The 15 Percent Solution
You've heard it before and so have I: the average person only uses 10 percent of their brain. This means as you go through your daily activities on average you only use 10 percent of your mental capacities. Can you imagine how much more you could accomplish if you could use more of your brain?
I'm not asking you to use 90 percent, but how about 15 percent?
How much more could you accomplish if you were using 15 percent of your brain on a consistent and persistent basis? Could you do better assessments? Could you provide better care? Would you be better equipped to evaluate your treatments and avoid complications in your patients? I think most of us would.
But how do you squeak out another 5 percent if you are using only 10 percent of your brain and you feel like you’re using a lot. You’re stressed and at times you go home mentally exhausted. How can you squeeze that extra 5 percent out?
I believe the key lies in your knowledge base. The greater your knowledge base, the more information you have to go back to. The greater your knowledge base, the more connections you find between concepts. And the greater your knowledge base, the more creativity you can use in finding solutions to complex problems. So read, observe, pay attention, keep an open mind and be receptive to learning. Remember that there's plenty of room for extra potential and strive for a little more, just 15 percent.
15 percent of your mental capability is 50 percent more than you've been using. Your assessments would be 50 percent better. Your interventions would be 50 percent better. Your ability to respond in a crisis would be 50 percent better. That's a big jump for a little bump in brain power.
So how do you go about achieving this lofty 15 percent? The first step is to learn something new today. Learn something new every week. I use what I call the idea quota; I require myself to come up with one new idea every week. It maintains my creativity and it keeps me looking for unique and innovative solutions all the time. You could do the same thing with your care by making a creativity quotient or an idea quota for every week. Require yourself to learn something new every week. Come up with a new idea every week and you'll find that your brain power is expanding and before you know it you'll be up to your 15 percent which would dramatically improve your outcomes.
David W. Woodruff, MSN, RN, CNS
President, Ed4Nurses, Inc.