Changing Your Brain

Now and then I receive a book in the mail, straight from the publisher, asking for my review. I am pleased to oblige as I love to read! and to write!

This month I received David DiSalvo's "Brain Changer." This author also wrote a book with an intriguing title: "What Makes Your Brain Happy and Why You Should do the Opposite." I will look that one up after I finish this one, as I am super curious about that proposition.

I'll look it up also because I am quite enjoying the Brain Changer. It's not fluff, but if you like science from a non-scientific perspective, and like to find out the why's behind your actions, behaviours, thought patterns and the like, you'll get all of this and more from this well written and fascinating work.

So far I've learned that I am not my thoughts and that there is no central "me." Fascinating and perplexing ideas! Although those statements may sound rather bizarre, they are well rooted in fact, and relate to how brain patterns evolved.

Of most interest to me is the fact that by learning to stand back and listen to the mental theatre that spools on in my brain, I can learn to make better decisions and choices. And so can you, of course! Through feedback loops (we evaluate evidence, relevance, consequence and action, continually) we can master pragmatic adaptation (the corollary to biological adaptation), and this is central to success in our "extremely fast-paced world driven by the relentless force of cultural evolution."

It seems that the old adage "you can't teach an old dog new tricks" isn't completely true. While some "old dogs" cannot be retrained, it's more a matter of willingness and less a matter of the brain being rigid. Truth is our brains are quite capable of change. Hence the term neuroplasticity, which means exactly what it sounds like - the brain is malleable, flexible, pliable ... if you want it to be.

This has wonderful implications for our careers - it's never too late to learn something new, never too late, from a brain-power perspective, to go for that dream job!

I'll report more on this book in the future, but check to see if it's at your local library or bookstore. Well worth a read ...

- always on the look-out for new and exciting ideas, Stephanie