Jack Uldrich
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Unlearn Your Mind-Set and Adopt a Mind-Flex

Posted in Business, Creativity, Culture, Curiosity, Education, Future, Imagination, Innovation, Kindergarten, Metaphor, New Cards, One minute unlearning, Paradox, Unlearn Strategy

Mindset 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:

Keeping An Open MindEmbracing Ambiguity; Seeing Things from Different Perspectives; Asking New Questions; Acknowledging What We Don't Know; and Teaching Unlearning in Kindergarten.

If you agree–or even if you disagree–I'd love to hear your suggestions for how else we might encourage "Mind-Flex."

One thought on “Unlearn Your Mind-Set and Adopt a Mind-Flex”

  1. Dave Neal says:

    I agree that we all need to flex our minds more often. One way that I think we can do this is to create in ourselves the habit of asking questions of the same problem form intentionally differing viewpoints and then really pondering the answers from those same perspectives.
    For example, if the issue is low productivity in the office, a manager may ask “How can I get my employees to do more?” By asking the question from the employee’s standpoint, maybe “Why is there too much expected of us?” or “How can I get more energy into my day?” we can get different, maybe even better answers. Even if those aren’t the questions our employees are actually asking, it gives us the chance to walk around the challenge and study it from a different angle.
    By asking the question from radically different viewpoints, say that of a Martian observing Earthling’s behavior, or that of a pro basketball player, we can really shake up our perspective and get the juices flowing.
    Once we have a number of fresh angles to consider, we can have a better idea of what we really want to do with whatever it is we are facing.
    I think…

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