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Super Brain: Unleashing the explosive power of your mind to maximize health, happiness and spiritual well-being
 
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Super Brain: Unleashing the explosive power of your mind to maximize health, happiness and spiritual well-being [Format Kindle]

Deepak Chopra , Rudolph E. Tanzi
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A Golden Age for the Brain

What do we ­really know about the human brain? In the 1970s and 1980s, when the authors gained their training, the honest answer was “very little.” There was a saying circulating back then: Studying the brain was like putting a stethoscope on the outside of the Astrodome to learn the rules of football.

Your brain contains roughly 100 billion nerve cells forming anywhere from a trillion to perhaps even a quadrillion connections called synapses. These connections are in a constant, dynamic state of remodeling in response to the world around you. As a marvel of nature, this one is minuscule and yet stupendous.

Everyone stands in awe of the brain, which was once dubbed “the ­three-­pound universe.” And rightly so. Your brain not only interprets the world, it creates it. Everything you see, hear, touch, taste, and smell would have none of those qualities without the brain. Whatever you experience ­today—­your morning coffee, the love you feel for your family, a brilliant idea at ­work—­has been specifically customized solely for you.

Immediately we confront a crucial issue. If your world is unique and customized for you and you alone, who is behind such remarkable creativity, you or the brain itself? If the answer is you, then the door to greater creativity is flung open. If the answer is your brain, then there may be drastic physical limitations on what you are able to achieve. Maybe your genes are holding you back, or toxic memories, or low ­self-­

esteem. Maybe you fall short because of limited expectations that have contracted your awareness, even though you don’t see it happening.

The facts of the case could easily tell both stories, of unlimited potential or physical limitation. Compared with the past, today science is amassing new facts with astonishing speed. We have entered a golden age of brain research. New breakthroughs emerge every month, but in the midst of such exciting advances, what about the individual, the person who depends upon the brain for everything? Is this a golden age for your brain?

We detect an enormous gap between brilliant research and everyday reality. Another medical school saying from the past comes to mind: Each person typically uses only 10 percent of their brain. Speaking literally, ­that’s not true. In a healthy adult, the brain’s neural networks operate at full capacity all the time. Even the most sophisticated brain scans available would show no detectable difference between Shakespeare writing a soliloquy from Hamlet and an aspiring poet writing his first sonnet. But the physical brain is not nearly the whole story.

To create a golden age for your brain, you need to use the gift nature has given you in a new way. It’s not the number of neurons or some magic inside your gray matter that makes life more vital, inspiring, and successful. Genes play their part, but your genes, like the rest of the brain, are also dynamic. Every day you step into the invisible firestorm of electrical and chemical activity that is the brain’s environment. You act as leader, inventor, teacher, and user of your brain, all at once.

As leader, you hand out the day’s orders to your brain.

As inventor, you create new pathways and connections inside your brain that ­didn’t exist yesterday.

As teacher, you train your brain to learn new skills.

As user, you are responsible for keeping your brain in good working order.

In these four roles lies the whole difference between the everyday ­brain—­let’s dub it the baseline ­brain—­and what we are calling super brain. The difference is immense. Even though you have not related to the brain by thinking What orders should I give today? or What new pathways do I want to create? ­that’s precisely what you are doing. The customized world that you live in needs a creator. The creator isn’t your brain; it’s you.

Super brain stands for a fully aware creator using the brain to maximum advantage. Your brain is endlessly adaptable, and you could be performing your fourfold ­role—­leader, inventor, teacher, and ­user—­with far more fulfilling results than you now achieve.

Leader: The orders you give are not just command prompts on a computer like “delete” or “scroll to end of page.” Those are mechanical commands built into a machine. Your orders are received by a living organism that changes every time you send an instruction. If you think I want the same bacon and eggs I had yesterday, your brain ­doesn’t change at all. If instead you think What will I eat for breakfast today? I want something new, suddenly you are tapping into a reservoir of creativity. Creativity is a living, breathing, ever new inspiration that no computer can match. Why not take full advantage of it? For the brain has the miraculous ability to give more, the more you ask of it.

Let’s translate this idea into how you relate to your brain now and how you could be relating. Look at the lists below. Which do you identify with?

Baseline Brain

I don’t ask myself to behave very differently today than I did yesterday.

I am a creature of habit.

I don’t stimulate my mind with new things very often.

I like familiarity. It’s the most comfortable way to live.

If I’m being honest, there’s boring repetition at home, work, and in my relationships.

Super Brain

I look upon every day as a new world.

I pay attention not to fall into bad habits, and if one sets in, I can break it fairly easily.

I like to improvise.

I abhor boredom, which to me means repetition.

I gravitate to new things in many areas of my life.

Inventor: Your brain is constantly evolving. This happens individually, which is unique to the brain (and one of its deepest mysteries). The heart and liver that you were born with will be essentially the same organs when you die. Not the brain. It is capable of evolving and improving throughout your lifetime. Invent new things for it to do, and you become the source of new skills. A striking theory goes under the slogan “ten thousand hours,” the notion being that you can acquire any expert skill if you apply yourself for that length of time, even skills like painting and music that were once assigned only to the talented. If you’ve ever seen Cirque du Soleil, you might have assumed that those astonishing acrobats came from circus families or foreign troupes. In fact, every act in Cirque du Soleil, with few exceptions, is taught to ordinary people who come to a special school in Montreal. At one level, your life is a series of skills, beginning with walking, talking, and reading. The mistake we make is to limit these skills. Yet the same sense of balance that allowed you to toddle, walk, run, and ride a bicycle, given ten thousand hours (or less), can allow you to cross a tightrope strung between two skyscrapers. You are asking very little of your brain when you stop asking it to perfect new skills every day.

Which one do you identify with?

Baseline Brain

I can’t ­really say that I am growing as much as when I was younger.

If I learn a new skill, I take it only so far.

I am resistant to change and sometimes feel threatened

by it.

I don’t reach beyond what I am already good at.

I spend a good deal of time on passive things like watching television.

Super Brain

I will keep evolving my whole lifetime.

If I learn a new skill, I take it as far as I can.

I adapt quickly to change.

If I’m not good at something when I first try it, ­that’s okay. I like the challenge.

I thrive on activity, with only a modicum of down time.

Teacher: Knowledge is not rooted in facts; it is rooted in curiosity. One inspired teacher can alter a student for life by instilling curiosity. You are in the same position ­toward your brain, but with one big difference: you are both student and teacher. Instilling curiosity is your responsibility, and when it comes, you are also the one who will feel inspired. No brain was ever inspired, but when you are, you trigger a cascade of reactions that light up the brain, while the incurious brain is basically asleep. (It may also be crumbling; there is evidence that we may prevent symptoms of senility and brain aging by remaining socially engaged and intellectually curious during our entire lifetime.) Like a good teacher, you must monitor errors, encourage strengths, notice when the pupil is ready for new challenges, and so on. Like a bright pupil, you must remain open to the things you don’t know, being receptive rather than ­close-­minded.

Which one do you identify with?

Baseline Brain

I’m pretty settled in how I approach my life.

I am wedded to my beliefs and opinions.

I leave it to others to be the experts.

I rarely watch educational television or attend

public lectures.

It’s been a while since I felt ­really inspired.

Super Brain

I like reinventing myself.

I’ve recently changed a ­long-­held belief or opinion.

There’s at least one thing I am an expert on.

I gravitate ­toward educational outlets on television

or in local colleges.

I’m inspired by my life on a ­day-­to-­day basis.

User: There’s no owner’s manual for the brain, but it needs nourishment, repair, and proper management all the same. Certain nutrients are physical; today a fad for brain foods sends people running for certain vitamins and enzymes. But the proper nourishment for the brain is mental as well as physical. Alcohol and tobacco are toxic, and to expose your brain to them is to misuse it. Anger and fear, stress and depressio...

Revue de presse

"Sensible tips" (Oliver Burkeman Guardian)

Présentation de l'éditeur

Two pioneers in health - Dr Deepak Chopra and Prof Rudolph E. Tanzi, one of the world's foremost experts on the causes of Alzheimer's - share a bold new understanding of the brain and a prescriptive plan for how we can use it to achieve physical, mental and spiritual well-being.



In his bestselling books Ageless Body, Timeless Mind and Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul, Deepak Chopra reveals 'the forgotten miracle' - the body's infinite capacity for change and renewal. Now, Chopra focuses his attention on a part of the body undergoing intense study and radical reevaluation: the brain. No one is better able to share the latest breakthroughs in neuroscience than preeminent neurologist Rudolph E. Tanzi and, together, Chopra and Tanzi present a new vision of the brain together with a practical plan for how to use it to achieve higher levels of success and fulfilment.



They contend that by using techniques and skills such as mindfulness, intention and meditation, we can create new neural pathways in the brain. Thus, we can transform it into our most powerful tool for achieving health, happiness and enlightenment.

Quatrième de couverture

Are you bound to lose memory as you age?

Can you change the hard wiring in your brain?

How do you replace lost brain cells?

Is it true you only use 10% of your brain?

Can you become more conscious?

Where does reality begin?

In this trailblazing book, two pioneers in health - Dr Deepak Chopra (author of the bestselling Ageless Body, Timeless Mind) and Prof. Rudolph Tanzi (one of the world's most foremost experts on the causes of Alzheimer's) come together for the first time. Drawing on the very latest findings of neuroscience, they offer a new, practical vision of the brain and show how to understand, and use, it to achieve optimum physical, mental and spiritual well being.

Think of your brain as a grand piano; there is no biological difference between your instrument and Einstein's. Chopra and Tanzi teach you how to play it like a maestro and unleash the explosive power of your very own super brain.

Biographie de l'auteur

Deepak Chopra, MD, is the author of more than 65 books including numerous New York Times bestsellers.  His medical training is in internal medicine and endocrinology and he is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, a member of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and a Senior Scientist at the Gallup organization.

Rudolph E. Tanzi, PhD, is the Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Neurology at Harvard University, and Director of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). Dr. Tanzi co-discovered the first Alzheimer's disease gene and several others, as head of the Alzheimer's Genome Project and is the co-author of the book Decoding Darkness: The Search for the Genetic Causes of Alzheimer’s Disease.
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