Changeable Brain 1/4: Focus + Repetition = Change

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Part 1 of 4 on your changeable brain–As you consider facing challenges and making changes in the new year, let’s start with some brain science from our new book:

“If you ignore the billions of neural connections that must be navigated, the brain is remarkably simple. Change in a healthy brain comes down to a predictable cycle: whatever you focus on and repeat will lead to a change, a new habit, a new way of thinking, or a new skill.

Focus + Repetition = Change

Whether you are learning to play the piano, negotiate contracts, or make small talk, the brain responds to repetitive demand. What the brain does repeatedly, it gets better at doing—even if the behavior is bad for you or is the wrong way of doing it. Your brain chemistry and wiring do not discriminate about the goodness or badness of a repeated behavior. If you avoid an interaction, you train yourself to avoid it. If you say a certain phrase often, you say it even more often.”

In short, you can face any pit of success and your brain can rewire. Be intentional about your focus and add a little repetition.

Based on excerpt from “The Pit of Success: How Leaders Adapt, Succeed, and Repeat” by Dave Jennings and Amy Leishman available in February 2021

About the Author
Dave Jennings accelerates meaningful change. He has worked with leaders from 20 of the Fortune 500 and spoken in 23 countries. His articles and commentary have been featured in The Washington Post, Forbes, and He is author of Catapulted: How Great Leaders Succeed Beyond their Experience. Contact Dave at