Personal Development

Getting better all the time...

The story of human development has been inextricably linked with technological change.  According to Robert Gordon (Economics professor at Northwestern University) there have been three major industrial revolutions.  “When we had the invention of steam engines, steam ships, locomotives, factories making cotton fabrics, and then the telegraph. All of those things were invented in the century between 1770 and 1870. And they set the stage for the inventions that happened after 1870.

The Second Industrial Revolution included electricity, the internal combustion engine, chemicals, plastics, running water, the conquest of infectious diseases, the conquest of infant mortality, the development of processed food. Every dimension of human life, was affected by the Second Industrial Revolution, with the inventions mainly taking place between 1870 and the early 1900s

The Third Industrial Revolution started off around 1960, with the first mainframe computer. And went further into the mini computer, the personal computer in 1980, and then followed by the marriage of communications with computers that we call the Internet, and then into smart mobile phones in the last 10 to 15 years.” (Source: Freakonomics Radio)

Our lives and our personal productivity have been enhanced by these revolutions and by countless technological improvements, but we don't need to rely on the next tech marvel, or new app or breakthrough in artificial intelligence to further our human development, we can increase the utilisation of the incredible tool between our ears.

The brain compares and makes judgements at lightning speed which allows us to make decisions and improvements. Our brains unconsciously react not just to the present experience but to the combination of the present and past events. Instead of the best response to the present challenge, we often act to meet a previous challenge, leading to a sense that we are forever in catch up mode.

A solution is to train our brains so that we are able to respond to life's challenges more effectively.

A trained brain is open and curious, instead of comparing and judging. We see (visually and metaphorically) far more leading to better understanding.  We harness the power of our teams by learning to ask questions that clarify and open up possibilities instead of using our efforts to get others to agree with our point of view.

Our brains are incredible learning machines.  They take in enormous amounts of information from our five senses, and create meaning from experiences, and automatic behaviour from our past experiences without us using conscious effort.

If we do not consciously train our brain, it will unconsciously learn from its experience. Because experience is subjective and rarely able to see the whole picture sometimes the lessons learnt are not as useful to us as they could be, and sometimes the lesson we learn causes more problems than it solves.

Evolution has developed us to be most successful species with a capability beyond much of our comprehension.  We revere certain individuals for their abilities, Mozart for his music, Mother Theresa for her compassion, Leonardo Da Vinci for his creativity, Nelson Mandela for his capacity to forgive, and many more.  Each of us has the same capacity and capabilities that they had.

Instead of doubting, we can strengthen our determination. Replacing cynicism with creativity. Turning frustration into opportunities, hurt into compassion, and fear into love.  You can release your ability to create, to design new solutions or maybe to produce things of beauty.

Replacing reasons not to change, to develop and improve, we could be developing ourselves and our people with resultant benefits in improving communication, relationships, achievements and happiness.

Each of us is blessed with an unlimited amount of potential.  The same potential as the greats had.