4 ways to train your brain to help you succeed
I’ve recently been listening to a podcast called Star Talk hosted by renown Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.
In one of his episodes he talks about the power of the brain and how for millions of years we’ve developed new ideas, curiosities and ultimately learnt how to adapt and grow in our environments.
Naturally this got me thinking, if our brains are millions of years old, why don’t we think and act like we are millions of years old? That’s because our brains have learnt to live in today’s world, in other words we've adapted.
But with that being said, have you ever thought how today’s children can easily adapt to the technology of today? There's almost no need to read a manual or instruction book to get going? Give a child an iPad or Phone and almost intuitively they know how to operate it. Amazing right? Yes, but that's the beauty of evolution, our brain adapts and it’s absolutely wonderful.
So what does this have to do with personal success? Well imagine if you could excel parts of your brain to learn more, or absorb more complex details and instructions, that ultimately will help you succeed in life, would you be open to that? Wouldn't you want to be like a child and intuitively be able to pick up a complex item like a phone or iPad and instantly be able to operate it with ease? I know I would.
The reality is, most of us don't see the brain as an asset or at least as a part of the human body worth developing consciously, we often leave that to evolution. But we will work on health by eating better foods or our physical body by going to the gym or running. But never really our brain or minds.
But as I mentioned, what if we did regularly and purposely get our brain to learn more just like building a bicep, or a healthier eating habit? Is it possible?
Jim often refers to the brain as a muscle, and that just like any muscle in our body if we neglect it or don't exercise it then it will become dormant, and when we do need to use it it's often a struggle because its having to do something it's not used to.
Think of it like lifting weights, if all of sudden you decide you want to start lifting heavy weights at the gym because you saw the buff, cut and muscly dude do it with ease, then you're in for a rude awakening, in other words you're unlikely to achieve that.
Similarly with the brain, you can't just all of sudden go from having a negative perspective to instantly having a positive one, or trying to solve a complex math equation you've never seen by applying primary school learning.
You see just like any muscle you are trying to build you need to work on it, develop it, and maintain it. You cannot simply lift a weight for an hour and then expect your muscles to be what you want them to be, it simply doesn't work like that. Again the brain doesn't work like that either.
The brain needs frequent, targeted and challenging exercises to develop it and use its full potential.
So the question is how do you do that?
Well according to some of the leading researchers in this field like Dr. Carol Dweck of The Growth Mindset and renown best selling author Professor Angela Duckworth there are many things we can do to train the brain and mind.
Here are some of the easy steps you can do to start training your brain to better utilise it's potential, therefore enabling you to succeed in more areas of your life.
One - Read more
There is something about reading that really gets the brain firing, not only are you using your brain to read the words on the page, but depending on what you're reading it can also get the brain and mind to start visualising the story.
This is powerful because when it comes to personal success, we need to be able to visualise our success.
Now if you're not a big reader, then start off small, read articles every morning that are aligned with your goals, i.e. you want to learn more about finance then read the main business news for that day, or subscribe to Wall Street Journal or Financial Times and read key stories about finance.
Two - Get Creative
Now often when someone says get creative, you tend to think of painters, artists, abstract people right? Well there is a reason why we think of those people, because they often see the world differently to how we see it.
Unlocking your creativity is great for personal success because you develop a different perspective, and often this different perspective allows you to develop a more balanced approach to your goals.
So try drawing, painting or dancing to help develop a creative mind and brain.
Three - Listen to Podcasts or Audible Books
If you're not a massive reader don't worry, audio books and podcasts can be equally powerful ways to develop the brain.
By listening to podcasts and audio books in the areas you are trying to improve on, you will then develop the brain to absorb that information and therefore begin building the brains muscles to include that new learning.
Four - Try something new
There is no better way in my view to really accelerate the brain than getting yourself in an uncomfortable position. Now I'm not saying get naked and run around the city, or do something that would scare the life out of you and completely derail you from ever getting uncomfortable, but I mean taking up a new skill, a new hobby.
Playing a musical instrument is a good way to develop new muscles in your brain, or joining social sports team is another good one, or networking with like minded people or groups is another great one. Trying something new not only gets your brain and mind alert, but it also gives it a chance to develop, take in new surroundings and new ways of thinking.
Now there are many ways to develop, train and build the brain and mind, and I am by no means an expert or specialist in this field, however the four examples above are ones that I have used, and continue to use, and I can say research or no research behind it, that it has fast tracked my own personal success in ways I never thought possible, in fact you reading this blog is proof of how developing the brain and mind consistently and with purpose can drive you towards new areas of success.
So as I said, there are so many ways to develop your brain and mind, I've shared four with you, what are some of the ways you train your brain to get better? I'd love to hear them in the comments or email me firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know.
Blog Photo by Jesse Orrico on Unsplash
Till next week,