Sunday, January 5, 2014


"Excellence is not an act, but a habit..." ~ Aristotle

And this is all about imagination…!

I saw an electricians wire the new house that was being built. They were busy drilling holes and laying down conduits and threading bundles of wires that seemed to zig this way and zag that way leading to various placements of various sockets and switches. Frequently they would re-drill and change the direction of the wires to bypass plumbing or other hurdles in the way. This went on for a while on a daily basis. Many pathways later the structure got its siding and then one day, the settlers came in and voila there was light and ceremony.

Now many years later an electrician’s truck was back there again. He was trying to snake the old burnt out wires but could not force them by pull or push. “Oh the settling of the house makes it difficult, so I have to drill new holes to create a conduit,” he said as sweat beaded his brow. “But,” he reflected for a moment, “I am not exactly sure what I am going to face.”

And it made me think!

What about this rewiring phenomenon? Why is it difficult? Take the human brain for instance. When the child is growing from infancy to about 5 years the brain expands three times in neuronal connections. With billions of neurons being created and trillions of synaptic connections being established, it is a high stakes game of circumstance and chance. The synapses are clicking and grinding in the motor and sensory cities of imagination and wonder. Everything is new and neuronal dendritic connections seek out and connect to any available or previously connected neuron as flashes of the immediate world images come in through the eyes at blinding speed. "Ah yes that face is my mother’s, she coos and laughs and cuddles and loves me. And that must be my father with the rougher face and occasionally the knitted eyebrow and that younger face must be the brother who cannot help himself from pinching me. And that face filled with kindness and joy must be my grandmother. But what is that furry creature that keeps coming up to sniff at me? Ah they call the furry thing Rex.” These pathways grow exponentially and as “Rex” becomes the dog affectionately called “Rexy” and then “Rexy baby” later new wires have taken hold within the old circuitry. The rough faced creature with the knitted brow becomes dad and the cooing lady becomes the all-important listening, advising, nurturing mom. The notion of school arrives and drives away all feelings of comfort and a new fear and longing initiate new connections. And one day, "love" comes knocking at the door and huge bundles of connection find their awy to the amygdala (the heart of emotions in the brain). As the house of life ages and connections that have not been made over and over seem to fade, faces are recognized held in some crucible of thought matched to an event, but names falter. Lovers like circuits might come and go, but emotions remain, like the steadfast sun, which rises in the east and sets in the west and remains a constant reminder of the passing time, many ideals conceived of logic or illogic fall prey to disuse. The compelling nature of the moment seems to lose its moment and pitch and many a connection are lost.

So the curious case of rewiring comes to mind. How to rewire the brain?

Indeed how to?

Like the house that is settled, a new hole has to be drilled. The old wiring has to be severed at both ends and withdrawn and new wiring has to take its place. It will require a consistency of effort and a daily workshop of fixing and changing to create the conduit to replenish the memory and since new switches are needed for other receptacles, a new wiring pathway needs to be constructed as well. The old switch is covered over by sheet-rock and now stands behind the armoire. New links are needed to join the switch to the sockets and new sockets are needed in place of the old ones that lie hidden behind sofas and chairs. The house needs work both outside and inside to remain a home for comfort. It needs constant attention like the lawn to rid of the weeds (bad connections) and planting flowers (new connections) fit for each season. The constancy of effort is a ongoing rewiring process. Hypotheses and Spins, like selection bias and statistics of small numbers, both fail to the Occam's Razor of verifiable, repeatable facts. Only a nimble and receptive mind, grows new connections and rewires new circuitry.

Relearning old tricks and new ones is a difficult process in an ossified mind that fails at agility. Like businesses or corporations that fail to see the future often get mired into harnessing old tactics to stay current and are met with customer disdain and ultimate loss of profitability, because they keep trying to force the new wires through the old conduits in a settled enterprise. Relearning needs rewiring and that also needs remaking. (Sears Holding might fit this picture). The agile on the other hand, are adaptable and align themselves to the future by constantly relearning and rewiring the concepts. (Apple seems to fit this one). Along with the concepts they also rework the old façade, “painting, fixing and creating new eye pleasing and sustainable ideas and concepts.”

Rewiring is a constant process, which does not allow settling. Rewiring needs a new outlook every day and that needs an open mind, receptive to changes and desires. Some studies suggest that rewiring a new concept in the brain requires many days of repetition and that is true. The more difficult the doing, the more effort it takes, but once ascribed to the concept of relearning is done. Agility to adapt is all encompassing to align one’s needs with what one desires to accomplish in one’s life.

Go ahead…


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