I recently gave an MCQ based test in which I marked a known question wrong. Silly mistake. Later when I came home, I sat down and started thinking why I marked the wrong answer. I realized that the question although similar to what I read earlier had a twist and I didn’t notice it. If only I would have applied my reasoning faculty instead of just recalling what I learned earlier, I would have saved myself from the error. And from that instant I have been applying what I call as the doctrine of “Recall vs Reason”. In the following paragraphs, I’m going to talk about the same.
Our brain is capable of storing information in the form of depressions or ridge called gyri and sulci. When we revise what we read such depressions are reaffirmed and hence we are able to recall it for a longer duration. Recalling is not the only function that the brain performs. Another important function that the brain performs is the reasoning function. This important function is what gets overlooked and silly mistakes occur. Had I at that instant used my brain not only to recall but also to reason, so as to arrive at a proper answer, the mistake would have been avoided.
There is one more advantage (apart from several others) which I obtain from using this principle of recall and reason. Whenever I am in a situation where I can follow some quotes or wisdom that I read earlier I always try first to reason on its application. The benefits are two folds. One it helps to bring changes as required in the application. Second, it shifts the responsibility on us as we can’t point our finger to someone who told us to do so because at the end it was not blindly followed or coerced. In the Bhagwad Gita Lord Krishna himself profess to Arjuna that he should not just follow what is being told to him blindly. He should use his mind and make it his own.
So next time make sure you reason with anything that your brain recalls before you apply it to something. Let me know your thoughts on this.