#1 – Neuroplasticity
Our brain were once thought to be inert and boring. People used to believe that nothing changes in your brain once you reach maturity. But latest neuroscience studies have revealed that our brain is extremely plastic even when we are well into our mid thirties and forties. Our brain is capable of changing, we capable of becoming smarter even if our parents were uneducated.
The brain is perfectly described with a metafore by Sebastian Seung, one of the rising stars in neuroscience research. He mentioned in his TED talk that our brain are like rivers. The water flows in a pre-determined path, determined by rocks. And that water is our neuro activities and electrical impulses, it flow through specific connections between our neurons. However, when given enough time and efforts, river water can erode away rocks and change the direction of water flow. Similarly, when we put in the time and effort to consciously improve our mental capabilities, we can erode away mental blockages, build new neural connections and allow higher level thoughts to flow through easier. We become smarter through efforts not genes.
Want to be great at maths? Make sure you spend twice as much time as your peers doing math. Want to be a creativity entrepreneur? Start by doing brainstorm daily.
#2 – Three types of intelligent needed.
There are many definition of success. So to keep things simple, let define success as entrepreneur success, someone who make boatloads of money. There has been many theories about what make great entrepreneur great. But for the first time ever, neuroscientist have finally come together with best brains and equipment to study the brain and behaviour of a great entrepreneur.
First they discover three types of intelligent that make entrepreneur successful. Namely creative intelligent, analytical intelligent and practical intelligent.
The best thing about science is that is frank and direct. You need to be creative to be successful. You need to be able to generate ideas after ideas because all great business started off as an idea. And being creative allow you to generate huge pile of ideas for you to work on.
Next is analytical intelligence. Creativity is a prerequisite to success but neuroscientist have found that people who are creative but lack analytical intelligence usually become artist. Having analytical intelligence help you to analyse each idea that you have generated and determine the one with the highest return and success.
Lastly, the next type of intelligence that you need to become successful is practical intelligence. Great ideas will only remain as ideas unless you act upon it. The process of taking an idea, nurture it and develop it into reality is painstakingly process and not everyone have the capabilities to achieve it. Only individuals who have sufficient pratical intelligence and skills like photoshop, programming or copywriting would able to turn ideas into reality. And of course creating your own success.
The best part? These three intelligence can be acquired. Of course, only if you put in efforts.
#3 – Mental toughness is acquired.
In this world, being average is easy. You just have to do what everyone else is doing and you would do fine being average. But if you want to be great, be successful. Challenges and failures are a definite and only those with the mental toughness will be able to overcome these challenges and failures to become successful.
It is really tough to put in those 100 hours per week into making yourself successful, considering how an average adult only work at most 45 hours a week. But do not blame yourself for being born with the mental toughness needed because mental toughness can be acquired.
The first real science on mental toughness came when the US Navy were attempting to increase the number of special forces. The selection process is extremely gruesome and trainees were put through very difficult physical test. Of course the Navy can simply lower the standards of their test to allow more trainees to graduated but that would mean lower quality cadets
So the navy began a series to research and studies on trainees who have successfully passed their grueling selection test to become special forces. And they found 4 attributes that gave those trainees the mental toughness they needed to pass. First were setting goals. Secondly, spend extraordinary amount of time visualizing the end point. Third were to self encouragement. And lastly is arousal control, controlling that urge to eat fast food or whatever that will stop you from being successful. Read more here.