Top Leadership Blog Award


See Critical Changes Stall? A Brain’s Default to Ruts

Find yourself protecting  turf?  See others stuck in ruts, cling to stubborn opinions or demanding boring routines? If so, you’re likely looking at the brain’s default to its basal ganglia.

Think of the basal ganglia as a mental warehouse of sorts, where every action, both good and bad, sit ready for reuse. It’s comfort zone qualities make it easy to pull up tired and broken responses that can dose an innovative challenge like a fire hose doses a burning building.!Basal Ganglia

Students fail to move their ability forward when they pluck out old habits of avoiding homework. for instance. Adults fail to support student-centered classes when they pull up former habits of their own teacher-dominated settings. Administrators fail to listen to students, teachers, and parents, when they pull up hierarchical habits of former bosses who control others.

So how do we nudge a brain based community past warehoused ruts that kill progress?

No need to stay stuck, simply outsource your working memory by learning practices such as creating cheat sheets, and  your awesome brain will create new neuron pathways beyond former potholes. Avoid static routines that increase dangerous cortisol chemicals that fuel status quo, and reboot serotonin fuels for fun and adventure!

Spot a brain’s need to regenerate to a better place

Here’s how it works. At the center of most ruts  lies your brain’s basal ganglia storage of old ruts such as annoying habits of sarcasm that insults peers, for instance. Capture1

Simply use working memory abilities to transform old habits.  Exchange sarcasm or cynicism into useful new learning opportunities, for instance, through humor that heals broken communities and builds innovative opportunities for all. Working memory can convert mean-spirit into kind, failure into success, and toxins for fear into talents for renewal.

It’s a bit like a tug-of-war where the basal ganglia tugs for tradition and familiar, and working memory pulls for innovation. Have you seen it?

Risk-takers and people who surf the cutting edges of possibilities, simply override the brain’s basal ganglia default daily.  In surprisingly straightforward ways, they engage in mental fitness within their working memory and learn to release brain chemicals that override mental ruts. How so?

Use more working memory to create, and you’ll also keep your brain fueled and rolling forward. My students love to engage their multiple intelligences in new ways, for instance. Through changing up their approaches, they override basal ganglia ruts and leap over rigid routines in favor of fun and new learning adventures.

Which side of the brain do you favor?

Which side of the chart below do you live daily? Do you act more from basil ganglia – to the left?  Or is your day fueled more by working memory to the right of the chart?!Bas or WM

It’s quite phenomenal if you think about an average brain’s ability to rebound from ruts, or reboot for rejuvenation.

The working memory’s capacity may be tiny,  yet it holds sizzling details you can apply to solve problems. While you can count facts stored on one hand, luckily working memory grows bigger with use. Think of it as your brain’s save key.  Just as your computer’s save key dumps old data to pick up new facts,  your working memory displaces current facts with newer details as fast as doughnuts disappear in Monday morning staff rooms. An uncomfortable place, working memory alerts you to apply its unfamiliar and innovative facts to spark creative changes. As with your computer save key – it’s a do-it-now or lose-it-now choice.

Help students use more working memory and they innovate and create

Consider the following facts about basal ganglia and working memory, to help students avoid bad habits, side-step routines,  and experience life-changing learning adventures.

Use these approaches to build new neuron pathways that bridge the difference between mental rejuvenation and stubborn ruts. How will these brain facts about working memory help your students override basal ganglia ruts and make a difference today?

Looking for more student-ready materials to capitalize on students’ working memory to create innovative learning adventures? Find brain based and working memory resources at my TPT site.

Related tool: Yearly planner with brain boosters and prompts to reboot your brain so that you tap and develop hidden and unused capabilities.


Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

71 Comments to “See Critical Changes Stall? A Brain’s Default to Ruts”

[…] rather than in forward motion.  Comfortable  traditions or routines can cause your brain to default to ruts, that only reverse brainpower can surpass. How […]

[…] To rethink old approaches is also to take a stand against Hebbian hardwired thought that defaults back to ruts and routines. […]

very good information.thankyou

[…] 1. Learners and leaders look to a bright future within lessons that tap brainpower linked to current challenges. In that setting they step  beyond the brain’s default for ruts. […]

[…] more important for revolutionary change than consensus building, yet your brain’s basal ganglia works against  collaboration and locks you into comfort zones. Faced with innovation,  your […]

[…] 4. To unemployed friend, a serotonin tape may be a survey to highlight hidden or unused intelligences. Inquiring minds spark more working memory which is less available to those who settle for old or  revert to ruts that shape old socks. […]

[…] around your next corner that could hurt, or disappoint, or leave you feeling sad or guilty and in mental ruts for days? Any person who reaches out to others vulnerably, like my friend does, also opens pathways […]

[…] Basal ganglia choices bring ruts and routines, while working memory offers innovative wonders, that can lead the pack. Which power tool will you take? […]

[…] can become routine for some, and so effective programmers look for ways to override their brain’s default for ruts. How […]

[…] when ethics becomes its fuel. Yet its absence torments victims of regret, blame or cynicism, where brains default to ruts. It shows up far less in toxic workplaces, and fades in people easily […]

[…] Processing new experiences requires more effort – we have to think about those. When we are stressed and overworked, we try to minimize our efforts by creating and building routines so we can get our work done quickly. If we create too many shortcuts, it means we’re losing our freshness, or more importantly, our openness to change. We’re building ruts, and wiring our brain for ruts. […]

[…] questions will you chase to add innovation that jettisons your organization out of ruts and into creative brainpower for […]

[…] in doing a new task, you rewire the brain’s plasticity for more of the same. The brain creates neuron pathways beyond the ruts that many default to when times are […]

[…] and watch how your concrete defense of that person will leave you mentally able to override your brain’s default for ruts that held you back in past. The action shows you new possibilities where you may have slipped into […]

[…] so that your brain begins to work a little harder.   Our brains send messages along the same neuro-pathways, literally creating “ruts” when we do one thing  on a regular basis. To get your brain […]

[…] 7. Link to high performance minds in order to help build communities with those who lead change for improvements. Facilitate innovative minds online. Results can lead you to a fix for a broken system, that traps hebbian thinkers. […]

[…] shift your focus.  Rather than concentrate on your basal ganglia storehouse of disappointment,  missteps, or unhealthy reactions, focus instead on creating new […]

I do a lot of number crunching for these types of games because I feel that history can give us an idea of what can happen in the future. As you know sometimes its really hard to decipher the winning team in the NFL. This is the main reason why I like using statistics for sports.

[…] getting started again. I did some research on how to change default routines and found this article Override Your Brain’s Default for Ruts. Even subtle changes in music, things to read, things you wear can instill new patterns of thinking […]

[…] email them to a friend, or apply key parts so that you move the initiative closer to your brain’sbasal ganglia where it sticks and […]

You’ve gotten probably the greatest online sites.|