In 1968 Pyotr Anokhin, student of Ivan Pavlov, published his research showing the minimum number of thought patterns the human brain could make is the number 1 followed by 10.5 million kilometers of typewritten zeros. It’s hard enough to wrap our brains around that number (pun intended), but the idea in and of itself is staggering. That we human beings have so much potential for learning, connecting, and creating is exciting as well as mind-boggling.
With all that potential, how did you use your brain today? Did you read an article or a book, write a letter or a poem, design a cool lesson plan, discover a new search string for locating a discreet piece of information on the web, show a child a beautiful flower on a walk, help a customer solve a problem?
Build your capacity for learning and creating. Make a deal with yourself to use your brain in one new way every day. Take a few minutes to do something you don’t normally do every day – sing, read, draw, write, work a puzzle, learn a new word, memorize a line from a poem, build something out of blocks or Legos, dance a new dance, cook a new dish, meet a new neighbor. If you need more ideas, try Roger Van Oech’s book, A Kick in the Seat of the Pants.
Each time you make that effort, you tap into your brain’s potential and one of those the number 1 followed by 10.5 million kilometers of typewritten zeros thought patterns.