Do you know what happens when you stretch a rubber band? After it’s stretched, it never quite goes back to quite the length it had before.
Stretching the mind works the same way. When we are actively learning — motivated to respond to a question or discussion or activity — change occurs. When we sit and listen passively, we’re like a rubber band lying in a drawer: nothing much happens.
Our ability to change when exposed to new opportunities and changes in circumstances is mediated by our capacity for implicit learning — adding new behaviors and responses to our repertoire without conscious effort.
Regular mind stretching cultivates a healthy active learning habit, which maintains implicit learning as we age and our episodic, source, and flashbulb memory decline.
A mind is a terrible thing to waste. Personal active learning practices and well designed meetings stretch our minds, facilitating useful and important change in the process.
Photo attribution: Flickr user glenscott