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:
- Never stop questioning: Be curious and explore all available opportunities. Take risks. Life is about experience, so go and experience it.
- 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.
- 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.
- Reflect on your dreams: Dreams are illogical and hard to interpret at times. Occasionally, though, they provide advice and guidance.
- 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.
- Be kind to animals.
- Listen to your intuition.
- Encourage creativity in yourself and others.
- Admit mistakes and apologise
- Nobody has all the answers.