Flexibility vs. plasticity

In  neuro-linguistic programming, and in self-help books you can read a great deal about the benefits of being flexible. Flexibility is about knowing you have a multiple of choices in how to respond to any situation. Flexibility assumes it’s the person with a greater degree of choices is likely to be the most successful When compared to someone who has fewer choices.

Flexibility is a way of working and enhancing how we perform inside or our existing neurology. But it is limited to our neurology as it is. Imagine stretching the neurology itself. To go beyond our neurology would Require we take a deeper dive into the area of neuroplasticity.

The concept of neuroplasticity extends Beyond mere flexibility by relying on the brain’s ability to become familiar with and adjust to new situations and environments.

To understand the difference between flexibility and plasticity consider this analogy. Flexibility would be being able to choose among a wide range of coffees to find the one that suits you the best. plasticity would have you go beyond coffees to include Chili Peppers and Curry spices as equally enjoyable in situations when you would only consider coffee. It’s not just thinking outside the box, it’s creating an entirely new box.

Among a few chaos magicians I’ve known they would intentionally do things outside they’re normal likes and preferences in order to enhance their plasticity. This can be taken to extremes of course, Some people intentionally decide to go to biker bars and political rallies or watch a genre of movie they dislike simply because they would never willingly consider these things as an option. Further, they would befriend people they normally disagreed with, people who lived far outside their normal social structure. They might attend religious services of groups they didn’t agree with. 

An example of someone who did this very effectively is a young man who felt very isolated. He wanted a girlfriend but he never took the initiative to talk to women because of an intense fear of rejection. Once he became aware of how much the fear controls his ability to enjoy life he made a resolution. He decided that everyday he would do at least one thing so that he could experience rejection! The many things he did was, of course, ask attractive women if they would go on a date with him. He would apply for jobs wow dressed unprofessionally or in positions he was completely unqualified for. He would enter businesses and ask to speak with the president of the company. He would ask ridiculous things of people like requesting a “burger refill” from a fast food restaurant  All of these things he would do so that he would get accustomed to being told no. After doing this for a year He was able to make several interesting conclusions.  First of all, the rejection he experienced never became pleasant but it was also very bearable. He also found out that, on occasion, he would actually get what he’s asking for! 

“It does take a certain bravery to do this. It is like going on a journey knowing it will change you, but not know, upon your return, exactly how you’ll be different.”

Want To Try This?

One way to Practice exercising your neuroplasticity is to make a list of behaviors which are within you are moral and ethical actions, But outside of the realm of your normal and familiar behaviors. The motto is “Get out of your comfort zone and see what you learn.”