I have read that when we are born our brains contain somewhere near one hundred billion neurons, and it can make a nearly infinite variety of possible connections–or neural pathways. As we grow older, however, we "pave" over many (or "hard-wire" if you will) of these neural pathways because they are so critical to our survival.
This "hard-wiring," unfortunately, has some negative consequences. For example, it is speculated that this is why adults have a more difficult time learning a second language than children. Their brains are no longer as malleable.
In an era of relative stability (where society and our jobs didn't change much) there wasn't much of a downside to closing down seldom used neural pathways. But what about in an era of accelerating and constant change–such as society is now experiencing and will continue to experience?
I personally believe this is a bad thing. Moreover, it isn't merely sufficient to be open to adopting a new "mind-set" now and again. Instead, I believe we need to encourage a strategy of "mind-flex"–of keeping open as many possible neural pathways for as long as possible–for we must always be receptive to change and doing things in a new and fresh way.
How do we do this? To be honest, I don't have the slightest clue but perhaps we could start by:
If you agree–or even if you disagree–I'd love to hear your suggestions for how else we might encourage "Mind-Flex."