Don't be short-changed

12 April 2017

In this day and age of instantaneous connections and a rapidly changing landscape, the lines of familiar frames of reference blur frequently and comprehensively. And so thoughts turn to our potential for accommodating and changing to meet these challenges. What in fact determines change, the potential for change and the necessity for change?

We are all, each one of us, the products of a nature-nurture heritage in which we had no say, arriving at adulthood as the finished products, warts and all! And it is with these origins that we engage with ourselves and with the extended environment . The heritage determinants together with our ongoing engagement with the extended environment gives rise to our personal life narratives. This narrative incorporates our subjective beliefs, fears, aspirations and preferences, indeed all the components which give rise to a subjective world view. The subjective world view becomes our ‘map’ of the external ‘territory’ and the way in which we make sense of things. If we have been blessed with a supportive and caring nurture history we will ultimately develop a subjective ‘map’ which approximates the ‘territory’. In this situation we will see things as they really are, make appropriate decisions and experience achievement gratification, purposefulness and wellness. Conversely, if we are the products of a deprivation nurture heritage, our ‘maps’ will diverge from the ‘territory’, we will not see things as they really are due to intrinsic limiting beliefs and suppressed thoughts and emotions. The result is distorted perceptions of the territory, failure, emotions of despair, hopelessness and illness.

Fortunately Nature (alternatively, God, the singularity or whatever else you believe in) has bestowed upon us the intrinsic potential to re-wire our neuronal networks and thus our subjective world view together with the emotions thereto attached. This is the process of neuroplasticity. But the effectiveness of neuroplasticity is dependent upon elements which are intrinsic within our life narratives. These elements include an unfettered sensitivity to ourselves and to the external environment, calling upon our reasoning function (working memory in the pre-frontal cortex) and the courage and determination to engage the process until sustained positive change is achieved. The drivers of this process are either content-based or emotionally determined. Let me illustrate the content-based driver: I left ‘A’ to move to ‘B’ but arrived at ‘C’ , what do I need to change to ensure that the next time I do indeed arrive at ‘B’? The emotionally driven process is activated by an emotional prompt: I experience such negative emotions (often with physiological manifestations) when confronted with identified environmental entities that I need to either ensure that I steer clear of them (create a comfort zone through avoidance) or alternatively, re-appraise my perception of the entity (re-frame, disputation, psychoanalysis) and thereby change the emotional consequence.

To quote an existing ‘truth’, 'nothing is more constant than change' (I’m not sure who’s quote this is but I think it was the Buddha himself). And so it becomes imperative that to ensure personal gratification we need to be prepared to change on an ongoing basis. This requires that we transcend our intrinsic limiting beliefs and subjectivity, to sensitively appraise ourselves and our environments before forming opinions, judgements and actions. The drivers for this are content-based and emotionally prompted as well as the need to move away from a space of failure, meaninglessness, low gratification and illness towards one of purposefulness, gratification and wellness. But you need to want it badly enough to make it a reality.

Finally we need to add into the mix the component of value contribution to ourselves – realizing our fullest potential, as well as the value contribution to the greater environment – making it better than it was before engaging with it. In this way we arrive at a far more viable and sustaining place of awareness where we as individuals become more authentic contributors as members of the Human Race.


11 December 2018
The perch on your shoulder

28 November 2018
Harry, Sally and Fay

24 November 2018
Beyond the mire

14 October 2018
Change reaction

5 October 2018
An Ode to Roxy

15 July 2018
Indulge in the virtues of stoicism

24 June 2018
A ghost in the machine

11 June 2018
Death de-mortified

4 June 2018

12 May 2018
A tall story

8 April 2018
Transcending the mist

17 March 2018
Setting the record straight in this brief moment in time

4 March 2018
An authentic desert

11 February 2018
The hateful and the cruel

2 February 2018
Neuroscience is a joke

14 January 2018
To have and to hold

1 January 2018

22 December 2017
The Lethal Cocktail of Fear with an Existential Crisis

9 December 2017
Reflections in a cemetery

3 December 2017
Go forth and multiply

15 November 2017
Reflections of a mirror

29 October 2017
Dumbing down

26 October 2017
Avoid the brain drain

4 September 2017
An authentic lead

30 August 2017

23 August 2017
Respect begins at home

16 July 2017
An awe-full story

3 July 2017
Mushroom soup

2 June 2017
Relativity, relatives and other relationships

29 May 2017
Inflamed and smoked

25 May 2017
An Ode to my Mentor

10 May 2017

27 April 2017

16 April 2017
Lost in an expert fog

30 March 2017
A brAIve New World

15 March 2017
The problem with Gus

12 March 2017
United in Energy

5 March 2017
Transcending emotions

25 February 2017
In the blink of an eye

25 February 2017
The real story about emotions

27 January 2017
Meditation Re-visited

21 January 2017
As a light to a flame

31 December 2016
Drowning in snake oil

24 December 2016
In the glow of an aura

19 December 2016
Mindfully yours

14 December 2016
Time to transcend the Flat Earth Society

4 December 2016
Prejudice and other violations

20 November 2016
Lighting up the Abyss

12 November 2016
Embrace the Zeitgeist and Transcend

9 November 2016
A Curious Life

8 October 2016
Perhaps we ought to read the stars?

22 September 2016
The truth about truth

27 August 2016
Conscious Integration

21 August 2016
The Toxicity of the Social Media

3 August 2016
Time to Integrate

24 July 2016
I Believe ...

16 June 2016
Crime, punishment and the brain

4 June 2016
The Essence of Effective Leadership

22 May 2016
Engage with the Eloquence of Neuromodulation

15 May 2016
Peer Reviewed Publications: A Trust Issue

28 April 2016
A Cathartic Therapeutic Moment

11 March 2016
Gateway to Consciousness

9 November 2015
Drivers of Success and Effective Leadership

2 November 2015
A Two-Point Solution

20 October 2015
All Black Rugby: The Eloquence of Applied Neuroscience

8 October 2015
In Mitigation of Limiting Deprivation Determinants

20 September 2015
Lamenting our intellectual malaise

13 August 2015
Respectful Intervention

25 July 2015
The Creative Leadership Zone

16 May 2015
Coaching to Pleasure

6 May 2015
Glowing the Void - Thoughts under a May Full Moon

1 April 2015
Context and Integration

7 February 2015
Add some Awe and become Awesome

11 January 2015
Effective Intervention

3 January 2015
The re-emergence of the right hemisphere

26 November 2014
Where is consciousness?

11 May 2014
A Strong Determinism

15 February 2014
The Physiology of Mindfulness

16 August 2013
The Triple Wheel Combination Model of Value-based Leadership

1 June 2013
Authenticity and Leadership

13 January 2013
The Neurobiology of Empathy

29 November 2012

8 June 2012
The brain as a deterministic blueprint

21 April 2012
That 'Aha' Moment

17 April 2011
Rewarding Value

28 December 2010
The Dangers of Cyber-space

27 November 2010
Enhancing Gratification

23 June 2010
Systemic Degeneration

14 June 2010
Meaning and Purpose

3 June 2010
Medical Challenges