As we dance into the last week of January, what have you been up to?
I have been presenting “How do You Program Your Mind” at a Jaguar Land Rover NLP conference. Yes, JLR runs NLP conferences for their team.
Mostly engineers in the room. So you might imagine the questions were of a practical nature. Like, “What drives the process of programming your mind?”
Dr. Claude Shannon came up with a fascinating idea in 1948. He stated that any pattern, no matter how complicated, could be broken down into a series of on and off states.
This is a fundamental premise of information theory.
You probably realize that this is how information is coded for iPads, self-driving cars, and all computer languages. But did you know the same principle provides the operating system for every living organism? We call it the nervous system.
Woah! People move information just like iPads do?
Well, not exactly the same way.
Neurons are made up of nerve fibres. Electrical circuits are made up of (typically) copper conductors. But neurons communicate with other neurons through electrochemical signals which turn on, and off, just like electrical signals turn on and off through electrical circuits.
Think of neurons working together as a bunch of people communicating.
Someone starts a rumour.
Some people hear the rumour. Some of them repeat it to other people.
Some neurons turn on. They pass the electrochemical signal to another neuron. Other neurons didn’t “hear” the rumour and don’t turn on. But the same rumour may come back around to where the first neuron hears it again.
Those neurons that are exposed to the rumour get “exercised” with each additional exposure. The more of the neurons that repeat the rumour and start firing together cause permanent paths to form in the nerve tissue of the human brain.
And that means your brain is creating patterns from information. The brain gets information from all five of our senses, and from our own thoughts.
Now, here’s where this gets really good. Each neuron can take part in many different patterns. Trillions of different patterns overlapping and sharing combinations of the same neurons.
Actually, trillions understates the potential of the human brain. Even 500 neurons could produce 2 to the 500th power unique connections. That is more than the estimated total number of atoms in the observable universe.
Can you even imagine a number that big? I can’t.
We’ve talked about changing our patterns before, haven’t we? Could we use information to change the patterns of the “rumours” passing through our nervous system?
Yes. Yes, we can.
But, we’ll have to carry on that conversation next week. Right now, I need to lie down with a wet cloth on my forehead. 2 to the 500th power! Whew.
Have a wonderful week!
John “Neurons Firing” Cassidy-Rice
I need your help.
We have had a great start to our new podcast show. Can I invite you to head over to iTunes, sign in find the show? It’s the NLPcourses.com Show. If you like it, I’d love for you to leave us a 5 star rating and a glowing review.
Thank you so much.