What is Neuroplasticity? (+ Free Neuroplasticity Handbook)

“The only constant is change itself” – Heraclitus of Ephesus ca. 500BC

Because we don’t see or touch our brain it’s easy to forget that–like any other part of our body–our brain changes over time. Specifically, neural pathways, our synapses, and individual neurons evolve in parallel with our habits, with the types of information that we consume, and with our life experiences.

The concept of neuroplasticity really began to take shape in the mid-20th century as psychologists and neuroscientists learned more about our brains, how they adapt, and how the physical “brain folds” that we observe are connected to how we think.

Specifically, neuroplasticity describes the physical and cognitive evolution of your brain that results from your habits, life experiences, and choices.

Here are links to some of the research we used in the making of this video:
• Human Echolocation Study- http://bit.ly/2wnCGRQ
• Neuroplasticity and Meditation- http://bit.ly/2yw7iBh
• Cognitive Development and Neuroplasticity- http://bit.ly/2fTM2hV

Here’s a link to the free handbook created by Eazl Well-being Researcher Ludell Jones related to neuroplasticity.

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Fake News is About to Get Bigger and Faker

🎧 Listen to a great podcast on this topic via WNYC’s Radiolab 🎧

What happens when hyper-realistic fake information is easy to create, hard to detect, and can be spread across the world to billions of people within seconds via social media? We’re going to see…

Photoshop for Voices
Adobe’s VOCO software can now take a 20-minute recording of a person’s voice and then enable an editor to type any words they want–even if none of that was said ever during the 20-minute recording–and produce near-flawless audio that could fool anyone… and this tech is only going to get more accurate and harder to spot

Fake Video is Here
Now, any president, prime minister, CEO, or celebrity, can be someone’s lifelike puppet on video. Watch a video produced by a team at Stanford that shows the face of former US President George W. Bush being scarily manipulated in real time.

Questions
The implications of this technological advance are immense. In the near future, fake news–audio, video, etc.–will be incredibly pervasive on the web. What does this mean for news outlets?

Will people need to pay for quality, trusted information?

How will we identify artificially-generated videos and audio?

What’s next for truth and information online?

What business opportunities does this present?

http://futureoffakenews.com/

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QUIZ: What kind of freelancer are you?

freelancer quiz

If you’re a freelancer and anything like me, you’ve developed a very particular style and way of doing things. You have to…being financially independent comes with a lot of responsibility so focusing on perfecting your offering and your service (so it’s right for your client AND for you) comes with the job.

Take this quiz to learn more about how you deal with clients and sticky situations. Share your result in the comments below!

What kind of freelancer are you? I’m really curious…let me know your results in the comments.

Can Startups Break the Rules?

Many startups have realized that it’s extremely difficult to launch new products and services. A new  culture of “winning at all costs” is emerging which begs the question: do startups get to play by a different set of rules?

Links mentioned in this week’s Brain Boost:

Subscribe to the Eazl YouTube channel in January for a chance to win a copy of Michael Lewis’ bestseller on business and the irrational brain!

 

From Business Insider: Don’t skip this crucial step in your career change

eazl career change

“If you’re feeling frustrated at work, you may occasionally fantasize about quitting your job, packing your bags, and becoming someone else. A farmer, a chef, an actress, an MLB player — whatever seems like it would afford you greater freedom and less stress than your current gig.

But on the other hand, suddenly pursuing your dreams is a big deal, and you should proceed with caution.

That’s why the first step to take when you’re thinking about up-ending your professional life isn’t giving your boss your two weeks’ notice — it’s conducting ‘life design interviews.'”

successful content

From Collective Evolution: A Secret for Learning

secret for learning

“New research by Pam Mueller and Daniel Oppenheimer suggests that students who write their notes on paper learn more than those who type their notes. To form this conclusion, Mueller and Oppenheimer executed three experiments in which they had students take notes in a classroom setting, and then had the students perform memory tests on factual detail, their conceptual understanding of the material, and their ability to synthesize and generalize the information. Half of the students took notes with a laptop, and the other half by hand.”

secret for learning

From Inc.: Where You Focus Will Become Your Greatest Area of Success

focus eazl

“Distractions are like road blocks. They divert you from the primary goal.

There are valid ways to find success through focus for anyone trying to build up a career, start a company, and attract an audience for a new product. It is true that your focus equates directly to success. And, lack of focus is also one big reason for failure. The challenge is in deciding how to make that work in practical terms and everyday life, not as a cerebral ideal (e.g., you smile and nod, then ignore it).”

eazl

The Growth Mindset Meditation

The Growth Mindset Meditation: Built on Research, You Can Use this to Help Cultivate a Positive Mindset as You Face Challenges

The Growth Mindset has changed the way that successful businesspeople, educators, and social scientists approach challenges. Pioneered by Stanford professor, Carol Dweck, and her book “Mindset”, her research-backed idea is that you can actually grow your brain’s ability to learn and solve problems.

This guided “meditation” integrates findings from multiple business leaders and educators on how to apply the growth mindset when approaching problems. We suggest you use this whenever you’re facing a frustrating issue, you’re feeling stressed at work, or you need to cultivate more power to approach challenges in your professional or personal life.

Bookmark this page for easy finding at times when you need it the most.

Find a whole library of Growth Mindset resources here.

eazl-marketing-training

 

3 Lessons on Innovation from Björk

bjork

Each and every album that Björk has created is different and innovative in its own way. From her work with the Sugar Cubes in the 90s to last year’s release, Vulnicura, Björk has consistently proven to be one step ahead of us all with this whole innovation thing.

This is ever-more apparent with her current exhibit, Björk Digital, which involves several different interactive experiences, including VR viewing rooms for four videos she released last year.

Here are 3 lessons on innovation from Björk:

  1. Innovation is PR’s best friend
    Because Björk is such an innovator and always delivers the unusual and unexpected with every project or album release, she is a real life, walking PR machine. This surely isn’t the focus of the art she creates or what she’s has in mind when she’s in the studio, but it certainly doesn’t hurt when it’s launch time.

From an album made entirely with human voices to stunning visuals created by costumes and sets that are creative on a different level, Björk’s work naturally receives the attention it deserves. It’s just that interesting and immersive.

The Björk Digital exhibit takes her signature innovation even further with 5 digital experiences, including virtual reality rooms where you can immerse yourself in each of the four music videos released last year (see Stonemilker below) or play with apps and instruments from her 2011 album, Biophilia.

How can you innovate with your product or service? What can you do to take advantage of an upcoming technology? You don’t have to build something from scratch to be innovative. Björk has shown us that taking advantage of existing technologies that maybe have been adapted yet in the mainstream can come with a big pay off.

  1. Being different is a good thing
    One of the most distinct memories you might have of Björk is the infamous swan dress  she wore to the Academy Awards in 2001 (it even has its own Wikipedia page). Along with that are the memories of how she was a target for comedians and late night skits following. This is not all that surprising considering the free and creative Björk was attending one of the most mainstream events that airs on network television every year.

bjork

For Björk’s fans, however, creative decisions like these are why she is so beloved. Her personality and style is her brand…she doesn’t even really have to try and the right people (her target market) respond with open arms (and album purchases and ticket purchases). Who Björk is –a purely creative and emotional individual–  remains perfectly clear and that’s how she’s made her stamp in history and continues to draw support from her fans.

Björk Digital reiterates the power of being different in providing a completely unique and special experience for fans.

Think about what you can do that is different and unique to make your brand or personal brand stand out. This might be as easy as just being yourself!

  1. The Power of New Technologies
    One of Björk’s signature moves is using media technology to enhance the listener’s experience and it was no different for Vulnicura or Björk Digital. She invested in VR a year before marketers even started to think about the possibility of using VR for marketing!

Björk says,”I feel the chronological narrative of the [Vulicura] is ideal for the private circus virtual reality is: a theatre able to capture the emotional landscape of it.”

And let’s not forget the Biophilia app. And her custom instruments (see below).

Björk continues to embrace new technology and use it in new and much more creative ways than other musicians.

Is there a different direction you can take with a seemingly simple technology? Maybe you can use a social media platform in a way that users don’t expect or even integrate 360 video in your marketing campaigns.

Who are some of your favorite innovators? Let us know in the comments below! 

Marketing the Millennial Mindset, Grocery Store Robots, and the Tablets of Londinio (London)

In this week’s Brain Boost: marketing the millennial mindset, grocery store robots, and tablets of Londinio.

Marketing the millennial mindset and grocery store robots
The first of Whole Foods new 365 stores has opened in LA and they’re designed to appeal to millennial-minded shoppers. What this shows is that Whole Foods is selling the Millennial lifestyle and tastes to a slightly older, wealthier group of shoppers and this is the first time that I’ve ever seen a company
market the Millennial lifestyle to an older group of customers.

It looks like a huge open warehouse at the new 365 stores and the 365 brand is working to lower prices.
They’re doing this through lots of do-it-yourself options, which also means a lot of automation in the stores. For example, there’s a cold-pressed juicing machine a tea mixing robot called Teabot.

marketing millennial mindset

What this does is raise the question, “In the future, will employees at places like Whole Foods do less juicing and stocking of goods and more greeting and facilitating?” If you’re interested, you should check out this beautiful drone footage of the new store in LA.

Tablets of Londonio
While working on a new office building in London, archaeologists unearthed more than 400 tablets and fifteen thousand objects from ancient Romans who founded London. They used to call it Londinio.

The earliest written document found among the tablets was a contract between two merchants that was dated January 857 AD, during the reign of emperor Nero. On the tablet, the two merchants agreed to pay one hundred and five denarii for a load of goods that would be about half the salary of a Legionnaire that they earn every year.

Tune in next Friday at ten a.m. pacific
time for another Brain Boost and subscribe to the channel here on YouTube.