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“Self-Transformation and Your Brain”

An excerpt from Chapter 1 of my recent book, Your Mind Is What Your Brain Does for a Living, now available at Amazon (

Here’s an example from my childhood that should help you see how brain development plays out in our lives. When I was in kindergarten, we had a “rainy day afternoon” during which my teacher gave out small cartons of milk. When she gave me my carton, she told me she would open it, but I stopped her and told her I’d do it myself. While trying to open it, I spilled the milk all over her skirt, and she became very angry. Her reaction scared and humiliated me. I apologized profusely, and from that point on, I chose the road of “I’m going to do what the teacher says. Period.”

As a result of that incident, my brain began developing in very specific ways, not only in the classroom but also in situations that felt the same, situations in which I felt that if I took a stance that conflicted with what another person wanted, he or she might become angry and humiliate me.

This kept me on the same road. The alternative road at the fork, when asserting myself as a kindergartener I accidentally spilled milk on my teacher, might have been to apologize to my teacher and to decide that, despite the embarrassment, opening the milk carton myself had still been a risk worth taking.

But this doesn’t mean I was fated to go down the road of “I’m going to do what the teacher says” for the rest of my life. Nor are you fated to go down the roads that you’ve taken in your life up to now.

Brain research has revealed that our brains are malleable, with the capacity to be shaped and reshaped—scientists refer to this as the brain’s neuroplasticity—and that however you’ve developed your brain before now, you can learn to use your mind to transform your brain to help you function more healthily from this point forward.

Brain research has revealed what self-transformation is about on a physiological level. The malleability of your brain means that by its nature the brain makes transforming yourself possible. In fact, the research shows that changing the way you think and act—changing your programming—by changing your brain is part of your potential as a human being, and that you can do it throughout your life! 

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  • 23 Apr, 2014
  • Posted by Skye Wentworth
  • 1 Tags

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