The ten percent myth: do we really only use a small part of our brain??

Albert Einstein supposedly said that people use only 10 percent of their brains. Then it must be true: There is a little genius in each of us! We just have to – well – coax it out. No problem – discover with us the secret of the greatest thinkers of all times and be always one step ahead. We show them how to use the remaining 90 percent of their brain to its fullest potential. They have doubts? So do we..

A girl solves difficult tasks on a blackboard – a real genius

Does nature afford so much waste?

Seriously, this is nonsense. Every person who has a healthy brain also uses it 100 percent. Although the brain is only about two percent of the body’s mass, it accounts for a good 20 percent of daily energy needs. Such a waste of energy would not have had a chance in evolution: Nature does not afford such a waste of energy. As the high energy consumption already suggests, the brain is indeed working at full capacity around the clock. Specific areas in the brain are assigned to the different tasks, such as movement, smelling, tasting and seeing. Incessantly sensory impressions are collected there and it is decided which of them have to be paid attention to and which not. Emotions are produced and experiences become memories. And then thoughts are formed and beautiful words are made of them.

Where does the ten percent myth come from??

How is it then that this myth is so persistent?? Most people will have heard of this, and quite a few will have wondered at least once whether there might be something to it. Probably it is promises like the one in the introduction of this text that make this myth flare up again and again, backed up by the quote of a great mind, preferably Albert Einstein. In the past decades, dozens of popular psychology books and life guides have been promoted and sold in this way. Because the statement of Albert Einstein knows now really everyone… and at least a little as clever as Einstein to be, that would like nevertheless also the most. But there is no evidence that Einstein actually made the ten percent statement.

The brain uses different regions for different tasks

Use about also only 10 percent of your Biezeps?

Nevertheless, this myth works excellently as a sales strategy. The idea is as simple as it is tempting – if 90 percent of the brain’s capacity lies idle, it should be possible to get at least a small part of it working. The increased abilities of highly gifted people could be explained in this way and even supernatural phenomena could be justified with it. Because the brain is excellently suited as a projection surface. Hardly anyone knows how it really works but it presumably houses the mind and also the imagination. Some people can obviously perform extraordinary feats with them. You would only have to learn the trick to use more capacity and you would be capable of similar performances. So behind this is also the human tendency to look for shortcuts. By the way, a book by an American religious community is also known for being advertised with Albert Einstein and his alleged 10 percent statement. Surprisingly, no one has yet come up with the idea of claiming that humans only use ten percent of their muscle capacity. Competitive athletes are also capable of things that are simply unimaginable for most people.

Why are some people so much more intelligent?

The term muscle capacity, however, may already raise the first questions. What is it supposed to be? Where to hide hidden power in the muscles? You have muscles – and you usually see them – or you don’t have them. Then, however, you can go to the gym and get some. Thus one attains a certain efficiency, which goes with the one perhaps faster than with the other one, because each Jeck is different. It is the same with the brain. Just as an athlete can push his body to peak performance through training and appropriate nutrition, the brain can also be trained and supplied with the necessary nutrients. This is easier, analogous to physical capacity, the earlier and more extensively the groundwork is prepared for it.

A senior citizen solving a crossword puzzle in the newspaper

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