mind in ‘discovery mode’

hazel catkin macro - a picture starting 'discovery mode' wanting to know everything there is to know about Corylus Avellana...

hazel catkin macro – a picture inciting ‘discovery mode’ –  wanting to know everything there is to know about Corylus Avellana…

When coming upon ‘something interesting’ the mind seems to go into ‘discovery mode’.
It wants to absorb everything there is to know about that interesting thing.

Gossiping is also a discovery mode.
Browsing wikipedia another.
Studying an interesting subject also.

This is why uninteresting subjects are much more difficult to study: there is no discovery mode.

Discovery mode is initiated by desire.
A desire to know.
This is often not an act of free will, we get sucked into it by the power of mind.


17 thoughts on “mind in ‘discovery mode’

  1. Would you say discovery mode ( excluding gossip) is a natural antidepressant? Animals we encounter by chance on a walk or looking out the window are discovery “plus.”. They are not only discovery of the mind but of the emotion of the “other.”. They are natural antidepressants unless one is even too low to feel awe.

    • I see awe and discovery as two different things.

      I think a kid (till age 7) is constantly in discovery mode. That doesn’t mean there is constant awe. Discovery mode is a primer to ‘the flow’. The flow is a mode with successive states of being in the present moment while doing something that takes our entire focus, so we lose our identity with mind.

      Awe is a moment of being speechless, 1 second ‘no mind’

      I use both examples (awe/discovery) now and then to bring some of the students out of ‘worry’. They are always unemployed, and some have bad relationship problems on top of that. I see that they haven’t slept. They cannot calm down. They are time bombs, and I try to defuse them. With success.

      I use the awe-moment to make them aware that there are moments without worry, regardless of their situation. I try to find out whether they can be into music or any other passive occupation where they really relax, walking through nature is a perfect way. Then I try to find out whether they have been in the zone or the flow before. I try to connect their way of studying to being in the flow, starting with discovery mode.

      They most often realize that there is a time to worry, and a time to sleep, and a time to study. There is freedom when you can put on your headphones and be in the music, next sleep.
      There is freedom when you can watch half an hour of ‘the matrix’ and then start to study.
      There is freedom when you can watch one of those very funny scenes on youtube and laugh your lungs out.
      I must follow them closely with many private conversations … After 2 weeks, they see that it is working. Another 2 weeks of monitoring and their on the road for a new life again … (with many minor and major disappointments on the way)

      Can one do this alone? It will be difficult. Few people lose weight permanently when on a self diet without a coach. But if you have a good friend, she/he can be that coach, and after just one month, the needed feedback and follow up becomes much less.

      If you lead a more or less balanced life already, yes, knowing these things and applying them will keep you balanced, and less prone to despair meeting the inevitable challenges of life.

  2. Gossiping is sleep mode. When people try and engage me in gossip, I tell them: “I don’t gossip and I don’t want to hear any gossip, however, I want you to know that Elvis is not dead and I’m pregnant with his baby.”
    That is the end of the gossip and any people they know who love gossip that I also know, never try and gossip with me ever again.
    My world is gossip free! Now that’s an awake mode!
    And, I don’t use wikedia, it’s a poor source for info because it’s full of propaganda mixed in with the info. There are much better sources for information other than wicki.

    More than “discovery mode”, I love “awe mode”.
    Like when I come across deer on a walk, I go into awe mode.

    I am a very curious person, though, so I do study a lot of things and topics in great detail; but, I learn from the masters of the topics I study, not jack of all trades, so to speak.

    • I completely agree, I don’t have any interest in gossip, but I have an aunt for which gossiping really is discovery mode. 🙂
      For some it is following the news on 10 news channels at the same time.
      For others google earth is an unlimited source of discovery mode.
      And some do the same thing on twitter or facebook.
      If you know what is your discovery mode, it will become easier to find your moments of being in ‘the flow’, because everyone has these experiences, but few seem to actually know that they do.

      Awe mode is that moment of speechlessness. Real art also does that, some music, being in nature.

  3. Ha – great coincidence! I am just scanning all my social webs to catch up with the interesting sciencey and geeky stuff. You have grasped the essence of this mode very well!

  4. I can’t help but agree with the sentiment expressed here … the mind, when left free to wonder, often enters the areas we may not even be aware of. I call it ‘flow’ … it is not easy to enter and it does not come on demand, but it does come, when we ‘trick’ ourselves into let it wonder … amazing things come to be.

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