative community like ours, any behavior deviated from the norm of the society is a taboo. As a parent, my father tried to have me fit in to the expectation of normal people. Later in life I began to realize and appreciate his thoughtfulness for he understood that sometimes children could be quite cruel and unforgiving whenever someone stepped out of bound.

However, my left hand is not really idle. Whenever I need to exert extreme effort and strength, my left hand is the commander and chief. It gets things done quickly with power and strength. With my intention to work on improving my cognitive abilities as I am now approaching an advancing age, I surfed the Net and came across several websites suggesting to eliminate or reduce our automatic pilot way of life. With so many of our daily chores fall into the subconscious, repetitive and no brainer activities, our billions of neurons in the brain are also becoming sluggish and rotting in the mud. One of the simple and effective ways to stimulate and awaken the neurons is switch using non-dominant hand for normal daily routine. The idea is that in order to strengthen the connections of neural pathways, we need to engage in activities that involve effort and thinking.

Several days ago when I woke up in the morning, the first thought that popped in my mind was that I need to start training my left hand using computer mouse. So, I followed my instinct and set out to move my mouse to the left side of the desk both at work and at home. There I am starting a trivial task of breaking a life-long numbing habit.

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