My brain has a useful balance of creativity and organizational ability that does well with developing creative concepts and bringing them to reality. This is but a glimpse into how I work and what makes me tick. I host a podcast in Louisville called STARTUP: Conversations With Louisville Entrepreneurs

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IdeaFestival, Breaking Bad, and my brain chemistry

September 26, 2013 - Author: Dan Vonderheide - Comments are closed

What good can come from a look like this?

There is an old adage that says “garbage in, garbage out”. What you feed your brain is what it will, eventually, produce. Fill it with junk and you’ll produce junk. Fill it with light, and you’ll produce light.

This dawned on me today as IdeaFestival in Louisville really hit a stride and was taking over my Twitter feed. I took 45 minutes and hit up Netflix for an episode of Breaking Bad, something I had just started watching last week in an effort to cram for this weekend’s finale.

Bad idea.

I’ll never make it to the current season in such a short time period, but that’s beyond the point. Breaking Bad, while a masterful piece of storytelling and intrigue, is an unbelievably dark and depressing experience where people continually make horrible decisions that have devastating effects on an enormous number of people. Just watching it, I start to feel….guilty. I feel the guilt of the characters and the hopelessness that they’re processing because of the situation that they’re in. It’s awful. And wonderful. But it’s causing me to think and behave differently. I got kind of snarky with Idea Festival, an event in which I believe and for which I have a deep appreciation.

I’m faaaaaaaaar from a scientist, but there is no doubt that taking in those images, words, and emotions are having an effect on how I’m feeling and behaving. It’s the opposite effect from what you get when you attend an event like the IdeaFestival where humans thrive on positive thought and making changes through the ideas not only presented, but generated.

I’m curious about how others deal with this and how they “fill their tank” with healthy fuel. Perhaps instead of going on a Bad binge, I should go on a TED tirade and watch hours and hours of helpful ideas. As tough as it is for me to do, I should avoid popping Judas Priest into my Spotify and consider….oh, I don’t know….Switchfoot? They do rock with a positive spin.

If you know me AT ALL, you know that I’m essentially a hopeless optimist. I give people the benefit of the doubt, strive to lead through serving others, and am outgoing and gregarious when I greet someone. If you see me tomorrow, I might still be mired in the pit of Breaking Bad despair – it’s too GOOD not to finish watching – but I’ll be trying to balance out that negative brain chemistry with some up tempo music and (God willing) some decent exercise.

Who knows? I might even eat a vegetable. Garbage in…garbage out.

Categories: Self

Discussion (4 Comments)

  1. by Susie Meese

    Nephew Dan, this was very thought provoking indeed. Bottom line from our humble abode to yours, BB is only a TV show. Indeed it will likely go down as one of the BEST in my lifetime, but something else with a new twist, and upcoming stud actor will become the next TV icon, making BB a mere memory. We are huge BB fans, and admit it is “addicting”, but we are able to shift gears and equally enjoy Modern Family. Our advice is DEFINITELY watch the series in its entirety, but get an RX of Zanex while doing so LOL.

    • by Dan Vonderheide

      You live in the Southwest. Clearly, you’re smoking the blue stuff. :-). To me, LOST will be the best show in my lifetime – but as time goes on, you’re right…it becomes an afterthought. When I need a positive kick in the pants, I roll the entire Naked Gun movie series. Nothing better! XOXOXO

  2. by Jake Stuart

    Thanks! I really needed that today. I think I’ve had too much garbage in and am feeling like I can’t expel the overflow. Sometimes flushing a system takes a little time, but it will get there if you’re patient. Have a great day and thanks for having the courage to post your thoughts.


    • by Dan Vonderheide

      Thanks for the note, Jake. Glad I’m not the only one with garbage processing problems.