It never ceases to amaze me, what the human mind is capable of bringing into being.
I had the pleasure of spending this past weekend with my father. Dad is an engineer for Northrup Grumann, and at one point over dinner the conversation turned to the next generation of scientific advancement. Dad – as is his habit when this subject comes up – got a gleam in his eye and broke into a wide smile as he described the next wave, what is commonly referred to as Nanotechnology.
In its simplest terms, nanotechnology is the programming of the atom. Imagine a countertop in your kitchen, for example, that had been constructed out of nanotech materials. It could be programmed to react to various substances – say, liquid – in order to contain spills. Imagine a counter whose surface, upon contact with any sort of liquid, changed shape to form small bowls in order to trap and contain the spill. Or imagine that same counter that was able to fold up and fit into a cupboard with the push of a button. Nanotechnology makes physical, solid forms plastic and malleable, able to shift and change shape to suit what ever the needs of the moment might be. The applications of atomic programming (computing, construction, medicine, transportation and more) are limitless, and will radically alter the way we live and think about reality.
As my father was talking about the new science fiction becoming fact, I found myself thinking about some of the most recent advances in Neurology. It was believed for many years that the mind was fairly rigid, that by the age of three or four it had developed all the traits and patterns of thought that would form an individual’s personality and manner of relating to the world – the habits of our perceptions, if you will – and that these habits would remain for the rest of our lives. Now, science had demonstrated that while the personality may be fairly set, our perceptions and the habits of our mind are not. In fact, they are highly plastic, able to take new shape and new form with a sustained effort. Much like Dad’s nanotech, with the right programming (the right patterns of thought, that is), the mind can alter its perceptions and begin into interact with the world in a whole new way.
This is the best part of being a counselor.
The fact is, with consistent effort and the proper guidance, there is nothing that the mind cannot not overcome. In many ways, you can bring your life – the one you daydream about while reading these emails at work – into being. You can make your fiction fact. No matter the difficulty that you struggle with, be it a relationship, weight control, self-esteem, anxiety, depression or what-have -you, there are proven ways of shifting your thinking, and with it, your life. All you need is the desire to change.
Jason Burnett, MS, MS Candidate
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