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Let’s assume we do, in fact, use only 10% of our brain. If you could unlock the remaining 90%, what would you do with it?

I find that hard to believe; even basic autonomic functions, conditioned responses, basic daily functions must use up at least 10% of our brain power, if not more. So I did some research and found: “Though an alluring idea, the ’10 percent myth’  is so wrong it is almost laughable,” says neurologist Barry Gordon of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, (in a Scientific American article).

Gordon adds: “It turns out though, that we use virtually every part of the brain, and that [most of] the brain is active almost all the time. Let’s put it this way: the brain represents three percent of the body’s weight and uses 20 percent of the body’s energy.”

I know I often think I’m not using enough of my brain power — and I bet a lot of people think that, too. People can be dissatisfied that they don’t know more, can’t work out a problem satisfactorily, or couldn’t finish the crossword puzzle. I often rifle through the crowded file cabinet of my brain looking for things I know are in there, and can’t find them — or I remember them hours later. This, too, is a curious thing: I think our brains continue working on problems or solutions even when we’re not aware of the effort being expended.

What or how much one knows shouldn’t be mistaken for brain power either.  A young child who is just learning to speak or walk may well be using as much brain power as lawyer in a courtroom.

The movie Forrest Gump made me realize that using one’s potential to the fullest is more significant than intelligence. How many people can really say they’ve given 100% to a task — I have for some things, but not for many others. Or I’ve chosen not to take on a challenge making excuses for myself.

Self-motivation, creativity, and innovative thinking are as important as any intelligence quotient. The most important message I took from Forrest Gump was that a desire to succeed and live life to the fullest was more important that raw IQ.

Eloise Ristad, author, singer, and teacher said: “When we give ourselves permission to fail, we, at the same time, give ourselves permission to excel.” Richard Branson is big on failure — because of the lessons it teaches.

Really successful people have a vision and creativity and something many of us don’t have — no fear of failure. It’s often this fear, or not being the best, or sounding “stupid” — all these things stop many of us (including me) from pushing ahead, allowing ourselves to be challenged and pull out all the good stuff our brains can produce.