Coping With Changes By Expanding Your Mind

Mar 27 08:45 2009 Martin Mak Print This Article

To survive in a world that is ever changing, we need a mindset that is adaptable to change.  Having good learning skills and flexibility to respond appropriately will ensure success in an ever-changing landscape.

Are you feeling the stress in a world that continually changes?  With the world around us in a constant state of change,Guest Posting how do you cope?  Many routes are open to you, from buying a more powerful computer to studying economics.  For most people, one place to start is to concentrate on your own mind and to develop the capacities that new circumstances will reward.  In other words, develop and expand your own intelligence.

Is it actually possible to  increase your own intelligence?  Many people still see intelligence as a fixed resource measured by IQ tests.  Interestingly, psychologists have increasingly come to reject this view.  In 1995 psychologist David Perkins, a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, published Outsmarting IQ:  The Emerging Science of Learnable Intelligence.  In this book, Perkins spoke for a growing number of psychologists who reject the notion that intelligence cannot change.

What has caused this revolution in thinking among psychologists?  Perkins and other psychologists came to realize that intellectual abilities are in essence no different from other kinds of know-how.  Acquiring the knowledge that IQ tests measure is essentially no different from developing any other ability, such as drawing or bike riding.

Virtually everybody can draw.  Give children crayons or pencils and they will draw.  Even crippled or mentally subnormal children usually enjoy drawing.  Nevertheless, except for a gifted minority, most people do not draw especially well.  They can learn to draw well, of course, but only by study and practice.  They can improve their skill even further by reading books or taking courses that present advanced drawing techniques and art theory.  Drawing is a learnable skill.  The proof lies in the number of people who have learned to draw.

Bicycle riding is another learnable skill.  If you are starting out learning to ride a bicycle, you need considerable practice and maybe a few falls.  But eventually, you will succeed and will probably remember the skill for the rest of your life.

Here then is the critical question.  Aren’t intelligence and thinking just as learnable as drawing and bicycle riding?  Like drawing and bicycle riding, exercising your mind is something that you do naturally.  You can learn how to develop good memory skills to improve your memory, by training your memory.  In addition, you can acquire mental skills that allow you to accelerate your learning, develop quicker thinking and accelerate your learning.  Nevertheless, without practice, your skill as a thinker can remain rudimentary.  How can you strengthen your mind? There are tools and techniques that offer methods, tools and information that can help you improve your recall ability and  to use your mind more successfully. Most people in the past have conceived of intelligence as being equivalent to what you may call mental power. 

Until recently almost everyone in our society, professional psychologists and the layman alike, considered you to be very intelligent if you had a powerful mind, regardless of whether or not you were particularly adaptable.  A smart person was someone who could use his or her mind to do something that seemed difficult and complicated.  You could appear intelligent if you were skillful at games that seem to require mental power, such as chess, or if you could intimidate people with your talent at winning arguments.  On the other hand, if you were adaptable, most people would probably never have noticed.

One of the main problems with a power-oriented view of intelligence was that power intelligence often proved rigid and inflexible.  It is the dinosaur of the intelligence world.  And like the dinosaur in prehistoric times, people with power intelligence did indeed reign supreme, as long s conditions in the outside world were essentially stable.  But when change replaced stability as the norm, these people quickly became lost.  They were no longer in their element.  And their old way of looking at the world, which they had built up over many, many years, was suddenly obsolete.  They became vulnerable.

A second problem was that power intelligence often did not turn out to be useful, regardless of how much it could impress.  Being good at winning arguments or chess matches can certainly impress people.  But it does not necessarily help in earning a living.  The world is full of people who can impress us with how much they know, but all their knowledge does not necessarily do them a lot of good in the real world.  Think of all the people with PhD’s who end up earning a living as cab drivers?

In times of rapid change, you will often do better to have a simpler, more schematic view of reality, one that captures the essence of things even if it misses some of the details.  For starters, changing your mind becomes easier.  It costs less in time and energy because you do not have to re-examine as many beliefs or re-evaluate as many commitments.  In a word it makes you more adaptable.

In the future, adaptability is likely to prove more important than power.  You will do better to have a simpler, sleeker, and more elegant mind that can reinterpret and revise what you already know in response to new information.  You need new memory and learning skills to stay adaptable. People who immerse themselves in complexity might find themselves so weighed down by details that they feel unable to respond.

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Martin Mak
Martin Mak

Martin Mak has developed a new program to help people enhance their memory and learning experience.  Find out how with his free and popular ecourse at

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