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How adaptive are you?

Next question. How mentally flexible, resilient, change agile, collaborative and innovative are you?

If you struggle with any of these and let’s face it who doesn’t some of the time, perhaps now is a good time to take stock of how well you can apply your thinking skills to different situations.

Being able to solve problems, make good decisions fast and come up with some brilliant new ideas is what our crazy busy world requires of us. Knowing how is vital if we are to flourish instead of floundering around in survival mode.

We can adapt and improve in all these areas and more because of our amazing plastic brain that is constantly adapting and rewiring itself in response to changes in our environment. It’s evolution in progress.

But what has happened, especially over the last few years has been the perception that we have too much to do and too little time leading to a sense of overwhelm, loss of focus and sometimes just plain exhaustion.

If we adapt, but not fast enough or in the way that our brain was designed for, we can end up shooting ourselves cognitively in the foot. Apart from being extremely painful, this can hold us back from being able to reveal our true brilliance or capability.

In my new book Future Brain: the 12 Keys to Create Your High Performance Brain – (yes, this is a shameless plug for my new book just released through Wiley) I talk about what it takes to create, operate and integrate all our brain functions so as to operate at our personal best.

Being human we sometimes make mistakes, do the wrong thing or reveal our fallibility. What matters is not that we are imperfect – you could say imperfection is what makes us interesting, but that we have the awareness, the curiosity and the drive to seek out the answers to what could we be doing better, what would give us a better outcome and what leads ultimately to a greater sense of purpose, fulfillment and happiness.

Future Brain is all about how you can build your level of brain awareness to help you reformulate your thinking, overcome limiting self-beliefs, create a growth mindset and understand others better.

There are a multitude of things that can help our adaptability; here are a couple to whet your appetite.

1. Stay curious.

Curiosity isn’t something just for the cat or for little kids. Our innate sense of curiosity that sometimes ends up mysteriously buried under all our learned habits and routines can be set free so we engage and explore new things, ideas and concepts. When did you last learn something new? Novelty isn’t just fun it stimulates what’s called our fluid intelligence, our ability to problem solve and create.

2. Mind your language.

It’s easy to overlook how we influence our own actions through the words we use in our everyday conversations. Do you ever listen to what you are saying? It can sometimes be a bit of a shock to realise our own word choice may not be serving us well – questioning our own thoughts for their validity or rigidity can be helpful to then make the conscious choice to change.

3. Uncouple from your focus.

Getting through our massive to-do lists each day requires us to apply our focus, which can in itself feel hard sometimes. However what matters just as much is remembering to take time out to think in a more unstructured way using that thinking space to develop our creativity and insight.

4. Sign up for a Yoga class.

Practicing the sun salute or downward dog is a fabulous way to increase our physical flexibility and a reminder that mental flexibility matters too. Managing our emotions and mental agility when under pressure allows us to get unstuck from those more rigid thoughts that prevent us from shifting mental gear.

5. Step back to see the bigger picture.

Just as stepping back in an art gallery allows us to see the whole painting as the artist intended us to view it, staying big picture focused makes it easier for us to keep everything in perspective and less #firstworldproblem oriented. Looking out for what we can do to help someone else is highly motivating and rewarding.

Because I’m so stoked and proud to have my new book released, I’m giving my subscribers 20% discount and free shipping (in Australia), but only until the 12th October. To grab this discount, please use the code FUTUREBRAIN when you check out.

Order your copy today

And to everyone who has already signed up, thank you so much! Your books are trundling over the Nullarbor right now, so will be heading your way very soon.

Until next time,

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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