by Dr. William Horton
Throughout history a perplexing question of mankind has been “why are some people more successful than others?” While the complex explanation involves the interplay between genes, physical environment, socioeconomic and cultural indicators, the simple explanation involves programming.
In the early 1970s, a team of scientists at the University of California at Santa Cruz set out to answer the question of why people with similar backgrounds of education, training, and experience were not similarly successful. They wanted to explore what they called “the secrets of effective people” and wanted to “model human excellence”. What they discovered between people is that, while backgrounds were similar, the brain wiring – or programming — was distinctly different. What developed out of this research was the field of neurolinguistic programming. Neurolinguistic programming rests on the premise that thought patterns (programming) are largely responsible for an individual’s success or failure; that preconceived thoughts and mental conditioning effect our social interactions and accomplishments. The theory is that if you remodel your negative thoughts, you can change your personal situation.
To illustrate this, consider that the functioning of the human brain is similar to that of a computer. While the computer relies on hardware composed of digital circuitry, the human brain relies on hardware composed of billions of neurons (nerve cells) forming a complex neurological system (nervous system). These neurons assess the human environment and react accordingly by sending chemical messages to each other through electrical impulses. These messages form the basis of our learning, productivity, and very survival.
Both the computer and the human brain have massive information processing ability that is based on the transmission of electrical signals, and both have a memory that can grow and learn to accommodate changing needs. However, both can also become damaged with faulty programming information. For a computer this faulty information comes in the form of viruses; for the human brain it is negativity. Fortunately, both systems can be changed and modified to correct this damage.
However, there is a fundamental difference between computer hardware and the human neurological system. The difference is that while computing hardware may vary from person to person, every person posses the same neural hardware. There is a common basic physical neurology with billions of neurons processing approximately 40,000 bits of information per second, aiding the brain in reasoning, learning, and memory. Consider this carefully: every human being shares the same neural hardware. Then, if we all share the same hardware, then we all share the same potential!
If we all have the same potential shouldn’t we all be equally successful? Again, programming is the underlying answer to why some people are more successful than others. Most of us have heard the old axiom of “it is not what you have but how you use it”. In brain neurology, this rings true. The actual wiring of your brain – the number of neural connections — depends on your individual programming. Too often, mental resources are underutilized and the wiring is subsequently damaged through faulty programming. Proper programming involves positive nurturing input. Until the last decade, the prevailing scientific theory of neurology was that the human brain could not establish new neural connections. In other words, what you are born with is what you have and as you age they will die. It is now known that the more than one hundred billion neurons of the brain are geared to reinvest in themselves. Positive, enriched environments stimulate the brain to create more neural connections. The more you learn, the more you become capable of learning. You can actually rewire your brain!