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Your Plastic Brain: How Mindful Are You of Your Intellect?

Beliefs create experiences that attract their validity. Mind awareness includes developing our intellect, opening up to new horizons, and continuously “upgrading” our belief system by deleting, or purging, beliefs that  have outlived their purpose; in a way, just like getting rid of old furniture that no longer serve its purpose!

One of the best books that I have come across few years ago is, Consciousness Explained, by Daniel C. Dennett (Amazon UK , Amazon USA). In it he explains how nature evolved from ‘darkness’. Then, as nature needed to replicate itself, boundaries and reasoning developed.

Your Plastic Brain

The next stage was the evolution of the brain, where individual brains developed in such a way ‘that they are not entirely hardwired, but rather variable or plastic’ in behaviour. This allowed the brain the ‘means of learning from the past’ and predicting or anticipating the future, a process known as ‘post-natal design-fixing’; in other words, dealing with new and unexpected changes in its environment.

He explains that ‘the fundamental purpose of brains is to produce future’; that is to learn from past experiences in order to ‘develop methods of getting out of harm’s way’. What made the greatest impression on me was the statement he made about the brain’s ability to adapt (resilience) to new changes; and how the nervous system also evolves in a few seconds to support the brain.

He states that plasticity is a capability of the brain’s behaviour and is ‘almost certainly a mechanical process… that is itself genetically installed in the nervous system’. He then explains how even the brain of a ‘lowly toad’ has a design for dealing with changes in the world.

Your Mind is Your treasure

This design ‘evolves at a pace and magnitude faster than natural selection, with “generations” lasting seconds or minutes, not years.’ But, for ‘truly high powered control’ where adjustments takes only few milliseconds; he says ‘for all our foolishness, we human beings are vastly better equipped for that task than any other…it is our enormous brains that make this possible’.

Your mind is your treasure and “deposit account”, the more you invest in it, the more returns it will offer you.

This is needn’t be an enormous task:

  • Feed your curiosity, as a child would! Stay simulated by nurturing your curiosity about things such as: how “things” are made, or how people live in other countries, or find out more about ancient civilization. Whatever you have been putting off for retirement – action now!
  • Always learn something new: pick up a hobby and develop it or read a new book about a subject you’ve never about before, or learn a new language.
  • Play a game regularly, such as Sudoku, or crosswords.

Stay (mentally) healthy!

© SaharHuneidi-Palmer (an extract from my upcoming self-help book Ketheric Well-being: The Four Dimensions of Change)

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About Sahar Huneidi-Palmer (68 Articles)
Author, Columnist, Holistic Therapist & Personal Development Coach focusing on Personal Resilience. Helping my clients achieve the life they are meant to live since 1992. I am a published poet in literature magazines in the UK; and play the piano. My friends and those who know me describe me as a “wise woman” and a "pathfinder". I am passionate about demystifying the abstract, writing, teaching, brand-management, podcasting, and love Turkish coffee!

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