Health, Fitness and Personal Energy for Active Older Adults

Energy Bite 112 – Cognition

Do you see, understand, think and feel? Are you aware of what’s going on around you? Can you tell right from wrong? Can you create things? All of this, and more, comes under the umbrella of the term “cognition”.

Yes, I’m still writing the series about the 12 Attributes of Human Functioning and the subject for this  article is Cognition, number eight on the list. Cognition is defined by Webster as: “Knowledge; to know; the process of knowing in the broadest sense, including perception, memory, judgment, etc.” Man has the ability to understand and “to know” things.

We have the ability to understand chemistry, physics, mechanics, medicine and our bodies. We have the ability to take that “knowing” and expand on it and to create new things from what we know. We can also use “knowing” in a higher sense, as in “knowing” about ourselves and our overall world.

We also can “know” our own physical bodies. We can see, hear, touch, taste and smell. Some scientists believe we are now evolving beyond those physical senses. We can allow our own bodies to tell us what is going on inside us, and we can use those sensory impulses to determine if all is right, or if there is something we need to watch or do something about.

We believe that other animals don’t have that higher ability “to know” that man does. Some come close, we think. But they’re not quite there yet. So we believe. But take a look at this very recent and enlightening TED Talk. Here’s the link.

The visual at the end asks the question:

“Do humans have enough consciousness, intelligence, rationality, creativity, empathy, love, to let Life on Earth Survive.”

I’m far from being a diehard animal activist by any stretch, but there is a powerful message in that video.

Man is a rational being. We consider the mind to be paramount. We believe in the conscious and rational mind. We are told by “thought leaders” that we get what we think about and that we “become what we think about”. Is that true? There is probably some truth to it.

We have the ability to understand complex ideas and to play with and act on those ideas.

We act from what we link pain and pleasure to — but we think with a cognitive mind.

And when we recognize (”re-cognize”) something, we are seeing it with our mind — again.

We do things we know we shouldn’t, but we are cognizant of the difference between right and wrong.

So, cognitive ability is a critical attribute of human functioning. It is one of the attributes that separates us from the lower animals, but probably not by as much as we think.

what does all this have to do with Health, Fitness and Personal Energy? Simply that it is an Attribute of Human Functioning, and how we use that attribute determines who we are as individuals.

Thank you for reading, and have a great Thanksgiving Holiday.



Energy Bite 110 – Capacities to Manipulate the Environment Directly

Do you live in your own home?  Do you buy your food at the grocery store?  Do you do the things that will make or keep you physically healthy?  If the answer is yes, then you have demonstrated your Capacity to Manipulate Your Environment Directly. That ability to “manipulate” your environment is the 6th Attribute… Continue Reading

Energy Bite 109 – Movement Abilities

“To restore life to your life, to defeat aging, to regain the youth you still possess, get your body in motion.” —  from the essay Act Your Age, by George Sheehan. That quote from George Sheehan, the essayist, leads nicely into The Fifth Attribute in this series of articles about the 12 Attributes of Human Functioning,… Continue Reading

Energy Bite 108 – Vitality

How strong is the Life Force within you?  How powerful is the Vitality that keeps you burning with Personal Energy? Vitality is number four in this series on the 12 Attributes of Human Functioning, from the book, The Future of the Body, by Michael Murphy, and The Life We Are Given by Michael Murphy and… Continue Reading

Energy Bite 104 – The 12 Attributes of “Human Functioning”

Several years ago, when these Energy Bites were produced and distributed as a multi-page PDF newsletter, I often did reviews of books related to Health, Fitness and Personal Energy.  One of those books I reviewed was titled:  The Life We are Given, by George Leonard and Michael Murphy.  Murphy was the founder, and George Leonard… Continue Reading