Rocío Ledesma del Fresno —— Consciencia financiera: la plasticidad del cerebro para aprender y cambiar

Four distinct but related brain areas. If we haven’t developed our reptilian part, we won’t be able to maintain the targets. If we have not developed our limbic part we will not be able to believe in ourselves. While if we have not developed the neocortical part we will not be able to be open to the ideas of others, evolve and improve. And finally, with the prefrontal brain we will give meaning to what we do, to our effort and to the difficulties, so that we never give up and continue working to achieve our dreams.

The brains are of progressive overcoming. That is to say, the first brain is essential for the rest to be established correctly: this is how nature has defined it. We all need to have objectives and to fulfill them and also to relate in a healthy way with our emotions and people, at the same time that we evolve and improve and find the purpose in our life.

It is true that human beings have a brain preference, each one of us notices a predisposition. If you focus on goals, tasks and tangible results, you are more reptilian. If you focus on people, relationships, processes, and good weather you are more emotional. If you focus on learning, understanding and looking for the reasons behind the acts, you are more neocortical. It is important that you identify which is the preferential brain with which you function, so that you can understand yourself from a neuroscientific point of view, and from there intervene more successfully in any facet of your life and, specifically, in your relationship with money.

Until now, perhaps you have not stopped to think about how you felt before you acted, you have not been as aware as you needed to be of the reason why you did things. Everything you do from now on depends on your ability to learn: it is something you will need to do throughout your life. The knowledge is in the Neocortex, in the why? Answering that question is when we learn, when we get out of the comfort zone, out of the comfort, out of what we already know. We must have the desire to progress and feel the excitement of discovering new things. You can stay with what you know and not keep learning, either because you are not interested or because you do not have the humility to recognize that you do not know everything.

The neocortical brain is the brain of reflection and knowledge. It is the one that needs to learn and for that it has to develop listening and put the focus on understanding what it knows and what it does not know, in order to learn it. To know is to accumulate knowledge and has to do with making decisions and acting; but to learn is to change, is to innovate, is to generate new knowledge continuously: it takes a great deal of curiosity, getting tired of what one already knows and getting bored of always doing the same thing to be open to revolution.

Since we learn what we are passionate about, what generates an emotion, if it is positive, what we learn lasts over time and motivation emerges as a fundamental factor. For this reason, a teacher must be in love with his or her work because otherwise he or she cannot excite his or her students and they will not learn: they will only accumulate knowledge.

Until a few years ago it was believed that our brain was static and unchanging, that we were born with a certain number of neurons that were lost over time and that our inherited genes conditioned our intelligence. Nowadays, due to the progress of neuroscience experiments, we know that neuroplasticity exists, a property of the nervous system that allows it to continuously adapt to life experiences, which modify our brain all the time, strengthening or weakening the synapses that connect the neurons.

Our brain changes because of its amazing plastic and adaptive capabilities. It allows us to change as people and redefine our emotional situation with the environment through conscious effort. And our own thoughts are able to generate neuroplasticity and condition our behavior and learning.

“I am like this” is a self-imposed barrier to not changing. You behave differently depending on the context in which you find yourself and your habits can be modified and adapted to your needs. Therefore, the phrase “I am like this” is a perfect excuse not to take responsibility and to leave aside your capacity to adapt, that which we all have and which makes us social animals. Do you want to improve? Do you want to evolve? Do you want to have a better relationship with money and even a much healthier economy? Take responsibility and get to work: only you can change things and much of the success lies in the habits and skills you develop from now on.

The references made in these articles to brain structures are made from a simplified method, not exhaustively scientific, in order to facilitate their understanding and application to everyday life.

Next Week: Money management habits and skills
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Rocío Ledesma del Fresno
Manager of Dextra Corporate Advisors and director of Navis Capital Desarrollo, SGEIC