OK, we are a month into 2016. Time to be honest – when was the last time you accidentally used “2015”? Funny thing. For me the answer is infinite since I moved to 2016 on January 1. And I changed to 2015 on Jan 1 of last year. What is so amazing is that before 2015 it usually took me at least two months to get the year correct. Sometimes by the time I finally got the year figured out, the next year had begun. But for some reason my brain changed so this year thing isn’t a problem.
Over the years I’ve continued to learn new things, see old things in a totally different way, lose habits and gain habits. My brain has changed, and despite my age, not always for the worse. Sometimes, like with that year thing, it is for the better. At work I’ve had to learn new things lately and I’ve usually succeeded in such a way that the system experts don’t realize i just picked it up, sometimes even making comments to me about others’ grasp of the subject. I’ve always been a quick study, so that’s not new, but it shows that, yes, you can teach an old dog new tricks.
When I was a kid people thought of the brain as set in stone. Through genetics you inherited certain intellectual skills. Through some environmental influences you could make some changes up until you were a teen age or in your early twenties. after that, the brain just deteriorated and you lost ability. Now they say that at any age you can change your brain for the better. IQ isn’t set in your chromosomes at birth, never to be changed. You can learn to learn, learn to be smarter. Your brain can change. they call this plasticity. Your brain is plastic, changeable, not concrete.
Scientists have always held the brain in wonder, but today more so than in the past. People are in awe of this bit of grey matter between our ears.
It is up to us, however, to take advantage of it. For your brain to get better you have to use it, exercise it as a muscle. Do imaginary push-ups with writing or drawing. Read. Learn new things. Play a musical instrument. Do something! Anything! Now! Your plastic brain demands it!
I’ve been trying, the forever learner.
And so my brain changed and I can remember the year. Now if I could only change it to remember where I put my car keys…. ;)
Just some nothing, random thoughts on a Tuesday evening.
Digital drawing of Trent from 2014