Imagine you have a piece of paper in front of you.
Now imagine folding that piece of paper in half. Now fold that imaginary paper in half again. Repeat this process 42 times.
This is a thought experiment because in real life you would run out of paper before you could fold a single sheet 42 times. But assuming that you could fold a piece of paper 42 times, guess how high would it be?
Would it be lower or higher than your hand? Would it be as high as your head? Would it be higher or lower than the ceiling of the room you’re in?
Hold onto your answer because I’m going to come back to it later on in this post.
At TSM we are passionate about making sure you have everything you need for your EPPP study. This isn’t just so you can get a certain grade on the licensure exam, although insuring a passing grade is our number one priority. But we are also concerned with helping our pool of candidates achieve a high level of mental fitness and to be equipped with the tools for reaching goals beyond the EPPP.
Everyone has the potential to achieve a high level of mental fitness, just as anyone has the potential to achieve a high level of physical fitness. We generally recognize this when it comes to physical fitness. (See our earlier Series of Interviews on Brain Fitness.) When it comes to mental fitness, however, many of us believe lies ourselves that hold us back from realizing our full potential. Here are some common lies I often run into in my work with people:
- Some people are just naturally smart, and I’m not one of them;
- Nothing I try to do ever works
- I’m stupid;
- As I get older, my brain is bound to deteriorate;
- I was born with a bad memory
Do any of these sound familiar?
The reason these lies affect us is not because they are based in science. In fact, quite the opposite is true. If there is anything we know from the emerging science of neuroplasticity and the research on the psychology of mindset, it is that none of us are stuck with the cards we’ve been dealt. Each one of us has the potential to stretch our brains to new horizons and reach for goals we thought impossible. Despite this, lies like the above affect us because we let them. Through the messages we receive from our culture, from others, and from our own disordered patterns of thinking, we get boxed into certain ways of looking at the world that prevent us from realizing our true potential.
The solution is to learn to think outside the box. Which brings me back to the question about folding the paper.
The answer is that it if you took a piece of paper and folded it 42 times, it would actually stretch as high as the moon! The reason this seems counter-intuitive is that the human brain is not used to thinking in terms of exponential growth. But each time you fold the piece of paper, you are actually doubling its height, so that it grows exponentially. We get questions like this wrong because our brains are conditioned to thinking in certain predefined and fixed ways. We find it hard to think outside the box.
Much of what the TSM team of researchers have discovered about EPPP study is just as counter-intuitive as this paper-folding experiment. This is because many of the things we routinely think we know regarding memory and learning, intelligence and brain-fitness is actually wrong. It’s time to begin thinking outside the box, to have a paradigm shift in how we approach our brains.
TSM’s approach to EPPP study represents this type of an out-of-the-box-paradigm-shift. Using the latest research from neuroscience and cognitive psychology, we’ve shown that anyone can achieve an optimum level of brain fitness and pass the EPPP provided they’re willing to step outside the box and be adventurous with their brains. Some of the out-of-the-box approaches we teach at TSM include the following:
- Forgetfulness is a natural and positive part of the learning process. (See our article “What the School System Never Told You about Remembering and Forgetting.”)
- The key to success in learning is not to simply study longer and harder. (See our article “The ‘Just-Study-Harder” Myth and Your EPPP Materials.”)
- A good memory is a skill that anyone can develop through deliberate training and practice. (See our article, “The Myth of the Good Memory: how memory is a skill not a gift.”)
- Struggle, frustration and even failure are an integral part of the learning process. (See our article, “Why Struggle and Frustration are Good.”)
- Research shows that taking baby steps towards our goals is much more effective than trying to take giant steps. (See our post “The Kaisen Way to EPPP Success.”)