Social intelligence and brain plasticity

As a reader, I’ve developed the habit of reading several books at once. I always read before going to sleep. The usual suspects include a fictional novel (usually a mystery) and some non-fiction. They typically have nothing in common with each other and I rotate among them depending on my pre-slumber mood. Until this week.

I’ve unwittingly chosen a few books that are about very different things, yet dovetail with each other. Two are: Social Intelligence (by Daniel Goleman) and What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains: The Shallows (by Nicholas Carr). I’m only a few chapters into each one, but the alignments and counterpoints between the two make for interesting brain fodder. Add neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) to this mix and you’ve got spontaneous combustion. Wow!

Coles Notes version: Our brain’s ability to learn and adapt to new technology may or may not be to our ultimate benefit, particularly to our ability for critical thinking and metabolising new information. We’re not normally aware of the social consequences associated with new modes of communication. Linking with our brain’s ability to interpret information are the mental filters and situational classifications we’ve developed over time. This often leads to miscommunication and general lack of social intelligence. Now add NLP and its call of being aware of self and others through a host of different ways to clarify communications.

I may have chopped up the associations, but it sure makes for interesting reading and there’s no way I can truly condense it all into a single blog. It’s just that it seems to epitomize my recent relevation to making the jump to self-employment and pursuing a life/career direction that resonates at a very personal level. It requires deconstructing old, useless mental filters, and creating new ones that actually work. The process of doing this can be a challenge, but, oh, the rewards! So freeing!

What is your inner voice telling you? Is it blocking you from true fulfillment? Is it cautioning you about risks? Can you separate yourself from this saboteur voice and see the wonderful potential for what it is?

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