If you were to waste one of your costliest resources on a regular basis, you would most likely lose your job. Yet every day that’s what we do with the brainware in our businesses. Something like 90% of the brainpower that should be available for creative and innovative ideas goes unused. But all that can change. Starting with these 7 ways to maximize your brainware.
1. Know How Your Brain Works The history of the knowledge of the brain is fascinating. The Ancient Greeks thought that ideas came from the heart and in the Renaissance, people believed that, while the mind was in the head, it couldn’t be in the brain. In the 1930’s and 40’s, the brain was believed to be like a computer – a data storage organ and calculator. Only in recent years have we started to recognize the amazing power, potential and possibilities in the human brain.
2. Amaze Yourself At The Sheer Size Of Your Brain It’s almost impossible to grasp the size and power of the human brain. Put two clenched fists together. That’s how big your brain is. Now imagine a 1 followed by 270 zeros. That’s the number of interconnections one of your brain cells can make. Now multiply that 1 by the 10 billion neurons and 12 trillion nerve cells that your brain has. The result is quite simply incalculable. It’s no wonder that people call the brain “the universe inside your head”.
3. Work With Your 3 Brains If you were to look at your brain, you’d be able to locate 3 distinct parts that developed at different times in your evolution as a human. First there is what is known as the reptilian brain. This evolved some 250 million years ago and is the part of the brain responsible for your most basic survival instincts. Next, you could locate your mammalian brain, which developed much later and is the seat of your emotions. Thirdly, you could pinpoint your thinking brain in the neo-cortex. This is a relatively recent addition, having evolved just 40,000 years ago and it’s the part of you that thinks consciously.
Instinct, feeling and thinking. Much of our misery as humans arises when these are out of sync, or ignored, or denied, or when one gets the better of the other.
4. Use Your Left and Right Brains Together Like much else in the human condition, the brain has a division of its own. The left hemisphere of the brain is the seat of our logical thinking while the right hemisphere is the seat of our imaginative thinking. In the West, we prize logic and analysis above intuition and synthesis. A more balanced, holistic approach is far more productive. Imagine, for example, that you wanted to solve a pressing problem. You will have more success letting your right brain visualize the solution and then working out a step-by-step plan in your left brain to accomplish it.
5. Think Mainly Positive Thoughts Just as we have a duality in our actual brains, we also have a duality in the way we think. We can either have thoughts that are predominantly negative or thoughts that are predominantly positive. Examples of negative thinking are doubts, fears and worries; distraction; fantasizing; catastrophising; and confusion. Examples of positive thinking are: affirmations; igniter words and phrases; a can-do frame of mind; positive goal-setting; absolute certainty that you will succeed in all your endeavours. Neurologists now know beyond any doubt that negative thinking actually shrinks the synapses of the brain, making such thinking much less efficient than it needs to be.
6. Access Your Sub-Conscious Brain Imagine that you have run out of groceries and you need to go to the local shop to buy some more. Now make out a list of items that you need. The chances are that if your list is bigger than 7 items, you won’t be able to remember the list without looking at it. That’s the limit of your conscious brain. By contrast, your sub-conscious brain is limitless. Here is where you store every experience, thought and feeling you’ve ever had. Because of its enormous store of information, your sub-conscious is a natural problem-solver with a drive and energy all of its own. It can resolve any problem you give it.
But first you have to let it. The problem with the sub-conscious is that, because it is unfamiliar territory, we don’t know how to let it work for us. We force it. We block it with worry. And we expect it to work to our timescale. Instead, if you use the natural pathways of intuition, meditation, soft focus, rumination, and lightheartedness, you will be able to access all its amazing treasures.
7. Create Your Own World With Your Thoughts In recent years, physicists have discovered an even more important role of thinking than the ones we’ve just mentioned. Quantum physics now tells us that the world we experience is literally created by our thoughts. Not just imagined like an illusion or trick. But actually created according to what we think. When we put our attention on what we want to experience, this mental process actually organizes the minute quanta or energy blocks of the universe into exactly the thing we want. Whatever we think about for most of the time is what we get. We are no more and no less creators of our own world through our thoughts.
Our modern age has been called an Information Age. As it progresses, it is clear that the primary resource of this new age will be ideas, thoughts, and brainpower. The prospect is wildly exciting. It means that, if you learn how to maximize your own brain and the brains of all those who work for you, you will achieve a success that, today, you can only dream about.