Listen Up Kanye-Behave Better by Using Your Brain


The recent VMA (Video Music Awards) event made several references to the incident last year when Kanye West grabbed the top award from Taylor Swift saying it should have gone to Beyonce instead. Swift, this year, wrote and performed a song of forgiveness with lyrics “32 and still growing up; who you are is not what you did…everyone of us has messed up too, I hope you remember, today is never too late to be brand new”.

The good news is that with recent research on ‘neuroplasticity of the brain', we know that even as adults we continue to be able to shift or adapt in response to new experiences. The distinction in adult brain development, as compared with bio-driven child development, is that external stimuli are what primarily shape our brain development.

So, Old Dogs and Dinosours, here’s what you’ve got to do to take advantage of this information: exercise and keep learning. Exercise stimulates new brain cell growth which apparently increases mental abilities by up to 30 percent.  Additionally, learning something new, with practice and repetition, creates new neural pathways which in turn enhances intelligence. It’s all about the connections.

Kanye West made Twitter references to how much he has suffered, and grown, out of this incident, to which I will add a third way to increase brain-power as an adult. That is to grow your emotional intelligence (E.I.). This, too, is all about making connections, both within yourself and your own levels of understanding and with others in your level of empathy and ability to communicate.

Each of these approaches to brain development take conscious effort as adults. There are trade-offs in time and energy. Learning implies growth which implies change, which is not always comfortable.  But the ability to be flexible, adaptable and willing to take action in our modern world of change are lynchpin skills of overall mental resilience. 

So, yes, there is hope for a better me, a better Kanye and a better world by cultivating our brain- power. Sing on!