The mind’s two elevators

It always strikes me that we have yet to understand the complexities of our mind. We have been able to map out the physical components of the brain but we are uncertain as to where the various functions of mind reside. The brain and its corresponding contribution to our consciousness is a complex, magnificent, and wonderful dynamic.

One thing I have learned about the workings of the mind is its polarity. It oscillates between high mood and low moods. Think of it as having two elevators. One elevator takes you up and the other elevator takes you down. Like any elevator, we choose which direction we want to go and push the corresponding button.

The up elevator takes us to a top floor penthouse where a party is in full swing. The excitement there is wonderful (think of the birth of a child or the acceptance from a college). Conversely, the down elevator takes us to the bowels of the basement where our experience there is usually dark and dank (think of the loss of a dear one or the loss of a job). 

Taking both elevators for a ride brings us to the full spectrum of what it means to be human. Yet we know life is more than just the highs and lows. In fact, it seem to reside in the mundane, the first floor of existence.

On that floor are various rooms and hallways that we enter and walk every single day. The hallway of work leads us back and forth from our home to our place of employment. We walk it every single day for years. One room might be a marriage or other relationship that is lived in close quarters and can often erupt into challenges and frustrations. And so it goes.  It is our experiences in the room that leads us to wait for each elevator.

At that time we have a choice. We can choose to ride the elevator down to the basement or the elevator up to the penthouse. Often the situation dictates which one we will choose, but at other times we can intentionally choose to respond (push the button) to one or the other. Both bring us to different places and experiences. The problem comes when we allow our brain to leave the essential first floor of our lives and constantly live on the lower or higher floors.

Ride the elevators as you choose, learn the lessons that there at their destinations, but don't allow your choices to chronically ride the elevators.  That only leads to a diminishment of life on the first floor.  That is where the real life is lived, smack dab in the middle of joy…

Posted in Attitude, Community, depression, Depth
One comment on “The mind’s two elevators
  1. byron emmert says:

    Jeff, I love your insight…God is using your blog to encourage so many of us! Thanks!

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Jeff Vankooten is a speaker and author focusing on the power of resilience to effectively engage the challenges of change. He helps leaders, businesses, and organizations develop the skills necessary to thrive in an increasingly unpredictable business environment.
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