Ooh I’m having a day today. I feel like I’ve hit the jackpot. I’ve always felt I could train my brain, so imagine my joy when I find yet more research that supports this notion.
I have a very long and intense concentration span when I want it. There have been many times that I’ve used it and found that my mind seemed to be so much fitter and lively than before.
For example, for much of my career I’ve been solving problems. Those times when I’ve been on a critical project and putting in all the hours I’ve got so used to solving these problems under pressure and on an almost hourly basis I have found that I could see a problem and envisage the entire fix for it instantly, almost as I was reading or viewing the data on it. it often took hours to write up what the fix was or to implement it but I could see all parts at once.
This kind of experience makes me believe very strongly that not only can we humans do parrallel processing, attend to multiple problems at once, but our subconscious is a continual presence in our lives helping us deal with things so imperctibly that we forget it’s even there. Yet if we train that part of us that we know so little about we really will achieve so much more than we’re all used to.
So I believe strongly that we can train our minds just like we can our bodies. In fact I think we can train them more. Our bodies have so many physical restrictions they must cater to and work within. Our brains have far less. Apart from not being able to outgrow the cavity they are housed in the show amazing abilities to be able to do tasks in microseconds even our fastest computers find difficult. And they do it with very little energy and resource and producing very little waste and heat.
This concept was amplified in a recent study by Jaeggi that was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science in 2008. Jaeggi’s group concluded that it was possible to improve one’s ability to reason and solve new problems independently of previously acquired knowledge by training working memory. The study demonstrated that the extent of improvement was critically dependent on the amount of training each participant received. Therefore, more frequent or longer training resulted in greater measurable gain in functionality.
I’m increasingly adopting the approach of mind over matter because it seems to me that in my life I’ve achieved things first by believing in something, then envisioning it, figuring out what I’d need to achieve it and then just plain achieving it. So I’ve found that whatever I picture in my mind I can often make happen. A bit of a crazy notion but well you apply a healthy dose of reality you begin to realise what is meant by this. Once you do then it’s very inspirational.
You learn how to work within all the common limits and still achieve incredible things.