During just the past decade, neuroscientists have learned more about human brain function in the previous 50 years. We are starting to pierce the mysteries of where emotions originate and the connections between instinct, intelligence, and emotion, yielding fascinating insights in how we react to situations and people. The brain, is a much more flexible organ than previously thought and can be consciously rewired to be more sensitive and understanding.
We already know what behavior patterns influence people to say “Yes” to what we’re trying to sell them, whether it’s a product, service, or lifestyle. For example, people want a good deal, which equates to the most value for the lowest investment. However, people think high price means more value, which, of course, isn’t necessarily true. They will pay more because they think they’re getting more. People buy into celebrity endorsements, somehow equating star status to expertise. People respond favorably to common peer group endorsements, believing that “if he or she can do it, so can I.”
One of the keys to getting buy-in is to understand that most people say “yes” to others they know and like, especially if they deem those others to be authority figures. And, of course, there are many more obvious fixed-action behaviors:
Just as yesterday’s world records are today’s entry level requirements, so too has a new tipping point been reached in understanding the secrets to motivating the emerging champions in our professional and personal lives.
There are many false assumptions concerning how our brains and minds function. We now have a truth for nearly every myth that has been passed on to us. Here are just a few.
Myth: People make buy-in decisions in a rational, linear manner.
Truth: People’s decisions are first influenced by emotional triggers, and then by logic. Emotions dominate the decision-making process.
Myth: People can readily explain their thinking and behavior.
Truth: People have far less access to their own mental activities than perceived. About 95 percent of our thinking is unconscious and habitual.
Myth: People think in words.
Truth: Two-thirds of all brain stimuli are visual. Neural activities (thoughts) precede their expression as words or language. Words and other senses can trigger thoughts, but thoughts are not “words.”
Myth: People’s talents are received at conception as “natural gifts.”
Truth: Although talents are inherited, new talents and abilities can be learned by re-training the brain.
Myth: People’s memories accurately represent their experiences.
Truth: People’s memories are constantly changing without their awareness. As you are remembering something, your brain is in the process of “rewiring” the connections between neurons, which is actually changing the structure of your brain. Rather than video playback, your memory is more like video editing. Every time you remember something, you are changing, recreating or re-memorizing. A memory is subject to change every time you remember it. Hence the words of an aging athlete, “The older I get, the better I was!”
Myth: We are born with a finite number (100 billion) of brain cells, and when one dies, a new one cannot grow. The ability to generate new neural pathways begins to decrease sharply around age 20.
Truth: Neuro-scientists are learning more about neural “plasticity” which is the ability of the brain to generate new neural cells and reorganize to form new neural pathways, to adapt as needed. Neurogenesis, or the generation of new neurons, can continue throughout our life span, even into old age.
Surprisingly, Millennials are often more forgetful than Baby Boomers. They are more likely to forget where they put their keys than their parents!
The creation of new neural pathways does take focused effort over time, however it’s possible at any age to rewire our brains to generate success and health-related pathways.
DENIS WAITLEY is one of America’s most respected authors, keynote lecturers, and productivity consultants. With 10 million audio programs sold, he is one of the most listened-to voices on personal and career success. Denis has coached and counseled successful network marketing organizations worldwide for the past 40 years.