This single quote from one of history’s greatest scholars does an excellent job of summing up the idea of neuroplasticity. It was only recently that scientists were able to confirm what some people already believed; you have the ability to change your brain. This finding was in direct opposition to the belief that humans had a finite number of neural cells and when these died, no others would be created. Your intelligence and your abilities were fixed.
We now know that your brain can be shaped and molded, reorganizing and creating new neural pathways to adapt to new environments, information, or stimuli.
That’s right, you are able to rewire the neural pathways of your brain by exposing yourself to new information, slowly tuning into what was once fuzzy, out of focus, or not understandable. And, the more you focus and practice at something, the better you become at this new skill you’re learning. In fact, practicing and studying builds new neural pathways and the more these pathways fire together, the stronger they get, sharpening your new skills and creating new habits.
Please reflect on and answer the following questions:
- Why is it important to know that you have the power to change your brain?
- Describe a time when you’ve successfully changed a habit. How did you do this?
- What was the result of changing the habit?
- What habits do you have that are keeping you from reaching your goals?
- What habits should you begin to take on and do more of?