You are a genius

Everyone is a genius at something.  The work of JD Wilson  at the Advanced Learning Institute confirms that each of us has an innate ability that He describes as our individual genius.  

We are all aware that some of us find our something early in life and if we get the opportunity to develop it we become that expert/genius.  Think Mozart.  

Any activity will increase the blood flow to the region of the brain that controls that activity.  The research shows that the “genius” ability is enhanced when it is exercised.  The increase in blood flow will grow the neurons.  Neurons need nutrients to grow and increase the connections.  

What does this mean?  Quite literally the more we engage in the things that excite and delight us and give us the sense of our unique ability, the faster we learn and grow that ability. 

The rate of learning will be 300 -500% faster in these circumstances.  Neurons need nutrients to grow.  Activity brings blood flow and the nutrients follow.  Brain scans show this.  

A brain scan will show changes in blood flow to regions of the brain as different activities and thoughts are undertaken by the study subject.  

Everyone has experienced or seen the effect of being taken away from an activity that is totally engrossing and enjoyable.  There are tears by the young and in older individuals a keenness to get back to the activity.  

Memories are created in the presence of emotion.  Without emotion there is little memory.  That’s why we can’t remember things that we were not interested in.  We need context and meaning for us to make anything a memory of any quality.  This is basic neuroscience. 

No doubt this is why when we ask children what they did at school today, they usually say “nothing” because it was of little interest.  They will often relate a story that has little to do with what we thought they day at school was about.  Things like an “event in the playground”. 

Stress reduces our ability to learn and process thoughts.  The neocortex is not available, as we process reactively in the lower brain.  Just remember how you “reacted” in the stressful moment and wish that you hadn’t just “blurted out” a response that was ill considered.  Now you have a neuroscience excuse to back up your actions.  

We usually don’t solve problems when highly stressed. We need to withdraw from the problem and find the solution away from the problem.  We actually can’t think creatively at this stressful time as the brain is focussed on reactive survival, not cognitive processing.  

That would be why pilots practice emergency drills many many times so that it is a reaction, not a thought response.  That is why the best way to reduce road accidents is not to drive slowly but to spend time regularly practicing how to control your car in difficult situations.  More closed road driving academies please.  

I digress, back to the genius brain!  

In an education context, much of the focus is misplaced and the funding wasted because it is just doing more of what doesn’t work.  President George W Bush’s “No child left behind” program spent over US$100 billion over 10 years for a nil or negative result in education outcomes.  

So what happens when we stimulate the genius brain?  We now know that genes are turned on when we exercise the brain, and the brain physically changes.  Now that is neuroplasticity! 

The findings of the Advanced Learning Institute, indicate that current education process and system makes the brain resistant to change.  The teaching style “drill and fill”, inhibits the brains ability to learn. Unless there was a drama there is nothing to learn.  Emotion embeds memory in the brain.  

The Land Study commissioned by NASSA found that 7yr olds were 95% creative and that by adulthood, that had fallen to 5%.  One right answer and not much imagination required for a good grade.  

I can replay events in my head that occurred in school.  They all had some drama in a moment.  The lobbed duster or chalk at the drowsy or dreaming school boy ( could have been me! ) or the teacher suddenly exasperated by our gross inattention en mass. The emotion made it a life time memory. 

A US study indicated that 87% of workers are disengaged at work.  There is no meaning to make it feel worthwhile.  

The environment shapes the brain tissue, via the level of stimulus given to the regions of the brain structure.  We are taught to get ahead by pleasing the person at the front of the room.  And we are in that environment for the first 18 – 24 years of our life!  

Back to the top of the page, Mozart didn’t go to school as we know it. He didn’t get the genius squeezed out of him, it was rather nurtured and encouraged by his father. 

What is the way forward?  

We each need to find out what is most meaningful to us.  External stimulators are not really included in this, in terms of things that are meaningful.  Such as the sports team we follow or the stars that we know everything about. That is meaning via an outside source, rather than something that we internally create this gives us meaning.  

There is a process that can be followed that will assist with this, that will be next weeks Blog topic.