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Culture Change

Brain Power

Chris Harrison

May 8, 2024

If your brain is an average adult human brain, you have more potential than you have ever dreamed of. Let’s take a look at how that brain is engineered to deliver peak performance for you.

To start with, your brain is made up of neurons: specialised cells that process electrochemical information. These neurons connect in structures called synapses, where they pass signals to one another. The synapses form neural nets that store information and process everything we need to navigate our way through life and work.

Neuroscience has revealed that the average adult brain has 86 billion neurons. But what does that mean?

Well, neuroscientists like to think of each neuron as having the processing capacity of an average laptop computer. That means your brain is like a massive biological supercomputer. And when computer scientists tasked one of the most powerful machines in the world to digitally simulate the activity in a human brain, guess what happened? The Fujitsu K computer took 40 minutes to replicate 1 second of the neural activity of only 1% of an average adult brain. Making it 2400 times slower than the brain.  

Just imagine storing your memories on your actual laptop. You would use its whole capacity in just one weekend away with friends. But our brains never seem to run out of space. Everything you know, every memory, person, smell, colour, and sound. Every face and place you recognise. It’s all stored in the neural networks of the brain.  

So, if your brain is so amazing, why are you struggling with your credit card debt? Why haven’t you spoken to your brother in two years? Why can’t we all figure out ways to get through the difficult things in life?

Part of the problem lies in the subconscious ‘wiring’ that’s happened throughout our lives. Over time, our experiences and perceptions have progressively handicapped our ability to make the most of our brainpower. The more we mature, the more we apply the handbrake and the more restricted our abilities become. Hence the adage: ‘You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.’

The good news is that we can all teach ourselves ‘new tricks’ and learn new skills that expand our ability to use our true brain capacity. The science of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) development is rooted in overcoming the subconscious dynamics that limit us. The way we judge ourselves, engage with other people, keep commitments or handle stress.

In fact, there are at least 20 recognised subsets of EQ skills that any of us can learn and practice. All it takes is the decision to make a start.