It goes without saying that all of us inherit our to-follow goals, while giving certain priorities for our fondest preferences. Most of us visualise level-headed goals. This is usually certain physical or bodily needs, such as a long, healthy life, fulfilment of our greatest desires and material comfort — not to speak of good education, hard work and living up to one’s own goals and also parental or peer expectations.
All of this and more is a norm in most cultures. Yet, the best part is that every goal is bendable. This is simply because there are as many individuals — as there are goals — who relinquish set norms and rules. You guessed it right — artists, poets, writers, spiritual gurus, theatre personalities and social activists, aside from extremists, such as rebellious, unlawful, immoral and scandalous beings, who are in awe of different things in life than most of us do, or would want to follow.
The dichotomy is self-explanatory — every idea and purpose, including different norms, in life shows that our mindful awareness, or consciousness, could be regimentalised in terms of dissimilar goals and intentions. That each of us is endowed with the liberty to control our subjective, not to speak of objective, reality is also passé. If at all, it was possible to swell up ad infinitum what our consciousness could embrace, the most fundamental dream of each of us would come true. This would translate to being good, righteous and moral — in other words, being godlike. Next, the whole spectrum of nobility would elevate us to reflect everything, feel everything, do everything good, and expand on every second of our life with a rich drapery of lofty perspectives. To paraphrase — we’d all be living epitomes of Mahatma Gandhi or Martin Luther King Jr, at every step of our life.
This is, of course, easier said than done, because our internal functional structure has its constraints on what it can process, imbibe or absorb, in its perimeter of thought. This is primarily because all of us are incessantly riddled with millions of thoughts that get muddled, or mixed up, with our temperament, feelings, difficulties and pressures, including our emotional states of happiness, elation or sadness. You get the point — none of us can work, relax, waltz, play, croon, negotiate and balance our savings bank’s cheque book at the same time. Why, you may well ask. The rationale is simple — each of the activity we do everyday depletes our faculty for constant and focused concentration or dogged attentiveness.
From the point of view of medical science, it is apparent that we can at best manage seven bytes of information — viz., differentiated sounds or visual stimuli or recognisable subtleties of emotions or thought processes — at any one time. Besides, the shortest time that it takes to distinguish between one set of mental bytes and another is just about 1/18 of a second. In simple terms, this means that it is possible to process nothing beyond 126 bytes of information per second — or, approximately half-a-million bytes per hour. Figuratively speaking, if one were to live for 70 years, while counting 16 hours of waking time each day, the whole exercise would reach a sum total of 185 billion bytes of information.
All of these seems like an enormous amount of information, all right, yet the best part is we are fortunate that, in reality, it is not so. The reason is simple, also profound — our consciousness is an open system. It is infinitely expandable, yet none of us catapults its limitations into a perpetual tailspin.

(The writer is a wellness physician, independent researcher, and author)
Rajgopal Nidamboor