“Intellectual Lobotomy?”

Does doing your daily work feel like an “intellectual lobotomy?”  Of course an actual lobotomy is that antiquated psychosurgery in which healthy brain tissue was intentionally mutilated or removed for the purpose of behavior control.  The goal was “to eradicate the behavior which others found undesirable.”

Last week Supreme Court Justice David Souter said he undergoes a “sort of annual intellectual lobotomy” when the Supreme Court term begins in October, a condition that he said lasts until the end of the term the following summer.  Wow – that’s pretty grim.  And this guy’s not just standing on an assembly line making widgets. 

Is your work intellectually stimulating – bringing out the very best you have to offer in creativity, passion and excellence?  Or is it brain deadening – requiring that you not think too much or suggest any kind of modification or improvement?  Are you growing as a result of doing your work, or are you shrinking intellectually?

I recognize that “work” is just one component of a meaningful life but I think it’s too high a price to pay if your only compensation is a paycheck. 

Make sure you are:

  • Reading and expanding your knowledge
  • Paying attention to your dreams
  • Exploring new areas of interest
  • Remembering to play
  • Having times of doing nothing
  • Taking care of yourself
  • Making a difference in the lives of others

These can be woven in and out of work.  I doubt anyone ever asked for a lobotomy – it was forced on them by people who claimed to know what was best for that person.  Be very careful of allowing yourself to be put in that position.  Don’t volunteer for an “intellectual lobotomy.”  Put yourself in environments of intellectual stimulation and growth.  You will embrace your God-given gifts and the world will be a better place as a result of you having been here.

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11 Responses to ““Intellectual Lobotomy?””

  1. anita Says:

    Dan, I agree that we need to remember to play! When did life get so serious? …we should allow ourselves (and others) to have fun and play.

    As our children have participated in various sports, we’ve noticed that children are encouraged to “have fun” until about age 8, then it starts to get pretty serious and parents holler and complain when a child makes even a small mistake in a game. I overheard one mom say “we’re not going to allow our son to play baseball this year, it’s just too humiliating.”

    Let’s make time for ourselves and others to play, …to have fun, to create, explore and discover.

  2. Andy Traub Says:

    At least now we know why he’s such a dummy…he disengages his brain when he’s making decisions. That explains a lot about our Supreme Court 🙂

  3. Curtis Stewart Says:

    Dan,
    I was turned on to a book called From Syria to Seminole:Memoir of a High Plains Merchant By Ed Aryain. It is available on the internet and from Texas Tech University Press. I met the authors son and we discussed the difficulties facing people in today’s economy. After reading this boos, I have a lot more faith in this country and our future.
    Ed came to this country in 1913 at the age of 15 with nothing. And during his life lost everything he had twice. But he kept on ding what he loved and found a place in this country where he could raise his family and do what he loved.
    When he passed away he was on no way a monetarily rich man. But he had retired from his own business, raised a family and built a very nice home. Many had done this befor him and untold millions after him, but he wrote it down.
    It is an inspiring read and you can read excerpts from it

  4. Jo De Los Reyes Says:

    So awakening to know that the start of thinking to loose and do nothing at all will also be the start of dying from having all your systems work actively until will lead one to the shutting down of physical powers. It is interesting to know that it takes some piece of stimulation just to ignite a single fire of information into knowledge to suffice back the need of shedding light for others thereby can gain the value of existence and meaning in life.

    One could never make a difference in the lives of others unless one has found himself that significant too before the sight of his creator and the Giver of the dream he has to fulfill in accordance to His purpose and for His glory and honor.

  5. Connie Says:

    I totally get what the justice is saying. I am a public health nurse and the work environment is 100% tougher than it was 6-7 years ago. Employees criticize and judge each other. There is no generosity of spirit. Supervisors do not support. Ask questions and you will be told not to. It is still possible to do good and meaningful work but the work environment is truly lean and “mean”. Pray for those who dispitefully use you.

  6. Karen Says:

    I am curious as to the referencing of a Scientology website in this article. In academe, to use and reference a source of information gives credibility to that source. LR Hubbard was highly critical of any phychotherapy other than what he developed. I would question the credibilty of this quote – even if it is just for dramatic demonstrative use for Miller’s article.

  7. Positively Present Says:

    Really interesting post here. I definitely enjoyed reading it and I think you made some really interesting points. I’m all for No More Mondays!!

  8. Boon Says:

    Many will say that it’s easier to change yourself than to change the situation/others. Surely God gave us gifts & talents, and put us in positions for some reason that we may not comprehend. The real question is whether we persevere to tough it out, or move on.

  9. Interested Says:

    Great post. Thank you for the encouragement and for believing we should be able to use all of our talents fully.

  10. jarred Says:

    I can see what you all are saying. I’m at a job that I hate mainly because …
    1. I feel like every day I’m set up to fail. There’s no job satisfaction. I go to work and try my best but the bosses and organization demand excellance in everything that we do. That is a good goal to have but there’s no way to accomplish all that needs to be and do it perfectly. Trust me I’m not misunderstanding the requests. Our type of buisiness demands that. It is heavily regulated. It would be okay if I only had a couple of things that I’m responsible for so I could focus on that to be excellent. This is a company wide problem, people overwelmed, too much to do and not enough time. But when I discuss the issues they just say, be thankful you have a job, or “when I walk out the door everyday” my day is just fine”. I’ve tried discussing this with my boss and the bosses boss and the independent person who is supposed to listen to your concerns. Recently I applied for an open position. It was very interesting to me and it dealt with hands on things and fixing things. I was qualified. But I was not fully considered because my work group is always loosing people and they couldn’t afford to lose 1 more.

    I can’t think that way… just get a pay check. IF i’m asked to do something I want to do it the best that I can and then feel like I did what I was asked to. That’s not how God says to work. So why would God place me in a situation like that for 8yrs??

    2. I also don’t feel compentent to do my job (engineering) and I need to work with my hands instead of sitting at a desk all day.

    So since I feel like a failure every day, it tends to wear on me and stress me out. I know about the verse where I’m supposed to work for the Lord. I’ve tried to understand that and make it apply but I really don’t understand. I’m stuck between trying to work for the Lord and do the best that I can as God also asks and do what my boss asks me to do.

    I’ve tried to look for other jobs or I’ve always had business ideas for my own business but the doors never open up. This frustrates me even more. I’ve taken the job matching things also but at this time, just can’t get a match. Been at my present job with same circumstances for 8yrs.

    Maybe God is just trying to teach me to be patient, trust Him, be happy in all circumstances and most importantly have a better relationship with Him??? Still it’s hard.

  11. Dan Says:

    Jarred, Be very careful about asking “why God put you in this place?” I certainly believe God is omnipotent – but I don’t think He micromanages the little details in our lives. I think our own decisons lead us to where we are. But that’s hopeful, because you can make new decisions that put you in a different place. Don’t wait for supernatural movement — just start by seeing what you can do to move yourself in the next 30-60 days.

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