The human brain has limitless potential. That’s what I realized as I transformed myself from someone who could never pay attention and learn anything in school, who took the college entrance exam three years in a row, to someone who successfully completed a degree in clinical pathology. While I play many instruments, I never formally instructed on how to play. I taught myself by picking up the flute and playing with it. With practice, I found the right techniques and gradually put together notes that sounded good to my ears. I am not a musical prodigy. I just believed I could do it.
Learning is about time. With time and effort, our magnificent brains can learn whatever we choose. However, before we can choose, we need to believe in our brains’ potential. In our current education system, children (and even adults) are tested, categorized, and segmented on specific topics traditionally deemed important by society. From this perspective, they are told what they are good at or not and either given praise or criticism.
In such an environment, students are not able to see their full potential. They believe what the system tells them and they are stuck with it. Their choices then become limited. If they are not given enough praise, because maybe they aren’t the best students, they come to believe that they have no value.
Yet, we are all infinitely valuable. Education should help people realize their true value.
Learners need the satisfaction of finishing a task and the support to keep trying when they fail. Students need the courage to try anything — and the freedom to explore and discover what they really want to learn. In a stream of constant praise coupled with constructive guidance, students can discover their intrinsic value — to follow their bliss — one that is independent of social trends and expectations.
Armed with this sense, a person can learn anything throughout their life. Their life could transform into one of perpetual learning, development, and growth.
Discovering your true value as a first step to further learning is a critical part of the education of character, an aspect of education that might be missing from many of our school systems. It is one of the most important and supports all of the other qualities that a person could develop.
Good character — integrity, compassion, responsibility, sincerity — is an expression of strong self-worth. It requires developing skills and habits that are in alignment with one’s conscience through practice. Your positive thoughts and emotions that accompany acting with good character are a form of self-praise — enhancing all the functions of your brain — and facilitating learning and creativity.
Learning and good character — they start from inside. Love of self, the motivation to learn, the values on which one chooses to act, an indomitable sense of self-worth — these are the foundations for successful learning — and all can found within every person. Therefore, anyone could access them, from the best student to the most remedial learner.
What society needs now is the means to uncover them, like opening a treasure box hiding in darkness. The first step is to know it’s there, the second is to shine a light on it, and the last is to turn the key in the lock.
Let us shine the light on the infinite potential of your brain — and give each other the praise and practice — to unlock your potential.