Today is World Brain Day!
Created in 2014, the first brain day was launched on July 22nd of that year. The annual event was designed to help promote awareness on brain health and wellness on a global scale.
At the Brain Energy Support Team (BEST), we believe that our BEST strategy for brain health and wellness is empowerment. Empowered brains means better self-care, knowledge and self-advocacy!
For us, every day is World Brain Day.
We welcome you to peruse this very website and blog for information, tips, strategies and inspiration to empower your brain to live your best life possible.
Here’s to our brains!
When it comes to achieving our dreams, overcoming the obstacles of acceptance, navigating the challenges of our brain injuries it’s so important that we believe we can. Get up if you fall. Try again. BEST is here to stand with you!
We’ve got great articles to help you understand your brain injury, grow and heal.
Check out the categories to the right of this post.
A brain injury isn’t the easiest to navigate, but if we strive to be our best we’re bound to shine. Les Brown, an inspirational speaker said, “Shoot for the moon, and if you miss you’ll still be among the stars.” This is our quote for today’s #WinningWednesday post.
Have you ever seen a circus elephant standing serenely, tied to a little peg in the ground?
How does that work? I mean, elephants can grow to be over a ton.
Why does an elephant just stand there? Why doesn’t this creature, one of the most powerful animals in the world, just rip the peg out of the ground and go on its merry way? Who could stop it?
The way I understand it, they are trained from a very young age to behave that way. When an elephant is very young, it is tethered to a huge stake in the ground. The baby elephant may try to get free but the stake is too firmly planted so the elephant just gives up. After a while, the size of the stakes can be decreased to the point where a tent peg can hold an elephant in place, and since their experience is that the stake can’t be moved, they don’t even try to free themselves any more.
So what does this have to do with people?
Well, people behave the same way those elephants do.
At least they do in a kind of metaphorical way.
This can happen, much too often, when we try to accomplish something and run into roadblocks and barriers. If we can’t overcome it, we give up trying. It happens to us all. We stop trying because it hasn’t worked before. Brain injury survivors aren’t exempt from this.
In the early stages of a severe enough brain injury, we can experience feeling helpless. When we try to do things we could easily do before the injury and can’t do it any more, we give up trying, and too often we give up too early.
But failure is only failure when we give up trying.
We should instead view failure as a motivation to try a different approach to the problem. Failure just means we haven’t solved the problem yet and that we just need to keep trying.
Having a traumatic brain injury can feel like a life sentence, but it most surely isn’t a death sentence. To live is to keep on trying, no matter how big the challenge.
Sometimes though, there are problems we create for ourselves.
When we are very young and don’t know our way around, we are forced to discover ways to cope. I think a good example is the way a baby cries when it wants/needs something. A baby doesn’t have the knowledge of articulating its wants or needs but it does notice that crying is a way to get attention. Crying is just one example; as the child matures it learns other ways to get what it wants.
And these ways work until they don’t, but they have a long shelf life because they worked in the past. We hold on without consciously realizing they don’t work any more, and wonder why we don’t get the result we want.
To get back to the crying baby thing, some people get such great results from crying, they continue that kind of behavior into adulthood. By then it doesn’t serve any useful purpose, and in fact, it’s viewed as a negative quality for someone past toddler age to exhibit. As we grow, the attention-getting crying can turn into whining or complaining, and be viewed by others as off-putting and can make people keep their distance; the opposite of what happened when we are babies and toddlers.
Eventually, we hopefully learn constructive, positive and beneficial behaviors but too often we don’t.
And we wonder why we are stuck, repeating a cycle that never seems to end. We need to understand what lies beneath our behaviors and modify them as needed. We need to recognize and understand that behaviors need to constantly change and adapt to new circumstances, and work on ourselves to make those changes accordingly.
We are not tied to the past and we need to focus on creating our own futures. That process begins in the present—right now, today.
Like an elephant held in place by a tent peg, we need to keep testing the limit of our strength and free ourselves. We need to recognize our own strength and use it to make the kinds of changes that make our lives happier and more productive.
|Isaac Peterson grew up on an Air Force base near Cheyenne, Wyoming. After graduating from the University of Wyoming, he embarked on a career as an award-winning investigative journalist and as a semi-professional musician in the Twin Cities, the place he called home on and off for 35 years. He doesn’t mind it at all if someone offers to pick up his restaurant tab and, also, welcomes reader comments. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more articles by Isaac here; https://www.brainenergysupportteam.org/archives/tag/isaac-peterson|