Mind hacking

Today I came across a sample chapter of O'Reilly's Mind Hacks. This book explains some things which are going on in your head and why they work as they do.

This sample chapter is about the effects of the internal reward system of the brain and explains them on the example of caffeine. It says that when you get "addicted" to caffeine it trains you to bring up some ritual when drinking coffee or tea. You begin to do special things or use special stuff while getting the caffeine into yourself.

Then I thought about myself, when I get my morning-coffee every day and was surprised that I have created such a ritual too. I never thought of that before.

At first I get one of our company-cups with the branding on it from our pre-company-takeover. We have two sorts of such cups, I always take the large one. If none of that cups is available I can also live with other cups but the coffee doesn't taste the same way then. After that I put it into the coffee brewing automata thingie and tell it to bring down two half cups. While the machine is working on my requests I take three stripes of sugar, shake the sugar on one side of them, rip of the other side and put all three portions into the mug, the coffee still dropping down from the brewer. While the remaining fluid is flowing I turn around and take one of the flat thick coffee spoons and put it into the mug too. Then I reach for Maresi coffee milk. After a few seconds the coffee brewer should have finished brewing and I take my cup out of it. Having stirred up the sugar in the mug I fill up the remaining fourth of the cup with milk. Stir a bit more, voi'la, ready!

My rite is such straight forward that I'm a bit stuck. If for example no milk is available I don't recognize that before the coffee is already dripping and sugar has been put into it. So what then? Well, I've to search the whole building for a bottle of milk.

When I "discovered" my behaviour I didn't expect that, I wonder if I have other such rituals...


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