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How to overcome your Lazy Brain

By | David Klaasen | Helping You Create Clarity, Inspire Your People & Drive Performance | Retain your best people | Changing Management Mindsets and Behaviour | Practical Behaviour Analytics

Your brain is fundamentally lazy – it is always looking for short cuts or the path of least effort. This can lead to a limited view of the world based on your own perspective. How are you overcoming it?

In order to function well our brain requires a lot of energy, mainly in the form of glucose and oxygen, and it also needs a delicate balance of rest and stimulation.  If it doesn’t get these in just the right amounts it rapidly down-grades its functioning, and critical thinking goes out the window. However, in order to be a successful Leader or Manager you need to harness the limited resources of your brain by tapping into the brains of others.

Use or Lose

While we all have the same fundamental brain structures, it is the way in which we have connected our neural networks that makes us all so unique. You were born with 50% more neurons than you have now. By the age of about seven to ten the ones you didn’t use deteriorated and wasted away, while the ones you did use became stronger and eventually created the information superhighways that give you your current mind-set, reference points and mental maps of what you think is ‘reality’.

There is a distinct evolutionary advantage in this. We are born with a vast blank slate that enables us to adapt to the environment we grow up in. This includes how to survive both physically and emotionally: how to adapt to the norms of the people around us so they look after us. We spend the first seven to ten years of our lives using particular groups of neurons while neglecting others, all based on the threats and rewards we perceive. As we get to adulthood we build sets of rules about how the world works and how we can best survive in it. These rules are only based on our previous experience (often very early experience) and not necessarily the truth.

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