21Jan

Our brains are incredible organs! Forget the outdated idea that brain development and learning decline steeply in our early 20s, on the contrary, our brains can keep changing and learning even as we age. 

This amazing ability is called neuroplasticity, and it is the main reason why babies and young children learn so fast. But the good news does not stop there! Even those “stuck” with self-limiting beliefs, anxiety, and negative thoughts can also be taught to reframe and reshape their thought processes into positive pathways.

Effectively it is an unlearning and relearning process.

Even the most fixated cynics can change the way they approach things. With a few simple steps, we can build new brain connections and make our thinking sharper and happier. 

Here are some daily practices to sculpt the brain of your dreams! 

1. Affirm Your Way to Success

Have you ever heard of Oprah Winfrey‘s mantra, “Everything I create comes back to me tenfold”? That is the power of positive affirmations. Repeating uplifting statements about your capabilities and goals helps reprogram negative thought patterns and cultivate a mindset of success. Just like Oprah, who rose from humble beginnings and adversity to become a media mogul, you can harness the power of affirmations to rewrite your own story. 

Be careful how you talk to yourself and most importantly what you say to yourself. Let go of self-limiting beliefs and negative statements whether in relation to your personal life or your career. Change statements like this won’t work, this is impossible, and replace them with I know I can do it. I won’t give up or Let’s find a solution for …..  Additionally, find uplifting statements that build you up, whether it is “I am worthy and capable” or “I am attracting abundance and joy.” It’s not just about repeating words mindlessly but also about having a full conviction about your words and putting your thoughts into action building your confidence in the process. Repeat with conviction, visualise your desired outcomes, and let the personal transformation unfold.

2. Engage in Neuroplasticity Exercises

Remember Einstein’s famous quote, “A problem is a chance for you to do your best”? Neuroplasticity thrives on mental workouts and challenges. Brain-training exercises are like gym workouts for your mind. Learning a new language, tackling sudoku puzzles, or playing strategy games like chess all promote the formation of new neural connections and boost cognitive flexibility. Take a cue from Angela Merkel, the former Chancellor of Germany, who transitioned from a scientific background to become a political leader. Her lifelong commitment to learning and problem-solving kept her brain sharp and adaptable, showing the power of mental gymnastics.

3. Mindfulness Meditation

In today’s busy world, all the rushing and worry can mess with our minds and make it hard to pay attention. Enter mindfulness meditation, a practice that cultivates present-moment awareness and emotional regulation. Arianna Huffington, the founder of Thrive Global, champions mindfulness as a key to success and resilience. By incorporating meditation into her daily routine, she not only improved her focus and decision-making but also paved the way for a more mindful and productive work culture. Whether it is a few minutes of deep breathing or guided meditation, embracing mindfulness is a powerful way to rewire your brain for calmness and clarity.

4. V is for Victory – Visualise it

Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, swears by the power of goal visualisation. Before every race, he would close his eyes and vividly imagine himself swimming the perfect stroke, feeling the water glide against his skin, and touching the finish line first. This mental rehearsal helped him align his thoughts with his actions, rewiring his brain for peak performance. Just like Phelps, you can harness the power of visualisation to achieve your own goals. Whether it is acing a presentation, landing your dream job, or running a marathon, see it clearly in your mind, feel the emotions of success, and watch your brain pave the neural pathways for victory.

Five Lessons in Success from Investor Adebayo Ogunlesi

Rewiring Your Brain for Success
Photo: ShoppeBlack US

Adebayo Ogunlesi is not your average success story. He is a Nigerian titan who carved his own path, proving that age, background, and even career changes are no obstacle to achieving your dreams. From humble beginnings to leading a multi-billion dollar company, his journey is packed with valuable lessons for anyone seeking to build a rewarding career and life.

1. Master Your Craft: Building a Strong Foundation

Ogunlesi did not stumble into success overnight. He laid the groundwork early on, he was fortunate to receive a pedigree education. He studied philosophy, politics, and economics at Oxford University, then earned his JD and MBA from Harvard. This diverse knowledge base gave him a deep understanding of the world, business, and law, skills he would later leverage to navigate complex deals and lead with confidence.

2. Never Too Old to Pivot

Most people settle into their careers by their 50s. But not Ogunlesi, a top banker at Credit Suisse, when he was summoned to Omaha, Nebraska, by the energy arm of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway to study a large takeover. It was the kind of call most financiers dream of, but Ogunlesi did not want to go and he declined. 

At 52, he made a bold move, with the support of his wife, and left his high-powered banking job to launch Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), a private equity firm focused on infrastructure projects. This was not a reckless leap; it was a calculated decision fueled by years of experience and a clear vision for the future. GIP went on to become a global leader, acquiring iconic assets like London City Airport and Gatwick Airport. Ogunlesi’s story shows that reinvention and pursuing new horizons are possible at any stage of life.

3. Structure Breeds Success and Longevity

Whilst brilliance is key, Ogunlesi’s success is also rooted in his meticulous long-term strategic approach. GIP operates with a clear investment strategy and a rigorous due diligence process. Every decision is based on careful analysis and understanding of potential risks and rewards. This structure not only builds investor confidence but also ensures consistent success. Never rush into doing things you know little about or doing business with people you are not sure

4. Building Bridges, Not Walls

Ogunlesi is a master of forging strong connections. He builds trust and respect with investors, government officials, and diverse stakeholders. These relationships have been instrumental in securing deals, navigating complex negotiations, and weathering market storms. His story shows the importance of genuine connection and collaboration in achieving ambitious goals.

5. Beyond Profit

Ogunlesi’s impact extends far beyond the realm of finance. He is a passionate philanthropist, committed to giving back to his community. He supports various charitable organisations and established his own foundation, demonstrating his unwavering dedication to social responsibility. This commitment reminds us that true success lies not just in personal achievement but also in contributing to the betterment of society.

Rewiring Your Brain For Success