Training Our Brain For Problem Solving:


Mental Agility, Flexible Thinking or Cognitive Flexibility, no matter what the name, it is the ability to adapt our thinking to our circumstances. It is our ability to overcome the default responses that come from our old habits and perspectives.

Cognitive flexibility is our willingness to see obvious things differently. It is our ability to question our own thoughts and feelings. A flexible mindset allows us to see our mistakes as opportunities for learning and growth. When used well, it can be the biggest tool in our problem solving toolkit.



Interpret Problems As Just Tough Situations:


Our behavior is governed by our emotions, thoughts and perceptions of the reality around us. When we face a new situation or a different environment – our beliefs and our ideas are challenged. When we’re optimistic, changes in our environment tend to make us curious and open minded. When we’re fearful, we anticipate things to go wrong, there by leading to worries and anxieties.

When we adapt mental flexibility, we think of possibilities and solutions rather than anticipating fear. What’s more, flexible thinking, in the face of an ever changing landscape, keeps you in charge of your current situation.

And here’s the clincher. Mental agility that’s aided with novelty and calculated risks set us on a path of growth and learning for a lifetime.



The Right Frame Of Mind:


The art of mental flexibility allows us to reexamine our beliefs and thoughts so we can arrive at different conclusions. You can still be the same you, but have a different perspective on things that unfold around you.

The underlying skill that enables us to think differently is a deep sense of self awareness. So, start the new year with revisiting your existing emotions, beliefs and your thoughts.

A positive frame of mind – the right attitude gives us possibilities that can’t be thought of when we’re second guessing our every move. In the face of obstacles the right attitude helps you stay focused and motivated. It helps us act on our dreams.



Hope For The Future:


Cognitive flexibility, the ability to break out of regimented thinking, can help children in understanding abstract concepts and bring them to life through their own interpretation. That same mental agility later in life can enable them to become efficient problem solvers through creative and innovative solutions. An agile mind helps them to become resilient and adaptable to any situation life puts them into.

Machines that we’re building using our spectacular Science, Math and Engineering skills are dictating how we must think, feel and act. But this was our unique value proposition as humans to begin with – our mind – that can help us think, feel and act and we’re allowing tech distractions to cloud over it.

The key to sustained learning and achievement is for all of us is to continue practicing patience, understanding, flexible thinking and open communication. Here are a few thoughts that can ensure we thrive in the face of constant change and getting started on mental agility.


  1. Believe in the here and now.
  2. Stay open for possibilities.
  3. It’s just a tough situation not a problem.
  4. Don’t resist anything.
  5. You can be a lifelong learner.
  6. Only fear fear itself.


* * *

About The Article Author:

Our mission with FutureSTRONG Academy – to grow children who respect themselves, their time and their capabilities in a world where distractions are just a click or a swipe away.

I see myself as an advocate for bringing social, emotional and character development to families, schools and communities. I never want to let this idea out of my sight – Our children are not just GPAs. I’m a Writer and a Certified Master Coach in NLP and CBT. Until 2017, I was also a Big Data Scientist. In December of 2044, I hope to win the Nobel. Namasté

Write to me or call me. Tell me what support from me looks like. 

Rachana Nadella-Somayajula,
Program Director & Essential Life Skills Coach for Kids and Busy Parents

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