Unchain Your Brain! Learning a new language, researching the competition before starting a company or learning to play a musical instrument are all exercises to unchain your brain. To plant or seed something new, challenging and fulfilling while waiting for the next big thing to take seed, it’s a good idea to engage in an activity that is not related solely to a work situation or family demand.
The following are a few reasons why:
Taking up new intellectual activities stimulates different neural regions and develops new pathways within the brain. This helps to re-energize the brain against the dreaded “brain-drain” many women complain about in middle age, and helps you see problems in a different light. As Dr. John Medina writes in Brain Rules, “What you do and learn in life physically changes what your brain looks like – it literally rewires it.”
The more you stimulate the neural regions and pathways, the more adept you become at the new skill or activity you’re learning. It’s that fluid intelligence thing again. One of the other major benefits of taking up new intellectual activities is that it increases your self-confidence that you can, indeed, learn new things.
Which of the 9 types of intelligence are you?
There are nine different kinds of intelligence, (which are you?) but most people neglect to explore, let alone develop, those outside their comfort zone. Conversely, we all know of artists, musicians, business-owners and scientists who did their best work after the age of 40, 50 or even 60. By developing different facets of their intellectual capacity, they surpassed the creativity and productivity of their youth in ways they never would have dared or imagined earlier in their lives.
Those are just a few of the reasons why planting something new – physically, socially or intellectually – can be beneficial both in the short run and over the long haul, even in times of stress.