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Do you know of the VERY efficient housekeeper in our body?

Based on the theory of evolution, we – products of years of natural selection, are the "fittest and most adapted" version of our kind. In this aspect, we have developed biologically to be highly efficient and effective. Since every biological structure and process would require resources to be formed or maintained, our body has developed a very efficient management approach: Use it or lose it.


This response is so ingrained in our system that the process of "housekeeping" is done involuntarily. If we do not work our muscles, they degenerate. Based on research, a young adult will lose 100-200g of muscle per week if subjected to bed rest while older adults may lose between 600-800g of muscles per week. if we do not revise a piece of information, we forget (check out Ebbinghus' forgetting curve below).


Ebbinghaus forgetting curve – Note how the rate of forgetting (gradient/steepness of slope) decreases with each revision. Image credits: link


Simply put, our body is very practical and we have no control over what it decides as "junk" to be discarded. If something is left unused, our body will naturally allocate fewer resources, resulting in it to be eventually... lost. We can only signal what is important to our body through deliberate actions (as well as emotions). Whatever the body is exposed to more regularly would be deemed as important and be incorporated into the "norm". This is also why you should not underestimate yourself and you are actually more adaptable than you think. This is also the reason why, when we revise a specific set of information, we are signalling to the body that this is important and should not be forgotten. After all, to the housekeeper of our system, information is just information and there is no difference between the lyrics to your favourite song or the formulae for differentiation.


In all, should you wish to achieve a desired physical or mental goal, do remember to signal to that efficient housekeeper about your intentions by engaging in frequent activities involving the development of that goal – especially at the starting phases of your plan (Thanks Ebbinghaus!)


Missed a day and doing a catch-up but still proud to have done so. Wishing all a wonderful rest of the week! :)

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