Why We Focus On Neurocognitive Developmental Training As The Basis Of Instigating Transformational Change And Peformance Breakthrough
At each stage of human existence the adult is off on his quest to his Holy Grail, the way of life he sees by which to live.
– Clare W. Graves
Because people get stuck when the worldview they are using doesn’t accommodate the outcomes they intend … they need a way to get out of their “stuck state.”
Neurocognitive Developmental Training provides the skeleton key that unlocks the mystery of success.
This is the essential and most rewarding reason “WHY” it makes sense to get Neurocognitive Developmental Training (NDT) … but, once you dive down the rabbit hole you’ll find so much more that will be valuable to you too.
Neurocognitive Developmental Training is all about building “(Human) Adaptive Intelligence” – i.e.: the ability to adapt your thinking to the situations and contexts you encounter and are engaged in at any given time.
When you put your attention on it, you’ll likely recognize that what I’m calling (Human) Adaptive Intelligence, or (H)AI, is an innate trait of almost everyone you’ve met and know, including yourself. However, you may also simultaneously recognize how most folks avoid “adapting” their way of thinking, or probably more frequently reach the limits of their capacity to adapt rather quickly.
So, why is it, if we all seem to possess the ability to use adaptive thinking, that we don’t more naturally, frequently, and easily do it?
I’d argue it’s because it makes us uncomfortable to operate outside of, or beyond, our most familiar ways of operating, in this case thinking and acting.
This is the clearly identified and documented psychological “Cognitive Dissonance Theory” …
Essentially this theory states that people will avoid whatever is unfamiliar, and when they cannot make sense of the unfamiliar create a rational reason to explain what is unfamiliar within the boundaries of their current Model of the World, i.e.: their way of perceiving and making sense of the world around them, including their current beliefs and values.
Simply stated, Cognitive Dissonance Theory, suggests that people would rather live with discomfort and/or dissatisfaction, and continue to fail at succeeding in the ways the claim to most desire, than have to change their beliefs and values to match the situational and/or contextual evidence they confront, i.e.:
Therefore, unless AND until someone shifts the Model of the World they are operating from, they will keep repeating the same challenges they have confronted in the past, and fail to make the changes in their life would allow them to succeed, but cause them instead to continue failing in the same way that they always have in the past.– Joseph Riggio, Ph.D.
This presents people with a huge limitation in getting what they want, yet people will still avoid updating their Model of the World even when they recognize and know that’s what’s required of them to get what they want, and to find satisfaction and peace in their lives, all because the discomfort of making that change seems to them in the moment more disquieting and unreachable than not having the satisfaction and peace of getting what they deeply desire feels like to them now.
Ultimately most of us operate off of well established patterns of neurochemically and neurophysiologically ingrained behavior. These patterns arise in us as “GO” or “NO GO” signals.
Our “GO/NO GO” signals are actually organized somatically as well as psychologically, originating for the most part as shifts in our vestibular and proprioceptive systems, literally we “feel” in or out of balance, and like we’re stuck or motivated to take action.
This is deeply connected to the idea of your “gut response” … that feeling in the pit of your stomach when you know something is wrong and it makes you a bit queasy or nauseous, or when something is very right and you feel a tingling warmth about it in your belly.
Most people have learned to override this primitive, instinctual system designed to serve as both an “early warning system” as well as a “alert system to opportunity” by processing the “signals in the system,” i.e: the data that’s present, rationally or logically instead.
So they lose out on the benefit of learning how to trust this ancient system of response that is designed to protect and serve them.
We now know, through recent neuroscientific research, that the “vagal pathway” a system of nerves that is dominated by the vagus nerve that runs from brain to the digestive organs, controls much of what we have historically thought of informally and colloquially as our “gut response” … that innate way of knowing what is bad or good for us, before we even have time to think about it.
Here’s a short list of some of the ways the vagal pathway is involved in our health and sense of wellbeing (http://upliftconnect.com/12-ways-unlock-powers-vagus-nerve/):
Vagus nerve dysfunction can result in a whole host of problems including obesity, bradycardia (abnormally slow heartbeat), difficulty swallowing, gastrointestinal diseases, fainting, mood disorders, B12 deficiency, chronic inflammation, impaired cough, and seizures.
Meanwhile, the vagus nerve stimulation has been shown to improve conditions such as:
- Anxiety disorder
- Heart disease
- Alcohol addiction
- Leaky gut
- Bad blood circulation
- Mood disorder
So you can see that we’re looking at a very significant part of our nervous system as it affects us.
What I’ve found in my work with people is that the “GO/NO GO” signal we experience is also part of the vagal response system, and that it links to our vestibular (sense of balance) and proprioceptive (sense of self/movement) systems, the very thing that gives us the feelings of either being stuck or being motivated to take action.
As far as I can tell from my work with thousands of clients this function of the vagal response system is deeply intertwined with the Neurocognitive Developmental Level you are operating from as well. Literally, where in your brain you preference when you are noticing information in the environment, making sense of what you notice, making decisions based on what you perceive, and taking action based on the decisions you make.
Using my unique Neurocognitive Developmental Training technology, ACT! | Adaptive Cognitive Training, you can literally update your vagal response to be more resilient and effective in aligning your “GO/NO GO” signals to the actual signals in the system and the outcomes you want to achieve.
In the ACT! | Adaptive Cognitive Training model, I refer to the chain of processes from Sensory Perception to Sense Making to Decision Making to Action Taking, as the “Perception to Action Loop” in part because it’s both iterative and recursive, updating as it “loops” on itself.
Here’s a look at one way of graphically representing this system:
[File Download: ACT-PerceptiontoActionLoop]
If we add the ‘GO/NO GO” signaling process that operates through the vagal pathway the model might look like this …
[File Download: ACT-PerceptiontoActionVagalLoop]
In part, updating the Neurocognitive Developmental Level you’re operating from by default updates what you’re noticing for and how you notice for it in the environment – what I call your Perceptual Filters, and the way you make sense of information – what I call your “Sorting Patterns” … this has the effect of changing the decisions you make and the action you take, because you are noticing different information and making sense of it differently as well.
A simple example of this would be whether you are noticing for risk or opportunity, the sequence in which you do that (assuming you can notice for risk and opportunity), and the way you balance how you make sense of both in relationship to one another.
Someone who notices first for risk will tend to be “risk adverse” and protective of themselves and the relative safety of their current situation.
Someone who notices first for opportunity will tend to be “risk willing” and seek to leverage themselves and the possibilities in the current situation.
Now which one is the better choice is totally situational and contextual …
For example making a decision to walk through a dark alley late at night in an unfamiliar neighborhood to cut ten minutes off the time it would take to get to your hotel if you walked the long way might suggest that the more useful strategy is to first access the risk and act with some degree of risk aversion.
An alternative example might be making a decision to run an advertisement for your business that has an upside of 1000% return on the investment and only represents .01% of the revenue that a product or service currently generates suggests that the more useful strategy might be to first access the opportunity and act with some degree of risk willingness.
Understanding that you are not stuck to one fixed way of thinking about the world, or using one fixed, default pattern of response is the first step in freeing yourself to experience a major update to your worldview and the model of the world you operate from, as well as the ability to reap massive rewards associated with significantly increasing your level of adaptability.
When you engage in Neurocognitive Developmental Training you begin this process of loosening the lock hold that your current worldview has on you, and releases you from the limitations of the model of the world you are operating from now in those situations and contexts where it simply doesn’t serve you best.
Neurocognitive Developmental Training really gives you a smoother and more elegant access to the full range of (Human) Adaptive Intelligence, than you currently have now, and opens up your ability to access all of the Neurocognitive Developmental Levels that are innately available to you, even if you have difficulty accessing them now, or simply don’t access them at all yet.
“When man is finally able to see himself and the world around him with clear cognition, he finds a picture far more pleasant. Visible in unmistakable clarity and devastating detail is man’s failure to be what he might be and his misuse of his world.
This revelation causes him to leap out in search of a way of life and system of values which will enable him to be more than he has been. He seeks a foundation of self-respect, which will have value system rooted in knowledge and cosmic reality where he expresses himself so that all others, all beings can continue to exist.
His values now are of a different order from those at previous levels: They arise not from selfish interest but from the recognition of the magnificence of existence and the desire that it shall continue to be.”
– Clare W. Graves
Joseph Riggio, Ph.D.
Architect & Designer of the MythoSelf Process and SomaSemantics
Stockton, NJ in the Delaware River Valley
P.S. – You can also read more about ACT! | Adaptive Cognitive Training, the Perception to Action Loop, and Neurocognitive Developmental Levels here: Transformational Performance Breakthrough