Day 24

*The ‘first’ today that reminded me of the wise ‘laughter is the best medicine’ quote was taking 4 minutes and 14 seconds to watch the ‘most viewed youtube video of all time’ :  PSY – GANGNAM STYLE with 1779 Million views as of Janurary 14.  I had never even heard of it, then again I don’t watch music videos, but – really?! THIS is what mankind spends time watching!?  It did make me laugh, I will give credit on that front.. (worth the 4 minutes, but really you only need to watch a minute or two for a laugh)

Had to counter that with some time learning about this wild brains of ours and their ability to change..


Took the time to sit down and watch a documentary I have been wanting to: BRAIN FITNESS: PEAK PERFORMANCE.


Our brains have 100 billion cells, about the same as the number of stars in the sky.

We create our competencies through effort until what we what we work at becomes automatic. Unless we continually strive to retain these skills, they’ll be lost.  In the case of experts, how they engage their plasticity and refine their performance is not unique, rather it is an ability that lies in the neurology of all of us.

*our brains can be physically and functionally changed depending on how they are utilized.  The ability for our brain to change is called neuroplasticity and takes place throughout our lives.

*Motor maps/Visual Maps – our experiences shape our brains.  In the past it was thought that once we have these ‘maps’ they are set. (this was thought because of stroke victims who had paralysis and were unable to bring back memories. Now we know that  our brains are plastic throughout life and can be fundamentally changed, new methods to kickstart those embedded ‘maps’ do exist.  So long as the injury is not too extensive, we can use certain exercises to bring back the functionality and re-animate maps.

*Daily practice and concentrated effort transforms ability into expertise.  We can become experts at anything we pay concentrated attention to.

*ATTENTION: First principle of peak performance

*PREDICTION – allows for efficient learning

*PRACTICE: Creates lasting brain change. practice with specificity. *practice the finer points to be able to execute them accurately.

*PASSION: passion contributes greatly to refining skills through motivation.

*MOTIVATION:  intense motivation. It’s a lot more fun to be successful.  Motivation leads to engagement.  Critical engagement is necessary for learning.

HOW TO KEEP SKILLS SHARP?? RULE #1:  BE ACTIVE.  B/c when you are active it  inherently puts you into unpredictable situations that keep your brain sharp. It is crucial to learn to adjust – brain seeks out new and novel.  Active challenges are important to find.  Taking it easy will simplify our environment and we will regress.  Our brains thrive off of dealing with uncertainty. It’s Important to train them in this way.  Variability is essential.  Our brains like things that are rewarding, physically active and force us to pay attention.

We’re all specialized in some way and we have all mastered something.  We must continue to practice those things that matter to us.  Those abilities that define us as the individuals we are. If we undertake tasks that invigorate our brains, engage ourselves socially and keep our bodies healthy and active, we can remain masters of our lives.  We can expand the view of our world and harness the power of our brains plasticity and reach our own ‘peak performance’.  



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