• / Free eNewsletters & Magazine
  • / My Account
Home>Practice Management>Practice Builder>Rewire Your Brain For Success

Related Content

  1. Videos
  2. Articles
  1. Can 401(k)s Get the Job Done?

    Roundtable Report: Christine Benz, John Rekenthaler, and David Blanchett weigh in on how this savings vehicle can be made better and used better by the increasing number of Americans who will depend on it.

  2. Managing the Risk of Outliving Your Assets

    Morningstar retirement expert David Blanchett covers the pros and cons associated with the key longevity insurance products.

  3. Benz: How Small Changes Can Bridge a Retirement Shortfall

    Bundled together, small tweaks can help investors get their portfolios ready for retirement, says Morningstar's Christine Benz in this special one-hour presentation.

  4. Session 2: Midyear Portfolio Checkup and Risk Factor Review

    Director of personal finance Christine Benz will help you check your true exposures and stress-test your holdings in session 2 of Morningstar's 2012 Midyear Financial Checkup.

Rewire Your Brain For Success

With time and focus, you can change your brain.

Allyson Lewis, 09/24/2009

You can become more productive, more efficient and more organized. There is breakthrough scientific evidence being published that says with training you can modify your daily behaviors to sustain positive personal change and maintain motivation to become more successful.

In this article, I will share the basics of a fascinating science that was first proposed in the 1890s and gained more popularity in the 1970s and 1980s, but is just now being written about in many books and articles that ordinary readers can understand and implement. What I am describing is the concept of "neuroplasticity." The simple definition of this term is that the brain can be thought of as changeable.

For years, scientists understood that the brain was made up of neurons that fired chemical connections to communicate, but they believed that these cells were hard-wired to accommodate specific duties. For example, the area of your brain that controlled sight was called the visual cortex and scientists believed that these cells could only be used to see. But, in an amazing turn of events, as brain imaging equipment has become more sophisticated these researchers are able to map the brain with amazing accuracy and what they are finding has surprised even them.

Here's one of the most common examples of neuroplasticity. Imagine that for the first 30 years of your life you had complete access to sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste. Then completely lose your ability to see. In this example, through brain imaging researchers are finding out that the specific number of neurons being used in your visual cortex region will begin to shrink and the specific number of actual neurons dedicated to your other will begin to increase. Your brain will begin to rewire itself to become more efficient. Your brain will change.

This is amazing and fascinating science for many reasons:
1) Because the brain is changeable, then we can continually grow and change for the better.
2) Through neuroplasticity, what you focus on actually changes or rewires your brain.
3) Learning new skills actually changes the brain.
4) You can modify behaviors and shape your success by choosing to learn new skills.
5) Repetition is a key element to sustaining change.

Here is a further explanation of how you can begin to rewire your brain for success.

1. Because the brain is truly plastic or changeable, then we can continually grow and change for the better.
The idea that the brain is plastic or changeable should come as no surprise to anyone. Many of you reading this article have made a mental choice to take up a hobby at some point in life. For this example, let's say as an adolescent your parents decided it would be a good idea for you to take piano lessons. At first, it seemed impossible to play the piano. You had to consciously look at the mysterious notes on the paper. Somehow your brain translated the written note into a position on the piano and finally you converted the thought of each note into a movement of energy into your fingers. As the months went by, your brain began to understand the concept of notes translating into movement and eventually if you stuck with your training, the ability to play the piano has become second nature to you.

The exciting part of this research is that now they are finding out it is never too late to grow and change. You can start at any point in your life to re-wire your brain with new skills and new knowledge. From becoming more proficient in golf, to learning how to speak a new language, your brain is ready and more than able to grow and change.


2. Through neuroplasticity, what you focus on actually changes your brain.
What you focus on actually shapes your life. That is a powerful statement, but one that has been repeated through the centuries. The Old Testament book of Proverbs 23:7 states, "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he . " and Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, "A man is what he thinks about all day long."

If you want to be successful you must begin to think about what has made you successful up to this point and then focus your attention on those things.

3. Learning new skills actually changes the brain.
Success craves increasing complexity and competence. A life of fulfillment seems to be a circular activity of setting new and clearly defined goals that excite and motivate, taking the time to learn a new skill set and new knowledge to attain those goals, reaching those goals and celebrating that success. Then, defining new goals that continue to challenge and draw you farther down a path of self-defined success.

The idea of neuroplasticity is an affirmation that the brain has amazing capacity to learn. The neurons in your brain are craving new goals, new information and new access to challenges of all kinds.
 
4. You can modify behaviors and shape your success by choosing to learn new skills.
Learning new skills not only rewires your brain, learning new skills modifies your behavior. Take the example of learning the skill set of becoming physically fit. How different would you feel if you made a conscious choice to modify your daily behavior to include getting eight hours of restful sleep, walking 30 minutes a day, drinking 80 ounces of water and eating a few more fruits and vegetables? Can you image how these simple changes would impact your brain and your life?


5. Repetition is a key element to sustaining change.
Many of the books on neuroplasticity explain the concept of rewiring the brain by using an illustration that your brain is like a grassy field. The paths that you choose to walk down most frequently are the pathways that will transform from tall stalks of grass to easily accessible pathways.

The more you focus your attention and your time repeating the daily habits of success, the easier it will be for you to continue to make them a part of your every day life.

Neuroplasticity is one of the most exciting scientific breakthroughs I have come across. It involves focusing your attention on the aspects of your life that you have prioritized as being most important to you. Now is the time to start rewiring your brain for success. You can literally rewire your brain by choosing to be successful.

I have just released The 7 Minute Life Daily Planner. This time-management and productivity tool has been created to help professionals modify their behaviors, improve their time management skills and increase their productivity. Visit my Web site to find out more information on the daily planner and how this tool can help you rewire your daily work habits for success.

Get practice-building tips and information from our team of experts delivered to your e-mail inbox every Thursday. Sign up for our free Practice Builder e-newsletter.

©2017 Morningstar Advisor. All right reserved.