living
by
design.

Risk-taking…

The science…

There are scientific studies which would strongly support the hypothesis that on average we, as human beings (both men & women), become more risk-averse as we grow older…

We are less likely to try new things…

We are less likely to ‘step out’ into new opportunities…

Why is this?

A recent article in the Neuroscience section of The Guardian stated,

Brain scans of 52 volunteers aged 18 to 88 found that the volume of grey matter in a region of the brain called the right posterior parietal cortex tended to be smaller in those who were more conservative in their decision-making.

And while grey matter in the brain diminishes with age, the researchers at Yale University in Connecticut noticed that when both age and grey matter volume were taken into account, the grey matter seemed to matter most.

The mystery…

The great mystery is whether some people are born with less grey matter in this region of their brains than others predisposing them to be more conservative than others throughout their entire lives or whether the decisions we make during our lives affect the amount of gray matter in this region, i.e. is it pure physiology or is it a matter of ‘feeding’ this region of our brains with ‘healthy risk-taking activities’ so that the amount of gray matter (or ‘wisdom’) grows over time?

No matter what happens in your life.
No matter how far you’re beaten down.
Always, always, always get back up.
(Mike Dillard)

Hypothesis…

Have people been so ‘beaten down’ over the course of their lives with ‘negative’ beliefs about themselves and their abilities that this causes the recorded diminishment of gray matter in this region as they grow older?

Our minds are amazing things, I really know nothing about Neuroscience but I do know that our minds are amazingly intricate and complex creations…

A wise man once said, “As a man thinks within himself, so is he”…

I predict my plan to smile today will be a miserable failure.

So are we, as human beings (both men & women), self-fulfilling prophecies?

Because I have met people who have stayed ‘sharp’ right until the end and on the other hand I have met people who ‘shut up shop’ decades before they actually ‘shuffle off their mortal coil’…

What to do?

Am I saying that we should fight this natural tendency within ourselves?

I have seen both myself and other people do this and observed that this pursuit becomes a ‘fixation’ and does not achieve the desired result…

The solution, I believe, is to believe the truth about ourselves and our abilities…

Not to believe what we have been conditioned to believe about ourselves from any outside (or even inside) influences which have not spoken ‘life’ into our minds…

To live a creative life we must lose our fear of being wrong.
(Joseph Chilton Pearce)

Life words…

Just over thirteen years ago my wife shared something with me which was a real ‘life’ word…

She said that I would always have the wisdom to know how to handle each situation I faced at work and the confidence to know that I was able to handle it and that I’d never be set a task which I wouldn’t be given the ability to successfully complete…

As she spoke that word I knew in my heart that what she was saying was true, I believed it, it just happened, I didn’t need to try…

And that has been my growing experience since that time, a growth in being able to complete the work assignments under my responsibility in ever increasing Confidence & Competence

What this has done for me in my professional life has been to open up my mind to think differently, to receive different ideas, to be ‘open-minded’ because I know that the team has the solution – not necessarily me on my own – but as I ‘go there’ on a project the answers come…

That has been my experience so instead of being ‘overly conservative’ and limiting myself to what I know presently I can embrace the unknown and know that we will ‘get there’…

As long as I’m in the right place, doing what I believe in my heart I am meant to be doing, following that ‘Inner Voice’ (in terms of direction) Who leads me (by peace and a sense of well-being and growth) to head into a certain area, then I am safe…

And I will succeed…

How do we view life?

Thus I don’t view others as competition but as companions on the journey of life…

We are all in this together – and others expand our minds…

In our professions, in our vocations, in our ‘sphere of influence’, wherever we have been trained and ‘planted’, let’s make a difference by taking ‘calculated risks’ based on what we know to be true (not irrational stabs in the dark but calculated decisions based on input from our teams and reading all available rational fact-based literature) and what we feel (intuitively) to be the right thing to do…

Conclusion...

We should never take a risk because we are afraid of becoming stagnant, ‘losing the plot’ and wasting our lives…

If it’s still in your mind, it is worth taking a risk.
(Body and Mind Motivation)

We should take a risk when we have a peace and an inner conviction that this is the right thing for us to do…

These decisions will work and will release further ‘fodder’ (or brain food) to make further healthy risk-taking decisions, which will, in turn, create or release further belief in or power to persevere in innovation…

I see a cycle there, a positive cycle…

I believe that taking healthy risks releases the brain food and chemicals which keep us ‘young’ on the inside right through to the end…

Let’s see if Neuroscience will prove me correct… <img draggable=

Andrew J Horton
15 January 2017

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