Join Arianna Huffington for an in-depth discussion in this video Continuing to learn and improve, part of Thriving @ Work: Leveraging the Connection between Well-Being and Productivity.
- The thing is to understand the brain. The brain is now mailable. I mean, for years they thought the brain would form late childhood and that was it. Then, you know, 25 plus years ago, they started understanding what neuroplasticity was. It was coined in late 40's, but the reality is they started understanding that the way the brain works you can actually create new neuro pathways throughout your entire life. So once they understood that, then they realized, wow, that means we can continue to learn and we continue to grow and we can change.
It doesn't mean that it's comfortable or that we like it, but we can do it. So as we looked at how do people change, there's a lot of science around it. Japanese actually have an interesting process, they call it kaizen, which is doing one thing every day for one minute at the same time everyday, consistently, builds a new habit. Well the reality of it is, there's a lot of truth to that. That if you were to take what we call a micro step or micro action, every day consistently, you can do it, research and science says it's 16 to 66 days.
We've landed in the area of 32 days, is what we tell people to do in our workshops. If you do a new micro action every day, 32 days in a row, you then start to build and create a new neuro pathway. And the way neuroplasticity works is the more you start using this new neuro pathway, the smaller the old neuro pathway gets. So that's how you begin to change or retrain the brain. So when you think about how do people make changes and why don't they make changes, they usually bite off more than they really are comfortable with.
If I really wanted to, let's say, begin exercising, we would say to you, don't join a gym and say I'm going to go to the gym three hours a day. It ain't going to happen. You may do it once, but then you'll be so sore that you have to take a week off after that three hour workout, right. So what do you do? If you join the gym, maybe you say I'm going to go every day for 15 minutes, or even 10 minutes, or maybe I'm going to start by not even joining a gym. I'm going to exercise in my room for five minutes every day for the first month, until you then create a new neuro pathway that says, we exercise.
Once that's built, then you can start expanding on it. So we say change is easy, if you take micro steps, micro actions. If you try to do it through big actions, most people will fail. Some people won't, but most people will fail. So we say to people, regardless of the step you want to take, find a small way to engage in that step, and ultimately, you'll start to build the habit.
- The importance of well-being
- Bringing your whole self to work
- Knowing your boundaries and limitations
- Investing in your relationships
- Working towards your strengths
- Knowing when to say no
- Holding yourself accountable to change