Lesson 1: Getting To Know Your Brain
IMPORTANT: Before reading this lesson, set the intent in your mind that you are going to learn this material, and there is absolutely no reason whatsoever that you can’t. Determine that nothing is going to stop you from mastering this class. Actually, it’s not even really going to be that hard.
LISTEN TO YOUR INSPIRING SONG!!! SO IMPORTANT!!!
GETTING TO KNOW YOUR BRAIN
Since you will be using your brain a lot while reading this class (don’t worry, it will be fun), it will be beneficial for you to learn a little bit about how your brain works.
This lesson will teach you many things you should have learned in school, but don’t worry. It wasn’t your fault. That was a failure on the part of the school system. Most teachers are not even aware of what you are about to learn. It’s not their fault, either. It’s just that the entire school system lacks in many areas.
Do you know what your brain is doing when learning something?
You are about to find out.
The main factor that will determine whether something is easy or hard for you to learn is your belief. If you think it will be hard or impossible, it will be.
You are often your worst enemy when it comes to learning something. Take—for example—reading. You think you won’t be able to understand what you are reading. You think it will be hard. You may feel yourself getting a little nervous. Your mind will be foggy. You will not be thinking as clearly as you usually do.
The vital thing to know is you put yourself into this state of mind. When you feel that happening, the best thing to do is stop reading. Your mind is useless right now. Take a break and remind yourself there is nothing you can’t learn. Do something else. Repeat to yourself out loud: “There is nothing I can’t learn!” Say it with conviction. You will feel confidence build in you.
Reread it. You will notice you understand it better. You may even be shocked to see you understand it and that it was quite a simple concept. You just fooled yourself into thinking it would be hard. I have done this so often.
I want to make something very clear from the beginning. If your brain can read and comprehend the concepts of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, then there is nothing in this universe someone else understands that you cannot.
Not that it doesn’t take some work and effort, but if someone else knows it—know beyond a doubt—you can too.
One of our goals is to learn some calculus. You are just being retold what others figured out for themselves. Now, there lies the true genius.
Think about it.
Everyone says learning calculus is hard. But now, think of the mind of Isaac Newton, who played a large part in inventing calculus. He wasn’t satisfied with the math of the time, so he developed a new math to help him solve problems that were more manageable. He invented calculus! Can you say WOW! Mind-blowing! Newton did the hard part for us. Now we just have the easy task of learning what he invented.
Understand when you start to learn something, it may seem impossible at first. You can’t see any way of doing it. That is simply because your brain has not made the dendrite connections for you to understand it yet.
You can grasp the logic of anything once your brain builds the necessary dendrites.
You need to have the prerequisite dendrites. We will discuss what dendrites are later in this lesson but understand this next statement right now. All brain processes—knowledge, skills, talents, memories, beliefs—are dendrites in action.
To learn calculus, you need to have the dendrite connections for basic math already, or it will do you no good to try and understand calculus. It is a building process.
If you don’t know how to do something, it does not mean you can’t learn how. All it means is you have not yet made the necessary dendrite connections.
The prerequisite for building dendrites is a belief in yourself. The greater your belief, the faster you will make dendrite connections, and the stronger they will become.
The more you see yourself learning, the stronger your belief will become that you can learn more.
Your inability to grasp a subject in school was not a reflection of your intelligence. It reflected the way you were taught, which affected your belief to learn the subject. Do not blame your teachers because they were taught the same way you were.
We need our brains to learn. Duh! Therefore, to take full advantage of our brain, we need to know just what our brain is doing when learning. This step alone will make a massive difference in how fast you can acquire new skills. Once you see how the brain works, you will be more able to visualize the steps in later lessons and know precisely what your brain is doing to process the information. We can’t overemphasize the importance of knowing how your brain works. It will boost your confidence.
Did you know the brain is the only organ in the body that sculpts itself from outside experience? Every time you learn something new, your brain changes. Your experience becomes biology. This is called neuroplasticity. Your brain is continuously renewing itself.
We highly suggest reading any book by Dr. Joe Dispenza.
Brain cells are called neurons. You have around 100 billion. They can each perform over 100,000 functions per second. Yes, that means your brain too. There is no way you can make the excuse that you cannot understand what I will teach you in this class.
Picture 1 – A brain cell, aka neuron.
Dendrites are fibers that grow out of the neurons when you learn.
Learning = Growth of Dendrites
Look at the picture of the neuron above. Find the dendrites on the left of the neuron. Now find the axon terminals on the right of the neuron. Neurons form contact points from their axon terminals to the dendrites of other cells. The contact point between the dendrites and axon terminals is called a synapse.
Picture 2 – A synapse
The contact point may be misleading when describing a synapse. Look at the enlarged synapse in the photo above. It is a small gap. Chemicals called neurotransmitters carry electrical signals across the synapse. This is known as the cell firing. As you learn something, as you practice something, neurons make more connections with other neurons and fire faster and faster.
One neuron can make up to 100,000 connections.
WHAT THIS MEANS IS YOU CAN TRANSFORM YOUR BRAIN INTO THE POWERHOUSE IT WAS MEANT TO BE BY INCREASING AND GROWING YOUR NEURON’S DENDRITES AND MAKING MANY CONNECTIONS WITH OTHER NEURONS.
The neurons cluster together, and this is called a neural network. In this book, we will use the words neuron cluster and neural network interchangeably. You have a separate neural network (neuron cluster) for everything you know.
Picture 3 – A Neural Network The bigger the cluster (neural network), the better you will understand a subject, and the better you can perform specific tasks. As the cluster gets bigger, the connections between each dendrite will get faster and faster. They call it firing. Technology is good enough now that we can see neurons firing. The chemical, electric neurotransmitters are zipping across the neural network at incredible speeds. It looks like an electrical storm in your brain.
A person with a Ph.D. in math has a more massive cluster in the brain for math than a student. The Ph.D. is firing neurons way faster than the student. A pro golfer has a more extensive cluster in the brain, allowing him to play golf better than an amateur. Consider Tiger Woods. In his prime, his neural network for golf was way bigger than any professional golfer, and his neurons were firing at incredible rates. But as of this writing, he has not been performing as well. His neuron cluster has gotten smaller and is not firing as fast. Although this last year, he has improved his neural network. He is getting better again.
There are three ways to make your brain grow dendrites and make neuron clusters:
a. Through the experience of doing something.
b. Through imagination.
c. Through Infinite Intelligence.
We will talk about each of these more in later lessons.
When you think the same thought over and over again, the neurons keep firing in the same way, and it strengthens the relationship between neurons. This strengthening of neuron relationships is your brain learning. After a while, the learning becomes automatic. You don’t even have to think. You just do it. It just happens.
It is like riding a bike. At first, it is challenging because your brain has no neurons developed for riding a bike. But you practice, and then neurons develop, you establish a neural network for riding a bike, and you get better. More neurons develop and cluster together, and then it gets easier. Finally, so many neurons cluster together it becomes automatic. You don’t even have to think about it. Your body just does it.
Now here is where there is often a problem. You want to make sure the neural networks you are creating and strengthening are beneficial. So often, networks are built with false information, but they are so ingrained in the person’s brain that they cannot see it is wrong. Consider a person saying something negative about themselves daily. They will strengthen that conviction in their brain, and nothing you can say to them will convince them otherwise until the connection is weakened. We form bad habits. Any bad habit you have was created by your brain, strengthening its neural connections for that habit. You need to weaken the connection.
I will show you how to take advantage of the fact that you have incredible influence over how your neuron clusters are created.
Here is something very interesting. Your brain can prune itself. It takes neurons away from clusters you are not using and adds to clusters you are using. For example, I had not ridden a bike since I was sixteen. After I got my car, I had no use for a bike. A few weeks ago, I tried to ride my nephew’s electric bike. It was clear my brain had taken away neurons from the cluster in my brain in which I had learned to ride a bike. The bike riding did not go well.
Pruning can also be done just by thinking. Think about good things to add to a helpful cluster. Stop thinking about bad things to take away from the cluster of a habit you do not want. You can form your brain with your thoughts. Think of the power you have.
The main thing I want you to remember is when you learn something new, at first, it may not make sense to you, and you may see no possible way it ever could. But as you take in further information, new neurons will be made, and new connections will form. You will notice when that happens because one of the many new facts you have put in your brain will suddenly make sense to you. If you go over the information again, you will see a connection you didn’t see before. Neurons will continue to cluster, and more links will be made. Something else will make sense. You are understanding. Just keep the neurons firing by thinking about what you are trying to learn. You will eventually understand it completely.
If you stick with it and do not give up, you will grow new neuron clusters. However, it is unnecessary to continually concentrate on what you are trying to learn to keep the neurons firing. Constantly concentrating on something new can be very counterproductive.
When reading this book, never spend more than half an hour at a time going over the material. And if you spend a half-hour going over the material, at least spend half an hour not thinking about it. Not thinking about it will not stop your neurons from clustering.
Taking your mind off things for a while can be very beneficial. You only need to make sure you set an intention in your mind to learn. You will be surprised how often you will be doing something unrelated to this book, and something in your mind will just click. Something you may not have understood before, you will suddenly understand. You won’t know exactly why you now understand it, but there it is, making perfect sense. You will be amazed at how much your subconscious will do to your brain without you being aware. We will discuss this in a later lesson.
The most important thing you need to do is believe that you can understand it. It will come. It must.
We have concluded lesson one. In lesson two, we will learn ways to grow dendrites faster, which will make you learn more quickly.
As I mentioned in the intro, you now have two tasks.
Draw a picture that represents what you have just learned and teach someone else. Please do this. It is crucial. You will understand why as we get into later lessons.