Blame it on the Brain

Find yourself working against growth in your career?  Standing still while others ride new waves of innovation?

Rewire your Brain for Growth

If you face financial problems, relationship struggles, or workplace inertia – you can blame it on your brain. The brain’s proclivity to default to harmful ruts can cause you to work against triumph.

Luckily, that same brain offers you tools to win mind-bending breaks, even in the toughest times.   How so?

Here are 25 ways to reboot  brainpower and zap innovative growth plans with a few jolts from brain sciences:

1. Invent and share a refreshing solution to a stubborn work problem – solve a  difficulty that leaves you bored or in a rut at work. Brain fact: Boredom is more a habit formed in brains, and shaped by daily choices,  then stored in brain as a reality.

2. Uplift your work area with natural lighting.  Brain fact: Environments influence brainpower, and a healthy workplace inspires people to transform problems into solutions.

3. Thank a fellow worker for a personal accomplishment.  Brain fact: Well being comes partially from and is fueled by serotonin chemical hormones that accompany acts of kindness.

4. Give somebody the gift of forgiveness, and let go of a grudge. Brain fact: Anger, fear, and frustration  are fueled by harmful cortisol chemical hormones that come with rancor.

5. Propose alternatives to an annoying habit or flawed practice.  Brain fact: Venting is bad for the brain and creates new neuron pathways to many  more  complaints.

6. Act like the person you want others to see in you, and that person you’ll become. Brain fact: Dendrite brain cells use the outside world to take their shapes, and grow new connections based on what you do each day.

7. Vary your background sounds so that you add music for more motivation. Brain fact: Music changes brain wave speeds in ways that impact moods and alter your productivity.

8. Stir curiosity and engage others around you.  Brain fact: Lectures and talks work against listener brains, and benefit speaker intelligence only, while failing  to benefit from listener insights.

9. Shift routines up daily with lived diversity. Brain fact: Hebbian workers rewire daily for ruts and routines that kill incentives, limit focus or even shrink their brains from stress.

10. Include differences as assets.  Brain fact: Common diversity training tends to fail participants  mentally,  by painting inclusion as a deficit model – rather than as assets added through differences.

11. Sleep well in order to perform well. Brain fact: Brain waves can bring either sleep or peak performance, based on how you activate and manage them.

12. Research and open mentally to new and different ideas daily.  Brain fact: Hook even difficult facts onto one thing you know and learning increases in less time.

13. Change on regular basis.  Brain fact: Your brain’s basal ganglia stores old facts and creates ruts, while working memory holds few new facts and leads change.

14. Survey and engage more strengths. Brain fact: Multiple intelligences are common to all, used by few, and can be cultivated daily with regular use as mental tools.

15. Create rather than criticize. Brain fact: Cynical or critical mindsets literally block creativity, limit talent in you or others, and stomp out innovation.

16. List key facts as guides and reminders.  Brain fact: Memory can be outsourced to help you remember more, and to free your mind to focus fully on tasks in the moment.

17. Inspire novel young ideas. Brain fact: Plasticity enables people of all ages and backgrounds to rewire their brains in ways that prosper from young and agile acumen.

19. Encourage yourself and others often.  Brain fact: Encouragement changes the chemistry of a brain through raised serotonin, and ratchets up tone for profitability.

19. Communicate with care, openness and honesty. Brain fact: Meta messages destroy relationships through implications that  differ from actual messages spoken.

20. Integrate projects from ideas and people across many fields.  Brain fact: It often takes an integration of  hard and soft skills to solve problems with the brain in mind.

21. Relax and practice letting worries go.  Brain fact:  Stress literally shrinks the brain, and anxious tones in communication act as silent brainpower killers.

22. Seek genuine and lasting relationships at work. Brain fact: Greet  colleagues through speaking people’s names, to offer spike in well being or awareness in person’s brain.

23. Risk innovative progress,  one step at a time.  Brain fact: Inspire creativity and invention through teaching others cutting edge approaches, at the same time you develop them.

24. Collaborate for stellar solutions. Brain fact: Create new neuron pathways through collective brainpower,  to facilitate democratic  solutions to workplace  problems.

25. Celebrate gender proclivities. Brain fact: Women’s and men’s brain differ biologically and intellectually, for instance,  in ways that few optimize.

How could these few applications from facts about your brain increase workplace brainpower and toss more innovation into your 2010?

“The great thing, then … is to make our nervous system our ally instead of our enemy.” – Henry James

This post appeared in SmartBrief on your Career on June 3, 2010. Thanks for your kind mention SmartBrief Editors!

8 Comments

  1. Stuart says:

    Hi Ellen,
    Great list thanks for this, will print and place on my office wall….

    I would just add one more …

    26. Do all of the above, and see how much better you will feel about yourself and how your relationship with others will change in a positive way.

    Stu

  2. eweber says:

    Thanks Stu, How good to hear from you. So glad the list resonated with you and that it will speak to your workplace.

    It’s amazing how well work and life go when we factor in brainpower.

    Love your addition — an inspiration – as always! Ellen

  3. Eva Ulian says:

    This article has been shared around by my friends on Facebook- but then, the brain, explained as you explain it, always has a pull among “normal” people, Dr Ellen.

  4. Eva Ulian says:

    This article has been shared around by my friends on Facebook- but then, the brain, explained as you explain it, always has a pull among “normal” people, Dr Ellen.

    I’ve reposted this to see if I could show my avatar too-

  5. eweber says:

    Eva, thanks both for your kind words and your wonderful sense of collaboration! That spirit of collective brainpower, as you value it, also shows the essence of a brain’s vitality!

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