Strain on the Brain

18 January 2016

The team inspirational quote, personally, there's nothing more likely to make me vomit. However valid it may be, some things are best left unsaid and off posters.

Take any high performance team such as... well, a crack commando unit. Their motto is not "there is no I in team", it's far cooler or in Latin. They trade insults, retort with witty one liners and take every opportunity to embarrass each other.  But we all know when it comes to the crunch they will cover each other backs to the last man. OK, that's the movies but they know what makes us feel good. HR department suck on that.

There is an I in Mind

Almost all the theories that the founding father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, put forward have been superseded by modern thinking. There are however a couple of things that have stood the test of time.  First of all, our thoughts are not determined by our conscious rationality but irrational forces outside our conscious awareness and control.  And secondly, brain functions, both in terms of its biology and the emergent mind, can be broken down into individual parts.

Freud (1923) developed a model of the mind comprising of the entities id, ego and superego. These were not physical areas within the brain but constructs for key mental functions.

The "id" operates at an unconscious level based on pleasure i.e. satisfying basic instincts.

The "ego" is the Latin for "I". Its goal is to satisfy the id in a safe and socially acceptable way.  It operates on both the conscious and unconscious mind.

The "superego" is responsible for adherence to moral standards and motivates us to behave in a socially responsible and acceptable manner.

Where there is difference in the goals of the id and superego, the ego acts as a referee .

The id, ego or superego have been banished to psychoanalysis folklore. And of course, the above comic is just a story. But who knows? If there's a problem, if nothing helps, and if they find you, maybe you could work with such a team.

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