44 - Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Lifeدوره: Coursera – Learning How to Learn / درس 44
44 - Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life
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متن انگلیسی درس
I love reading history and being
inspired by the biographies of
One of the most unusual people I’ve ever
about, is inspiring not only because he
was so extraordinary.
But also, because he was so ordinary.
Santiago Ramón y Cajal was a born
In rural Spain of the 1860s, there
weren’t many options for oddball juvenile
So that’s how at 11 years old, Cajal found
himself in jail.
Cajal was stubborn and rebellious.
Who knew that Santiago Ramón y Cajal would
one day not only earn the
Nobel Prize, but eventually become known
as the Father of Modern Neuroscience?
Cajal was already in his early 20s when he
climbing from bad boy delinquency into the
traditional study of medicine.
There’s evidence that myelin sheaths.
The fatty insulation that helps signals
move more quickly along a
neuron, don’t finish developing in some
people until they’re in their twenties.
This may explain why teenagers often
have trouble controlling their impulsive
The wiring between the intention and the
areas of the brain isn’t completely
When you use neural circuits however, it
you help build the myelin sheath over
Not to mention making many other
Practice appears to strengthen and
connections between different brain
highways between the brain’s control
and the centers that store knowledge.
In Cajal’s case, it seems his natural
maturation processes coupled with his own
efforts to develop his thinking, helped
to take control of his overall behavior.
It seems people can enhance the
development of their
neuronal circuits by practicing thoughts
that use those neurons.
We’re still in the infancy of
understanding neural development.
One thing is becoming clear, we can make
changes in our brain by changing how we
Cajal met and worked with many brilliant
scientists through his lifetime.
People who were often far smarter than he.
In Cajal’s autobiography however, he
pointed out that although brilliant people
can do exceptional work, just like anyone
else they can also be careless and biased.
Cajal felt the key to his own success was
What he called the virtue of the less
with his flexible ability to change his
mind and admit errors.
Anyone, Cajal noted, even people with
average intelligence, can change their
own brains so that even the least gifted
can produce an abundant harvest.
People like Charles Darwin, whose theory
of evolution has made him one of the most
influential figures in human history, are
thought of as these, sort of, natural
You may be surprised to learn that much
like Cajal, Darwin was a poor student in
He washed out of medical school and ended
up, to his father’s
horror, heading out on a round the world
voyage as the ship’s naturalist.
Out on his own, Darwin was able to look
with fresh eyes at the data he was
Approaching material with a goal of
learning it on
your own, can give you a unique path to
Often no matter how good your teacher and
textbook are, it’s only when you sneak
off and look at other books or videos that
you begin to see what you learn
through a single teacher, or book, is
a partial version of the full three
reality of the subject, which has links to
still other fascinating topics that are of
Taking responsibility for your own
learning is one
of the most important things you can do.
Santiago Ramón y Cajal had a deep
understanding, not only of how to
conduct science but also of how people
just interact with one another.
He warned fellow learners that there will
always be those who
criticize or attempt to undermine any
effort or achievement you make.
This happens to everybody.
Not just Nobel Prize winners.
If you do well in your studies, the people
around you can feel threatened.
The greater your achievement, the more
people will sometimes attack and demean
On the other hand, if you flunk a test,
you also may
encounter critics who throw more barbs,
saying you don’t have what it takes.
We’re often told that empathy is
But it’s not.
It’s important to learn to switch on an
occasional cool dispassion that helps you
to not only focus on what you’re trying to
learn, but also to
tune people out if you discover that
their interests lie in undercutting you
is all too common, as people are
often just as competitive as they are
When you’re a young person, mastering such
dispassion can be difficult.
We’re naturally excited about what we’re
working on, and we like to believe that
everyone can be reasoned with and then,
almost everyone is naturally good hearted
Like Santiago Ramón y Cajal, you can take
pride in aiming for success.
Because of the very things that make other
people say you can’t do it.
Take pride in who you are.
Especially, in the qualities that make you
And use them as a secret talisman for
Use your natural contrariness to defy
present prejudices from others about what
you can accomplish.
I’m Barbara Oakley.
Thanks for learning about learning
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