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Your Brain is Lazy and Efficient. Take Control!

Albert Einstein famously said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” If we want to get to our next level, we have to change our behavior.

Yet, our brain is lazy and naturally efficient, and we unintentionally allow it to be our greatest obstacle.

The older you are, the deeper the grooves you’ve carved in your brain, like trails you’ve hiked over and over again. These neural pathways make change hard, really hard, because your brain, on its own, will take the path of least resistance. As explained by the authors of “Neuroscience for Leadership,” our brains have evolved to save us as much energy as possible — and therefore keep us doing what we’ve practiced and perfected over the years (no matter how imperfect).

If you’re an achievement junkie like me, you’ve made myriad attempts — some victorious, some not — to transform some aspect of your behavior to meet your aspirations. Hello, stubborn 10 pounds! … Yeah, shallow, I know…

The key is to break a new trail in your brain, create NEW grooves. That will take effort, but it’s not forever — in “Neuroscience for Leadership,” they say one quarter may do it. So, here’s your chance to make the big changes you know you need to make for that big win in 2020.

To stick to something new for 3 months:

1. You’ll need commitment. What is your “big win”? State it simply. Write it down.

2. You’ll need motivation. What is your why? If it doesn’t matter enough, you won’t do it! Wax philosophical if you have to, but get to the essence of how this will change your life in a meaningful way.

3. You need to start. What is the very first step you need to take? Schedule it.

4. You need to focus. What time of day, and where, will you review or do this goal?

5. You need to protect it. What is likely to get in the way and how will you deal with that?

Your first 3 months are a fragile time. Your brain will want to go back to old habits, and it’s an energy hog, so FOR JUST 3 MONTHS, give it sleep, good nutrition, and be kind to it. Let it rest once in a while.

Do one thing at a time, even if it’s an abbreviated version, so that you can break that new trail. And don’t beat yourself up if you find it hard to break old habits. Our brains have literally been trained to take the easiest path for millennia. But sometimes being armed with this knowledge can make taking the first step a little easier. If you’d like guidance on how to achieve your growth goals as a financial advisor in 2020, reach out to me today.


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