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10 steps to enlightenment: I think

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Now that I’ve left youthful pursuits behind (except for the occasional clothes shopping thrill), I wonder how best to use my remaining years upon the planet.

I’m not interested in established religions, what happens when we die, whether there is a God, the search for meaning or even if I exist at all (I take the latter as a given).

Instead, I want to know more about the brain and neuroplasticity.

Neuroplasticity reveals that the brain continues to rewire and change  over our entire lives. It’s also designed to individual specifications — nobody sees the world in quite the same way as anyone else — and reality rests upon personal perception.

With this in mind I have been practising a range of techniques (many of which I’ve used over the years) to rewire my brain. Here are my Top Ten:

  1. Never stop questioning: Be curious and explore all available opportunities. Take risks. Life is about experience, so go and experience it.
  2. Read a lot:  Non-fiction especially, including science, travel, history, autobiography, biographies and journalism. By reading you  explore the world of ideas – if you travel as well then you combine two worthwhile pursuits.
  3. Watch Science Fiction movies: Popular films — including The Matrix and Inception — question reality, but there are many more obscure science fiction movies equally as thought provoking including Moon, Pandorum, Looper and The Island.
  4. Reflect on your dreams:  Dreams are illogical and hard to interpret at times. Occasionally, though, they provide advice and guidance.
  5. Do as much as you can before your body winds down: Our time on this planet is finite. Your body is designed to fail which means your physical existence is non negotiable — it ends, period. Forget about the afterlife (personally I don’t believe there is one – not as you anyway, but your atoms will still tick on). There may be a greater consciousness but it doesn’t mean that you remain who you are or aware of what you were.
  6. Be kind to animals.
  7. Listen to your intuition.
  8. Encourage creativity in yourself and others.
  9. Admit mistakes and apologise
  10. Nobody has all the answers.

Related Articles:
Superbrain: I’ll have one of those thanks
The way we weren’t: Memories create strange karma

Author: Sue Bell
Sue Bell is an entertainment writer and author of Backpacked: A mostly true story, Beat Street and When Dreamworks came to Stanley.

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