When we make a mistake, we have one of two choices: 1) to get hung up on it, or 2) to learn something from it and focus our energy on the next thing. Some of us probably find ourselves in category one, more often than not. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be that way forever!
Not so long ago, it was believed that the human brain had a finite number of neural cells (around 100 billion) and that it could not generate new ones. It was also believed that the brain only developed new neural pathways up until the age of around 40, after which they were fixed. We now know that in fact, our brains are malleable: they can generate new cells and new pathways throughout our entire lives.
How does it work?
Sensory nerve cells pick up information from internal and external sources and send it to the brain. The brain then processes this information and directs motor nerve cells to take any required action. Neural pathways are the electrochemical impulses between the nerve cells that allow them to communicate all this information. There are billions of different neural pathways in the brain, and the more we use a particular pathway, the stronger these messages get and the more developed and sensitive this pathway becomes. Our regular thought patterns, standard behaviours, and specific moods have all been wired into our brain due to our own doing and experiences.
So, what we decide to focus our attention on can impact which pathways in the brain are strengthened, and overall how our brain is re-wired. Choose to focus your attention on what really matters.