This was inspired by a writing prompt asking us to pretend that there is a small man/woman operating the control system of your brain. Write about your day from his/her perspective. If you have a similar story, please share below.

The name is James…or at least that’s what I like to pretend. Anyone who really knows my boss knows that I could never be confused for him. My real name is Monty Eigo. I’m what is known as a mind munchkin (MM) and I’ve been the chief brain control officer (BCO) for the big guy for the past decade.

For the first 26 years of my boss’s life he ran the show from up top (at least that’s what I can tell from reading through his memories).  Things seemed to be going well. He had good friends, a great family, a good job, a girlfriend, and a dog. On the whole, there isn’t too much more a guy could ask for. I decided to move in to my boss’s place when he was about 16. I wasn’t invited, but I needed a place to live and his brain seemed as good as anyone else’s at the time. Since I wasn’t invited, I decided to lay low for a while before I made my appearance. The last thing I wanted to do was surprise the guy and stir up any commotion.

For those that don’t know, a BCO’s work is all pro-bono. We aren’t asked to move in before we help our bosses out. In fact, nobody but mind munchkins really knows about mind munchkins. We move from owner to owner throughout our lifetime. Occasionally, if we like our owner enough we’ll stay for the duration of their life and move out when their brain expires.  Typically, when we first move in with a new owner we spend a few years getting to know our boss and lie dormant before we go to work and look for areas where improvements can be made. Through years of MM research, we’ve found that the best time to move in is during the late teen years. We take the next 5 to 10 years to get acclimated with our boss and then make our improvements after our research is complete. It should be noted that a MM can move in with a new owner at any age depending on the circumstances. It should also be noted that most of our owners don’t seem to appreciate our help despite our best intentions, and often go through great efforts to remove us. Though, they aren’t aware that it’s a mind munchkin they’re looking to remove.

Anyways, it’s time to get back to what I’ve been doing with the boss. After 10 years I decided I had been quiet enough and it was time to make my presence known. And besides, it gets pretty boring up there just lying around. I’d been getting free rent for 10 years now. The least I could do was pay him back with some free labor.  Unfortunately for my boss, with 10 years passing by a lot of my skills went into decline.  I tried to ease myself back into everything one area of the brain at a time, but I was about to find out that stepping back into the “real world” wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be.  I decided to start with the motivation center. That was the one area I suspected my boss needed the most help.  When you spend as much time as I did with my boss, you really get a keen sense of someone’s shortcomings.

From the first day I moved in, it was apparent my boss was lacking motivation.  As a kid he half-assed his way through sports and high school. And in college, other than a brief 6 month time frame, his effort was largely the same, if not worse than it was when he was younger. He liked to blame his lack of drive on his inability to narrow down his true passion in life. As his resident BCO, I knew he may have been right, but I also knew I hadn’t been operating his brain as efficiently as he would have liked (on account of him not actually asking me to be there) and that with a few tweaks in the motivation center I could have him driven enough to move mountains.

And that’s exactly what I did….except it didn’t work.  I guess after 10 years of vacation, the techniques I used in the past to create drive weren’t as effective in today’s complex world. Typically, a little increase in dopamine is all it takes to create a little motivation. For any aspiring BCO’s reading this, “motivation center” is the generic term we use for the anterior cingulated gyrus (part of the limbic system).  What little drive my boss showed before was quickly depleted to unprecedented lows. Admittedly, I was a little concerned about the damage I’d caused my boss, but as one of the world’s elite brain control officer’s, I knew I’d right the ship before too long.

With the motivation center under construction for the time being, I decided to move over to the emotion department, also known as the amygdala (part of the medial temporal lobes), to see what needed improving over there. Since the big guy had been a bit withdrawn lately, I thought a nice dose of sensitivity would be just the trick. It turns out I may have gone a little high on the emotion promotion and sent the boss into overdrive. All of the sudden, the guy everyone knew as one of the most even keeled people in their life was suddenly crying over every little thing or ready to argue over even the most trivial of points.

And that was failure number two. I knew my days as an elite BCO were coming to an end, but I liked living in his brain and there was no way I was going to leave on my own volition. It was always a very welcoming environment, and after all this time it had become home.

Over the next 2 years, my boss took a deep interest in philosophy, reading, writing, and vowed to live life to the fullest even though the damage I’d caused inside his brain made it exceedingly difficult. The more he read, wrote, and simply lived the happier he became and the less inviting his brain became for me. I’m sticking around for now, but the idea of looking for a new place to live has been sounding better and better all the time.