top of page
  • Steven R. Campbell

The Reason Most of Our Resolutions Usually Don’t Work!

The explosion of computers in the past fifty years has made it very chic to equate the brain with the computer. It has become especially tempting to liken the billions of neurons with the billions of transistors in large computers. More contemporary versions involve the number of nodes in the World Wide Web, or perhaps the number of pages indexed by Google. These huge quantities are also compared to the 100 billion neurons in the brain.


After closer examination, the similarity immediately falls apart! In fact, when you have even the briefest conversation with a neurobiologist, the people actually studying neurons, you realize how misleading this comparison becomes. Transistors in a computer simply switch on and off. Each of the 100 billion neurons (made up of an axon, a myelin sheath, and as many five to fifteen thousand dendrites and synapses) contains a universe of complexity on both the cellular and microbiological level. Most people understand that neurons signal to one another across synapses through a complicated sequence that involves conversation between electrical and chemical energy, and then back again. However…the signals are themselves affected by cascades of hormones, neurotransmitters, and other chemical modifiers – including the caffeine that we use to keep moving.

Lee Gomes summarized it best in a Wall Street Journal article.

"These days, it's getting harder to find anyone in cognitive sciences who still believes computers are useful models for intelligence, consciousness and the like. To understand the mind, forget about computers and look at the gray stuff inside our heads." [1]

Changing My Self-Talk

Cognitive psychology has discovered what we believe about ourselves is far more important than what we do. In fact, the reason most of our resolutions usually don’t work is they concentrate on what we are doing, rather than how we are seeing ourselves.

Joe Bauer expresses this so well in her book Joy’s Life Diet when she says, “All of the successful dieters I’ve worked with say that they had to know in their hearts that they would succeed this time. Success starts in the head, moves to the heart, and lastly involves the heart and stomach (emphasis mine).” [2]

It is for this reason that all meaningful and lasting growth must start at the inside…with our mind. We now know that your brain has almost limitless potential for change and growth…and the more we discover about its capacity, the more we are able to use it as our mentor for learning and growth and change.

So…your new way of thinking is to immediately throw away any notions that you are too old, or too young, or too uneducated, or too stuck in your ways to change. You can grow and change as much as you want to! How exciting!!!

[1] - Lee Gomes, The Wall Street Journal, June 10, 2002

[2] - Bauer, J. Joy’s Life Diet

If you'd like to learn more, register for my next Workshop.

It’s Not Magic – It’s Science!

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Embassy Suites in Santa Clara, CA

9:00 a.m. to 4:00 Fee ~ $120 Click HERE for additional information and to Register

If you like stories like this, subscribe to Chopsticks Alley.

Mr. Campbell is an award-winning author, speaker and mentor to individuals and organizations. Known as “the Brain Whisperer,” he teaches how your mind can be your greatest adversary and, when understood, can be transformed into your greatest friend and ally. He wants to help shift the mindset of Chopsticks Alley readers. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Zoology from San Diego State University and a Masters in Information Systems from the University of San Francisco and has been exploring and teaching the discoveries of cognitive psychology in various universities and colleges for over 25 years.

39 views4 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page