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Creating Brain Neuroplasticity to Learn to Grow

December 27, 2018 Joe Mechlinski


Everyone is busy, and many people struggle to balance work tasks, home tasks and personal ones. But in order to make and manage our to-do lists, we must know and understand our priorities. That requires a nimble brain – or neuroplasticity. We need to keep challenging our brain to keep it open to new ideas. 

We often hear how older people should do crossword puzzles in order to keep the mind active. It’s a good memory exercise, but it’s not a good thinking exercise. 

Learning how to play chess or trying to achieve higher levels of skill with an instrument, is what creates neuroplasticity. 

They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But this isn’t true. We live in a world where many of us stop learning after we leave college. We are in jobs where we’re set on automatic, disengaged and ill at ease because we haven't found our purpose. 

There’s reason to think this stagnation is a contributor to the plaque between synapses, which is the cause of Alzheimer’s. 

Once we appreciate the brain in the head’s ability to learn new things, we can welcome the possibilities to learn and grow.

The Heart Brain and Commitment

While we should work to keep our head brains nimble and learn new things, we should be aware of our connections to others (and to our purpose) through our heart brain. The brain in the heart instigates our struggle with commitment. 

Our general lack of commitment to objects extends to relationships, too, as seen in divorce rates and employee turnover. As a society, we don’t see things through to the end, put in the hard work to make something last, or take the time to figure out how to make an existing product even stronger. Leading with fear, as opposed to love, has caused our heart to give up rather than fight back or seek resolve. This is evident in divorce rates (53 percent in the United States), employee turnover, rapid technology upgrades, and frequent car trade-ins. It's evident in disengagement at work and at home. 

As a society, we need to reconnect with what we believe is worth fighting for and then put in the work of fighting for it. SHIFT’s own research on engagement has revealed that less than half of the population—only 30 percent of employees—is passionate about the work they do.

We must own and feel the passion we have for our work and allow the intensity of our feelings help us achieve our top priorities.

Ready to Shift?

70% of workers are unhappy at work. How can businesses expect to thrive when almost three-quarters of their employees show no passion or interest in their job?
I’ve written a white paper that explain how we can begin to make the shift.

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