Something Different

We all get caught in ruts. Ruts of programming, ruts of yearly events, ruts in the games we play or the meals we cook.

There are multiple benefits to trying something different. Of course, there’s the obvious chance to have a new experience. Humans crave variety, it is said.

But more important is the flexibility your brain gains by thinking in new ways. Learning something new–to speak another language, or cook in a different style, or sing a new piece, or to solve a new kind of puzzle–reshapes your brain with new connections; new connections that will only help you live your life in a more creative and fulfilling way.

Recently some students shared that they are so excited about a human psychology class they are taking. They said it has immediately become one of their favorite classes in high school (besides choir, of course…). The reason, I think, is that this psychology class is rewiring their brain, day by day. It’s a marvelous feeling to have your brain rewired, and to make all the new discoveries and connections that comes with it.

If you’re looking for something new to try, here’s a few ideas I enjoy:

Matt Gaffney’s Weekly Crossword Contest – the crossword is of varying difficulty, and always includes a very fun, brain-twisting meta-puzzle to solve after you’ve completed the crossword.

Four Fours. No link needed – just simple math. Use four 4’s and basic mathematics to create every natural number. For example, (4+4)/(4+4) = 1 and (4/4) + (4/4) = 2

Duolingo. Learn a new language and find new ways to describe your world.