We believe learning how the science of innovation impacts the personal growth you experience as a person and the value your company will bring to the customers you serve is nothing short of remarkable.
Just think about the word “innovation” – it means to change, add to, modify, create, re-new. When we share with audiences that they not only have the potential to change their lives, but that we are about to share the science of innovation and change – the room fills with expectation.
The core ability for human beings to innovate and change resides in the brain.
The human brain is simply amazing. It is changeable and has an enormous potential to learn; the scientific term for this ability is “neuroplasticity,” which means that the brain is “plastic” or changeable. Neuroplasticity is the capacity of your brain to create new neural connections, to rewire itself (known as cortical remapping) as a result of your experiences, thoughts, actions, and repetitive behaviors.
Wouldn’t it be exciting to think you could experience some of the same automatic positive improvements in your life when it comes to time management, productivity, and organizational skills? Neuroplasticity makes this possible in virtually every area of your life. It is one of the key concepts of The 7 Minute Solution. We have the ability to rewire our brains by consciously choosing what we will do. To become a better golfer, play golf. To be in better shape, exercise. To become a kinder person, be kind more often. Your brain will respond in direct proportion to what you focus on. Because your brain is plastic or changeable you are also able to form new connections to compensate for lost ones. For example, after some strokes that cause loss of the ability to walk and talk, some patients are able to regain some or all of their lost abilities through intense therapy. Even though parts of the brain are damaged, the remaining cells can begin to rewire themselves to compensate for the injury.
The average number of thoughts that pass through your subconscious mind per day is estimated to be as high as 70,000. Each and every thought you have, every action you take shapes the strength and connections of your neural connections. Consisting of approximately 100 billion cells called neurons, your brain is the most powerful information processor ever designed. Every second, it processes millions of bits of information. Within 1/1,000 of a second after being stimulated, chemical and electrical impulses race along synaptic pathways throughout the neural circuitry of your brain. The efficiency and strength of your neuronal connections or pathways give you the ability to think, plan, create, and execute new ideas.
One psychologist, Dan Holmes, PhD, uses a simple analogy to illustrate how neuronal pathways are created: “I’m an old farm boy. We had a dairy, and the cattle in the field walked the same paths all the time. There were what we called ‘cow paths’ in the fields where the cattle had beaten down the grass. The grass was dead; the path was just dirt. But it hadn’t always been that way; those paths formed because the cows’ consistent behavior created the pattern. That same thing happens in our brains; we have patterns of how we process things that are partly based on repetitive behavior.”
Right now, your brain is relying on habits and routines—cow paths—that you’ve established to make life simpler. Some of those habits, such as brushing your teeth every morning, serve you well. Others, such as procrastination and indecision, do not. But you can train your brain and develop new neuronal pathways—new habits—by repeating behaviors that support your goals and dreams. Back to the cattle analogy, if you drive the cattle along a new route, you will notice a difference in the field within just a few days. Within ninety
days, there will be a clearly defined path where the cattle have repeatedly traveled.
The more frequently and consistently you repeat new behaviors,the stronger and more defined the new pathways become. Your brain actually changes its shape and structure based on what you think about and do most of the time. And old pathways—bad habits—are eliminated when they are not used.
The dictionary says that the opposite of innovation is familiarity, customs, habits, old, ruts, tradition…if you want to be different tomorrow than you are today. You must CHOOSE to be different.
Understanding the science of neuroplasticity has given me a window into the understanding that:
every thought you have impacts the person you become
everything you see impacts the person you become
and, every action you take impacts the person you become
Through neuroplasticity you are either creating more and stronger connections with the positive attributes in your life – or, through neglect you are allowing connections to fade away and die.
Do you want to be in shape? Then exercise.
Do you want to be more innovative? Then schedule time to imagine, brainstorm and create.
Do you want more meaning in life? Then focus your time on meaningful activities.
The science of innovation & neuroplasticity is more fully explored in my new book:
The 7 Minute Solution: Creating a Life with Meaning 7 Minutes at a Time.