Target Working Memory to Learn New Skills

eweber   September 11, 2008   29 Comments

Have you slammed onto ruts or slipped into routines lately?

To learn new technology, or accept an invitation to propose an innovation  takes more working memory, and relies less on traditions or habits.

Ready to propel your life and leadership to new heights? Tap into the wonder of  working memory, and you’ll find yourself leting go of robotic routines. Why so?

This short term memory positions new information up front, so other parts of the brain can use it to problem solve. It’s what allows you to keep intelligence fluid and to raise IQ across a wider range of capabilities.

Neglect Working Memory and Learning Stops

Your unique propblem solving equipment not only increase focus, it  offers you new ready-to-use facts you need most at any given moment. While it takes skills to use it well, you possess two types of short-term memory. On one hand, it’s a notepad of sorts, with key verbal and spatial hints written there when you reach for them.

Don’t be deceived by its small size when your working memory offers you only one bit at a time, because its mental capacity holds that key fact while you solve complex problems.

Be Aware of Hot Spots

Check out recent research at Monitor on Psychology to see why working memory problems and possibilities are hot spokes in some intelligent circles.

Watch resilience at work today from who lead past tough places, and you’ll see amazing solutions illuminated by this mental miracle.

Beyond Getting the Job Done

Do you operate from a business-as-usual approach, or do you expect  wonders that come daily to those who learn, risk, lead, and propose new alternatives?

Unlike your brain’s basal ganglia that defaults into habits and routines and slides you into ruts, the working memory springs you forward to triumph in life-changing opportunities.

Do you lead with the working memory in mind?

How Working Memory Kicks In

Unless looking for lost golf balls, that hold up games –  stay with a thing until you find it. Look for innovative answers on opposite sides of issues!

The brain’s working memory kicks in to land life-changing dreams, when you GO FOR IT. On the flip side of waiting for windfalls – winners run with What if … possibilities – and working memory lands new deals. How so?

An autistic teen ran for his chance, from a basketball bench when his team lost yet another devastating shot.  J-Mac wondered what if he could score – in spite of the fact he’d never before been allowed off the bench.  With all hope to win lost, the coach pointed to J-Mac, who suddenly shocked an entire nation.  As if Magic Johnson shot, he scored 20 points in the final four minutes. Working memory kicked in and an autistic teen won the title for Greece Athena High School. Nobody except this alert teen expected it. In fact, when denied a place on his dream team, J-Mac  agreed to serve as water boy, cheer leader, and captain just to participate.

In Spite of Setbacks Hold Onto a Dream

A resilient what if question led J-Mac to win gold on his first time off the bench, and the same brain equipment will kick in for you. Working memory triggered a best selling book with Daniel Paiser titled,  The Game of My Life: a True Story of Struggle, Triumph and Growing Up Autistic. You may not end up on CNN as J-Mac did, but imagine a novel initiative stoked.

Wins rarely take as long as people think, and often come with more missteps than most expect. J-Mac put it this way, “My first shot was an air ball. Then I missed a lay up., and then as soon as the second shot, as soon as that went in, I started to catch fire.”

Think like a Genius

Ask what if, and jump in with two feet? Yes, power up both sides of your brain, as J-Mac did in last few seconds of that losing game. From the second he suited up, J-Mac expected gold. Others saw an autistic player enter an already lost game.  J-Mac spotted an opportunity and his working memory did the rest to set up a win.

Forget Past Failures

Rather than focus on regrets, rev up winning brainpower as this teen did, by mentally reinventing novel approaches to problems that hold others back. What if questions open success opportunities, one brain cell at a time. Stoke curiosity for what could be, and your brain’s creative capability begins to convert ordinary steps into winning strategies.

Brain gurus would say J-Mac generated new neuron pathways to achieve his dream. Whatever you call this mental reboot, it takes less effort and adds more dividends to a day than most people predict. What if you triumphed, as J-Mac did, over one challenge today?

Unlike your brain’s basal ganglia that defaults into habits and routines and slides you into ruts, the working memory springs you forward to triumph in life-changing opportunities. Worth a risk?

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29 thoughts on “Target Working Memory to Learn New Skills

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  8. Martin Walker (of Brain Fitness Pro)

    I’m so glad that I found your blog, Ellen. I like your focus on mindful awareness and jumping out of ruts. Critically important to feeling alive.

    On the particular subject of Working Memory, your readers may be interested to know about Susanne Jaeggi and Martin Buschkuehl’s study on Brain Exercises Improve IQ Training Working Memory” which recorded substantial increases in working-memory and mental agility (fluid intelligence) in just 19 days.

    I was so impressed that I contacted the research team and developed a software program using the same method so that anyone can achieve these improvements.

    Martin Walker

  9. eweber Post author

    Thanks Martin, it would be fun to see what we are both doing that is even more similar. All the best with your fascinating work, and thanks for your interest in mine! Many people are needed to facilitate these living ideas!

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