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How to rewire your brain

How to rewire your brainMy neighbour’s bach (holiday home) sits on the sand dunes a short distance from the beach. The walking track from the bach to the beach sort of dog-legs through the sand dunes. It doubles back, and makes the walk longer than it could be. But while the path is longer, it is considerably easier and faster than trying to force a new path where one doesn’t exist.

Which is how our brains function.

Over the years we form habits, good and bad, that create neuro-pathways in our minds. These paths make it faster and easier to do things and they eventually become habitual. They become automatic. And the more you use the path, the faster and easier it becomes.

Which is why it is so hard to break old habits. Because the path already exists and has become the default pathway. New habits, like trying to make a new track to the beach, means creating a new path which takes an incredible amount of hard work.

But, you can create new paths. You just need to walk the new track over and over again.

That’s great news!

Our brains are plastic.

Our behaviours are changeable.

You

can

change!

Recently I was making my morning cup of tea and without thinking I added sugar. I haven’t had sugar in my tea for years, but while my mind was somewhere else, my brain chose the old neuro-pathway.

My brain spotted the mistake before I added water, and it reminded me how established the old paths are.

When we are trying to break old, lifelong behaviours, often they will pop up when we least expect it.

That’s OK.

It takes a long time for the old path to become overgrown.

Just keep walking the new path.


Re-framing Failure

What have you learnt from the gift of failure this week

“I hate the word failure and wish it never existed,” I stated as strongly as I could as we reflected on some past experiences.

I shared that the problem with failure is its opposite seems to be pass.

The problem with pass is it has a strong mental connection to school or uni, where you pass or fail.

If you didn’t pass.

You failed.

You were a failure.

Nowadays, particularly in start-ups, ‘failing often’ or ‘failing fast’ is seen as a badge of honour. Because you can learn so much from failure.

Which is why I love how schools are trying their hardest to re-frame the word failure.

My friend who I was sharing all this with said that each Friday, his daughter is asked at her primary school, “What have you learnt from the gift of failure this week?”

Isn’t that a great question! Take another look.

What have you learnt from the gift of failure this week?

I realised in that conversation that I need to intentionally re-frame the word ‘failure’. To stop hating on it.

It should no longer be linked to pass or fail. Rather it should be linked to all the successes I have had as a result of learning from my failure.

Failure can be a gift.

If you learn from it.

 

What have you learnt from the gift of failure this week?

[pause]

[reflect]

Have you learnt anything?

Because if you haven’t, maybe your stuck in your comfort zone again.