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Coming up with a radical new idea, seeing something in a new light for the first time and wanting to shout it from the rooftops is exciting. But new ideas are not necessarily accepted with open arms. Have you ever had that experience where you shared your brilliant new idea with your friends or colleagues, those you thought would definitely “get it”, only to have it shot down in flames?

That’s because human nature prefers the status quo, we like the safety of that certainty, that things are the way they are because that is current accepted thinking. Your brilliant new idea may be as welcome as B.O in a crowded lift.

It is only about 150 years since the Darwin-Wallace Theory on the Origin of Species By Natural Selection was first put forward and at the time it went fully against the then current Victorian scientific thinking that all animals were unique species created by God and incapable of change. They were two brave men challenging accepted thought.

Fast forward to the 1960s and the idea that the human brain was plastic was first mooted and poo pooed. Medical students continued to be taught that the brain was hard wired, incapable of change well into the eighties. Yet today the concept of neuroplasticity is now firmly entrenched into mainstream thinking.

New ideas, new technology and new ways of doing things are being introduced every day. One of the greatest disruptions we face in the workplace and in our lives is being able to adapt fast enough to this constant flow of change. The other challenge is to know which change to champion and which to ignore.

We are often described as living in the Information or Knowledge Era. Indeed we have so much information available to us, it is building up like huge piles of unsorted laundry ready to overwhelm us. Meanwhile businesses are calling out for new ideas, new ways of doing things as a means to survive and prosper in the 21st Century.

That’s why we can learn so much from our former explorers and thought challengers. We are moving into the Thinking Era, where having the ability to solve problems quickly, to make sense of massive amounts of data and find new relationships between ideas is not only desirable, it is essential to our future success.

But there are a number of entrenched thought processes lingering in our educational institutions as well as the workplace, that doesn’t encourage thought challengers.

For example, do we actively encourage our children to think creatively beyond Primary School, or confine them to follow a curriculum that will have little impact or meaning in the workplaces of the future?

Does your workplace foster creative thinking?
Are you encouraged to “think outside the square?”
Does your workplace feel a safe place to voice your opinion or ideas without fear of ridicule?
Does your employer encourage you to adopt a curiosity about how things are done, or how things could be done differently or better?

The human mind remains an untapped vortex of future inquiry, imagination, and insight. Developing a high performance brain for creative and innovative thought for our future is a no brainer. Using you brains natural plasticity, you can train your brain to change your mind, to develop new ideas, new ways of thinking, that might just lead to changing the minds of others as well.

Welcome to your future brain.

Photo Credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/110322667@N08/14083038922/


Dr Jenny Brockis

Dr Jenny Brockis is a medical practitioner and internationally board-certified lifestyle medicine physician, workplace health and wellbeing consultant, podcaster, keynote speaker and best-selling author. Her new book 'Thriving Mind: How to Cultivate a Good Life' (Wiley) is available online and at all good bookstores.

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