Just Seven Things

Exploring why and how we do what we do, and how we can do it better

Archive for the category “Change”

There will be a last time…

There will be a last time you hear the sound of snow falling, watch the moon rise, smell popcorn, feel the warmth of a child falling asleep in your arms, or make love. You will someday eat your last meal, and soon thereafter you will take your last breath.

– William B. Irvine, A Guide to the Good Life (the ancient art of stoic joy)

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Plasticity, Mind Power and the Human Brain

My approach to learning and development has materially changed over the last three years. I used to view myself on a gradual decline since the peak of degrees and professional qualification learning in my early 20’s. I accepted the ‘more brain cells die than grow when you’ve hit adulthood’ type of argument. I also used to think of new behaviours/ skills and knowledge as being left-brain learned and retained in memory. That the majority of permanent, hard-wired change had taken place during early development.

Plasticity has changed all that. It is defined by the excellent Franklin Institute resource on The Human Brain as ‘the tendency of the brain to shape itself according to experience… plasticity is the basic mental drive that networks your brain, giving you cognition and memory – fluidity, versatility, and adaptability’. Many neuroscientists now believe that the brain changes at a structural level when you learn new skills or have experiences that are sufficiently new that they need you to store the memory differently. Effectively, the density of the connections and pathways in your brain increases; your brain isn’t slowly dieing if you keep it stimulated.

Can you apply the theory of plasticity to changing behaviours, habits and ways of thinking? So, harness the power of your mind and its plastic properties to be a ‘different you’? I think the answer is yes, as long as the fundamentals of focus, consistency, persistency and action are applied. What do I mean? Read more…

The Power of Less: Babauta’s tips

I was struck by some productivity principles in the heart of Leo Babauta’s book, ‘The Power of Less’:

– Slow down and enjoy every task. Pay attention to it and be in the moment to enjoy it.
– Do one thing at a time and do it well.
– Find the stressors in your life and ways to eliminate them.
– Create time for solitude. It’s important to just have some time for yourself.
– Do nothing. Don’t afraid to be lazy.
– Know what your simple pleasures are, and put a few of them in each day.
– Practice being in the moment at any time during the day.

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