Turn Setbacks into Setups
Prolonging Your Personal Growth
January 26, 2019
It’s time to ask yourself some tough questions about your personal growth.
When was the last time you tried something new? Not a new restaurant or a TV show, but something that actually challenged you, either physically or mentally. When was the last time you did something that you genuinely enjoyed and was mentally stimulating?
The daily responsibilities of adult life can be pretty all consuming, and it’s easy to fall into a predictable routine. Whether by design or by chance, we often find ourselves doing the same activities afterwork, interacting with the same social circle, and spending a lot of our time doing what we find familiar.
We do this because it’s comfortable, convenient, and down right easy, largely because we don’t have to think as much after a long day or week.
But succumbing to a life of routine cuts our personal growth off at the knees! It’s because being repetitive is boring. Even if you’re someone who loves routine, structure, and predictability, your brain (from a biological perspective) is still suffering from stagnation.
Here at Hundred, we’ve talked a lot about neuroplasticity before. And with good reason. Neuroplasticity – our brains ability to re-shape itself and develop new cells and connections – is very real and directly related to the amount of novel stimulation we give it. Our brains are like any other muscle, and the more we challenge it, the more it grows, the shaper it gets, and the better it performs.
When it comes to personal growth, so common is the solution simply to “go out and do something new.” But the importance of this cannot be stressed enough!
Personal growth and novel activities are directly related and scientifically proven.
Five recent studies in particular (see footnotes below for reference) have again continued to prove numerous benefits associated with doing new things, including;
- Improved cognitive functioning, including better memory as we age.
- Increased motivation, including working towards & completing goals.
- Increased social engagement and healthier relationships.
What’s covered here is just scratching the surface of the available, validated, and well established research on personal growth and brain health. So what does “something new” actually mean?
Well, it’s whatever you want! Any physically, mental, or experiential activity which is new to you counts! Yet another reason to kick an old habit and spice things up.
The only question now is, how do you plan to keep your personal growth on an upward trajectory?
For some quick ideas on how to get started, check out these suggestions here. Though, to really put your brain into action, consider putting together a proper plan of action and working with a mentor to keep you on track.
Williams, K. N., & Kemper, S. (2010). Interventions to reduce cognitive decline in aging.
Journal of psychosocial nursing and mental health services, 48(5), 42-51.
Atchley, R. C. (1989). A Continuity Theory of Normal Aging. The Gerontologist, 29(2), 183-190.
La Rue, A. (2010). Healthy Brain Aging: Role of Cognitive Reserve, Cognitive Stimulation, and Cognitive Exercises. Clinics in Geriatric Medicine, 26(1), 99-111.
May, A., Hajak, G., Gänßbauer, S., Steffens, T.,Langguth, B., Kleinjung, T., & Eichhammer, P. (2007). Structural Brain Alterations following 5 Days of Intervention: Dynamic Aspects of Neuroplasticity. Cerebral Cortex, 17(1), 205-210.
White, A. (2009). From Comfort Zones to Performance Management: Understanding Development & Performance. Belgium: White & MacLean Publishing.