Use it or Lose it: Connections Matter

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  • We’ve all heard the expression “Use it, or lose it”. Just a few days ago I was talking with a professor about neural pathways and how if we don’t continually think certain thoughts or perform specific practices, we literally lose the neural pathways that have been established in our brains. The wiring just stops working.  If at some point in the future we choose to re-establish those connections, it’s like starting from ground zero.

    I was struck by his terminology in saying “if you don’t use the connection, it’s gone”. Not only does that have significant meaning for the connections of our neural pathways, but what about our other connections in life too? The same holds true for our friendships and relationships with our on and off-line family- if we don’t continue to nurture them, we lose them.

    I’m such a visual person and I can just picture the interconnected neural pathways inside my brain. I’m also such a tangible person and I also can “see” the interconnectedness between all of us as individuals. We’ve all experienced losing touch with a friend and then years later, trying to reestablish that same relationship. Sometimes it’s easy to step back in where we left off, and other times much more difficult. Use it or lose it.

    In today’s fast-paced, ultra connected world, staying connected to the ones we cherish is so very important. But time is valuable and there are so many things vying for our attention that often, the things we cherish most, fall to the wayside from neglect. If we want to keep those connections strong, we need to make a conscious effort to do so.

    There are many ways to stay in touch with people we love, especially through social media tools like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Real life offers opportunity to be with friends, but sometimes it’s hard to stay in touch with everyone that’s important. Personally, I love Send Out Cards and use that to let loved ones know how much they mean to me. (You can try it for FREE  too!)

    Regardless of what method we choose, if we don’t use it, we’ll lose the connection, both in our our neural pathways and in the interconnectedness of our world.

    I can’t think of anything more valuable to me in my life than the relationships with those that I love. So today, I’m going to reach out and consciously use the connection so I don’t lose it. How do you stay connected? What tricks can you share with our community? Just by sharing, you’re staying connected to us, and we thank you in advance for doing so. We really value you as a part of this community, so thanks for being here today and sharing your wisdom with us.

    Gail Lynne Goodwin

    Gail Lynne Goodwin is the founder of InspireMeToday.com, bringing the best inspiration to the world. InspireMeToday.com provides free inspiration, each day from a new Inspirational Luminary, to a global community of folks from over 150 countries. Gail has interviewed many well-known names including Sir Richard Branson, Guy Laliberte, Seth Godin, Tony Hseih, Gary Vaynerchuk, Michael Gerber, Marci Shimoff, Jack Canfield and hundreds more. According to Mashable, Gail was one of 2009's Top 25 Most Inspirational People on Twitter. Prior to InspireMeToday.com, Gail spent several years as manager for her recording artist daughter, Carly. As a result of the success of their co-penned song, "Baby Come Back Home", Gail accompanied her daughter to bases in the US and to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba where Carly performed for our troops. Gail and Carly created the 'World's Longest Letter' of love and support and delivered the 18-mile long scroll on a month-long tour of Iraq and the Persian Gulf in 2006. Gail is excited to present her latest course, Love in 21 Days, a step-by-step guide to finding love online. Love in 21 Days is founded on a logical process that has been tested - and proven! - by not only Gail, but also by students around the world who too have found love. Gail is a published author and a regular writer for the Huffington Post. She offers mentoring and mastermind services to clients worldwide from her home in Whitefish, Montana. Follow Gail on Twitter or Google+.

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    1. Scott Milford
      Scott Milford says:

      Gail,

      I love the “connections” you made with the neural pathways concept and how it relates to our relationships. I was also thinking about it from another angle. Knowing that we lose neural connections if we don’t use them, is information we can also use to our advantage.

      For instance: If a person continues mentally reliving a trauma from their past, that is keeping the neural pathway connected. With this understanding, they can set up “interrupts” (an action that serves to jolt one out of a thought pattern). So if this person finds himself thinking of the trauma (and drudging up all the nasty emotions again), he can, for example, pinch himself…hard! This sharp pain is interrupting the emotionally-charged thoughts with firm physical pain. While the pinch is still stinging, he would then shift his mind onto something else…a distraction…hopefully a good, more constructive distraction.

      So when a person stops using the pathway that is used to recall nasty emotional experiences from the past, it would weaken and eventually disappear. Hmmm…maybe a happy distraction would be calling a friend to have a laugh or two. 🙂

      Cheers,
      Scott

      Reply
      • Gail
        Gail says:

        Thank you Scott. I appreciate your great suggestion and again, for adding yet another way to look at this. Thanks again for your comments and for being such a great part of our InspireMeToday.com community!

        Big hugs,
        Gail

        Reply

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