The brain is very good at recognizing patterns. This improves our ability to learn and understand our world, and also predict future outcomes based on past experiences. This pattern building helps recognize and develop the rules of our world and guide decision-making. For example, the cyclic pattern of gas prices allows one to predict within a window of certainty when prices will be high and low and will influence the frugal spender’s action of either topping off the tank or holding off a few extra days.
Because our brains are good at recognizing patterns, it is also extremely good at seeing outliers that break apart from the pattern. This is why it’s hard to detect slow, subtle movements, but a bright, flashy, or sudden object in our vision is highly detectable. It’s also why advertisers in business are always looking for a way to stand out and grab your attention in a new and unique way so as to stamp the image of their product into your cerebral cortex.
Both examples are not only great examples of how the brain operates but also how your physiology is tied directly into the world you live, how you perceive that world, and how you make decisions.
Now, here’s the interesting thing and a great segue from my rant/your boredom to the topic at hand. In the world, there are two types of people: Those who allow the world to constrict and shape their understanding, and those who use their understanding to shape and expand the world. This is what separates ordinary from extraordinary, impossibility from possibility, and “I can’t” from “why can’t I?”
Learning is not a process of gathering known information, but rather, the constant process of shedding light on what you don’t know, accepting that you don’t know, and then exploring this new space to gather a better understanding of yourself and your interactions with the world.
Now if you can’t tell, I’m someone who is constantly in my own head — or perhaps up my own ass… Admittedly, those are both highly probable scenarios. So, during those four days in the Be Activated seminar, I found myself thinking about the similar characteristics of those who I believe have achieved mastery and why they seem to break away from the standard.
1. They Embrace Complexity
2. They are Secure With the Unknown
3. They Hold a Standard
4. They Recognize the Accomplishments of Others