by Brooke Penny
How is your memory? Do you often find yourself forgetting things? Or do you need to put constant reminders in your phone calendar so you remember specific events? Perhaps you find yourself forgetting words, practices or abilities too often than you would like to admit? The good news is the human brain has an astonishing ability to adapt and change – with practice, it can learn new tricks. The ability to do this is called neuroplasticity. With the right stimulation, your brain can form new neural pathways, alter existing connections, and adapt and react in ever-changing ways (1). Pretty clever huh?
Whether it be in your business life or your personal life, having a sharp brain is crucial. As we build open source software, we expect the technologies we produce to be sharp, innovative and solve complex business problems with incredibly smart solutions. The power source behind these open source technologies, is the human brain; keep it active. There are activities you can do to keep your brain at the top of it's game. Just as we care for our other organs through a healthy lifestyle and exercise, the brain is no different and deserves the same attention.
Exercising the brain is crucial to keep the neural pathways strong. Work it out. You may assume your morning Sudoku may do this - untrue. The more you do something the easier it becomes for your brain, so mix it up. Doing something unfamiliar with your brain is far more of a work out for it than doing something it does frequently. Take the example of playing music; you may have mastered playing a difficult piece of music, be it on the piano or guitar. Give your brain a new piece and it will need to work harder to learn the notes and cords and produce the music with your instrument. Challenge your brain and you can then demand more from it.
Equally it is as important to rest your brain as it is to exercise it. Just like other anatomical muscle groups, it responds like a muscle – a work out is great but so is recovery. Although anatomically, it is an organ, science suggests that just like a muscle it gets stronger with practice, but equally important, is the need for rest.
Open source technology is innovative, it is collaborative and it uses the power and knowledge of a collective group of people to produce the best solution for complex issues. Allow your contributions to be of the highest standard. Exercise and rest your power source in your head.
Just as our bodily strength grows with exercise, brain power improves by brain use.