Sunday, November 29, 2015

Lasting Change: It's About the Hardware

Following the wisdom of Napoleon, research provides the bayonets for revolutionary ideas in science.  Those ideas begin as heresies and only become received wisdom when the status quo becomes untenable.

The status quo in the helping professions is that change is a function of talk processes (counseling, therapy, coaching) and/or self-help methods.  In either case, change results from reprogramming the mind's software:  our ideas and approaches to life.

Evidence is growing, however, for a very different vision of growth and development.  Perhaps it's not about the software, but expanding our hardware.

If we had an outdated personal computer, we could run the most sophisticated software available and still we'd find bottlenecks, poor performance, and error messages.  Only an updating of the hardware would enable us to process more information and make full use of the capabilities of our software.

The reason this article is important is that it points to specific ways in which we can expand our hardware through developing our bodies and our brains.  Evidence is mounting that we are operating with severely subnormal body and brain fitness.  With less energy, less clarity, less focus, less willpower, we simply do less. No amount of self-help methods or psychological techniques can help us if we're engines running on only half our cylinders.  

If we optimize our hardware and operate with truly fit bodies and brains, many of the traditional problems of trading psychology, from faulty discipline to challenges with emotional control, simply melt away.  Changing our doing won't help us if we lack the energy to sustain doing.  Changing our thinking won't help us if our flabby brains are susceptible to distractions and frustrations.  

With people, as with computers, better software only produces better outputs when it is run by better hardware.  The next great revolution in psychology will come from the mastery of our hardware.

Further Reading:  Maximizing Brain Fitness