The brain on success

I just read an article on why rigidly structured activities fail for many people. It states that the brain assesses our goals based on the probability of success. So if you set a large goal, to write a novel, and a small concrete goal to achieve the bigger goal, like to write every day – failure to accomplish the small goal will convince the brain that the whole project is a bust.

It then goes on and suggests that flexibility with our schedule and goals will help us accomplish more.

I find this interesting as it goes counter to every behaviour modification and routine setting rule I have ever encountered. Most studies suggest that strict routines and repetition will help modify a behaviour or instil a new one. Failure to practice is a temporary setback and you are encouraged to get back on the program.

But like many things in psychology, this flexible schedule/goal setting will appeal to certain personality types.



Modern Parenting May Hinder Brain Development

This is highly controversial and as a parent, I can understand why a lot of people will be upset by the findings of this research. Parenting is a profoundly personal choice and we can’t help but judge and be judged by our choices.

Being interested in the human brain, a lot of my current research delves into the world of parenting because causality is easily observed and because I’ve set parenting as one of the parameters for all my news aggregators.

I find that I am in a unique position to observe both camps compared in this study. I live in North America but I grew up in a less developed, more traditional Asian country. I have seen the effects of both styles of parenting – the attached parent who is very nurturing and sacrifices much of the self for the good of the baby, and the modern parent who believes that the baby is capable of thriving with schedules and independence. 

I personally believe in attached parenting and it’s gratifying to know that all the sacrifices will lead to an emotionally healthy, resilient, and empathic child. Maybe we can all find a balance and rear more secure and less anxious individuals.