Getting the big picture

Brain science is also important for motivation. We touched on some of the ideas when you "unpacked" your brain in Chapter 1, but I want to explore them in a little more detail. Your brain learns by processing experiences. Its neurons are continually trying to make connections between each other and so establish pathways, embedding memories and knowledge in your mind. With so much sensory data, it is easy to see that your brain needs to be able to make sense of it all. It needs to focus its energies and it needs to engage and connect. It likes to find and make patterns. It likes to have the big picture and then to be able to create patterns or connections within this. Being motivated to learn something or focusing on something specific helps your mind to create patterns. It enables it to find the connections between data it already has and new data it is acquiring.

For learning to be fast and effective, your brain needs to be given the big picture first.

It is a bit like solving a jigsaw puzzle. You need to see the whole picture, probably by looking at what is on the lid of the box, before the fragments of colored wood make any sense. Then, you need to break a sea of differently shaped pieces into smaller groups. You might start by picking all the bits with a straight edge. If it is an outdoor scene, you might select all those with blue sky on them. If there is a building with a large area of pattern or color, you might select this as a group, and so on. Your brain likes to work in a similar way. When it is allowed to, it can be much more effective.

It is the same with motivating yourself to learn. You need the big picture—your overall goal and how this fits into your life—and you need to be able to break this up into manageable pieces.

How To Accomplish More In A Fraction Of The Time

How To Accomplish More In A Fraction Of The Time

The pace and intensity of our lives, both at work and at home, leave several of us feeling like a person riding a frantically galloping horse. Our day-to-day incessant busyness too much to do and not enough time; the pressure to produce and check off items on our to-do list by each day’s end seems to decide the direction and quality of our existence for us.

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