As human beings, we live in a tiny world of small and common possibilities. Our brains filter and compare us to the best possibility of what we commonly know, whether this is career-oriented choices or great romantic loves, and does not compare us to the best of what is possible. This is because, over tens of thousands of years of evolution, our brains have evolved to follow certain hardwired proclivities such as safety, abundance (wealth), forward progression, and tranquility. These hardwired requirements kept us safe from treacherous environments, enemies, and instability and caused us to avoid situations that would be dynamic, situations that would push our brain’s to its limits. In this article, we are going to explore the various routes and methods you can use to unlock that full potential that everyone is talking about.
The First Route: Upwire Your Brain
As biology states, it is impossible for human beings to stay in the same constant state. This is because we are either learning, fading, growing, or falling. We see this with the life and death cycle of our cells; they either choose to grow or choose to die. The same thing occurs in our brains, as our neurons, the cells which are responsible for transmitting information throughout our bodies, must also choose to grow or die off. This results in a process called livewiring, where your neurons re-make, re-form, and re-structure the functions of your nervous system in real time. So how do you tap into this and push your cells to choose growth? By doing the following things.
- Choose to Always be Curious: you want to choose to be curious about the world around you, your situation, and your immediate environments. Rather than waking up in the morning ready for a routine and automatic day, try to be more alert and conscious about the world that your senses takes in. When you open yourself up to stimuli and naturally ask questions about it, you are forcing your brain into a stimulating environment. This pushes the brain to analyze deeper, create new thought patterns, and to question what it sees. If you find this difficult at first, try to imagine yourself in the third person perspective.
- Pause Before Reacting: the first thought you think of when reacting is not often true or indicative of who you are. These are our hardwired default tendencies that our brains automatically jump to due to recognized patterns. When you pause before reacting to a challenge, setback, or an opportunity, you actually get to choose your emotional reaction. This allows you to take control of the situation or at least your response of it. One way of practicing this split second response system is by using visualization scenarios. Imagine that you are at work and your boss sends you a dreaded e-mail about such and such; visualize how you should react rather than giving in to the first instinctual reaction.
- Choose to Make a Real and Tangible Impact on the World: remember that life is not about what other’s think of you and so when you find yourself playing to the tunes of page views, likes, and hearts, understand that this isn’t really serving you purpose. Instead, try to always be pushing yourself towards what provides you with usefulness and purpose. This forces you to always be thinking and therefore, always upwiring your brain.
The Second Route: Focus on Your Physical Well-Being
In addition to pushing your neurons to grow, we can also push our bodies to create new nerve cells through a process called neurogenesis. Why should we unlock this mind secret? It can improve your memory, provide mood stability, and even repair damage from substance abuse. Neurogenesis provides us with an opportunity for improving our mental health and increasing our cognitive power. Do the following things.
- Make Sure You Get Plenty of Sleep: if you are not getting enough sleep then your body is unable to repair itself or build, re-structure, or create new neurons. It’s absolutely critical that you are getting a well-rested sleep that is on a routine schedule.
- Reduce Your Stress Levels: a stressful life prevents your brain from being able to grow new cells and prolonged stress also leads to a lot of physical illnesses and mental fatigue. Make sure you have a morning and nightly routine that you follow, only take on what you can realistically achieve on a day to day basis, and make time for yourself to get outside and exercise.
- Voraciously Read (& learn): books are like portable magic for your brain. They help you open up new ways of thinking, produce increased connectivity in the brain, and increase your intelligence, cognitive efficiency, and vocabulary. The more you read and learn, the better your brain can function and expand.
- Remove Harmful Substances: alcohol and drugs have the ability to prevent the formation of new memories, prevent the development of new connections, and they can hinder the growth of new neurons.
- Intermittent Fast (cut calories): by performing intermittent fasting or calorie restriction, you can lower your leptin levels and push your body into autophagy, which is when your cells clean out toxins and remove waste.
The Third Route: Go Beneath the Surface and Access the Subconscious
By establishing a link with your subconscious mind, you open up the ability to change the relationship you have with yourself. If you have ever made poor decisions because you were unsettled, engaged in self-sabotaging behaviors, or constantly have recurring physical ailments, it may be because you are not solving the problems that are deep within your subconscious. You can do this by writing out a story about the problems you are having and seek answers based on what you write or you can choose to engage in physical activities like meditation and yoga. The key here is understanding and acknowledging what is happening in your subconscious mind so that you can grow from it and become a clearer, more present human being.
In Summary: Believe In Yourself!
Other than the above steps, one of the most powerful things you can do if you truly want to unlock your hidden potential is to just believe in yourself. Although this may sound corny and cliche, it truly helps in providing you with desire, motivation, and willpower to emotionally visualize who you want to become and where you want to go. If you can believe in yourself and in your passions wholeheartedly, you will be able to overcome any obstacles that arise and reach the potential that everyone sees in you.