Have you ever heard of cognitive flexibility? It has to do with the ability to adapt to circumstances and also to knowledge through creativity, imagination, empathy and, of course, curiosity. You may have once thought that to be successful in life you need to have a high IQ and only in this way can you be successful in areas as complicated as technology, science or innovation. Nothing is further from reality, cognitive flexibility is much more important.
That is why, in cognitive flexibility, it is so important to develop the creative, imaginative, motivational and empathetic capacity to advance cognitively in the face of any concept or behavior that is necessary to achieve goals or objectives. At any stage, at any age. It is, in short, the ability to learn to learn in the most flexible way possible.
Unfortunately, there are people who, due to their personal characteristics or the education received, have a rigid mind that does not think beyond what is imposed on them. On the other hand, those flexible people always look further, are good at solving problems thanks to their creativity and ingenuity and do not get confused if they make mistakes. They learn from mistakes because they know they are the best teachers.
It is very important to educate children in cognitive flexibility because it is what will really lead them to success. They will be able to think of new ideas, connect some concepts with others and invent things without thinking that they are nonsense.
IQ is not everything
Perhaps academically a child does not get good grades because it is difficult for him to have that rigid mind or that working memory, but on the other hand, they are incredible when it comes to solving problems… because success does not depend only on IQ but on the ability to resolve . A person of average intelligence can create masterpieces as a painter, for example, but only if his creativity has been properly developed and he has not been educated in a rigid mind.
IQ is important, of course, but EI (Emotional Intelligence) and cognitive flexibility will be responsible for leading a person to success. These more mentally flexible people will be able to find the mistakes they make to learn from them and improve their performance in any field. They will look for the necessary strategies to overcome them, because they know that a mistake is not synonymous with failure, but rather the opportunity to improve themselves.
When you have good cognitive flexibility, it is also possible to have good resilience, since these people have greater resistance to adverse life circumstances. This makes them try to look not only for the good part of things, but also for what causes them pain or emotional discomfort, they will manage it in such a way that it will not cause them a severe problem, but they will look for a way to be and feel better within the circumstances that they have had to live.
Thanks to this resilience and the Emotional Intelligence they have, they will be people with a greater capacity to understand their own and others’ emotions, they will have greater critical thinking and will know how to intuit what the intentions of other people are in order to better choose one path or another in different circumstances. social.
Beware of cognitive rigidity
When we talk about the other side of the coin in terms of cognitive flexibility, we find its rigidity. Sometimes, this rigidity can be associated with various mental health problems such as OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), major depression or ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder).
Although it also depends a lot on the type of education that has been offered to children since their earliest childhood. If from a young age children are not allowed to have creativity, imagination, express themselves freely… they will end up having a rigid mind that will not allow them to advance in their own ideals and interests.
For all this, it is so important to train cognitive flexibility in children and adults. It can be done through cognitive-behavioral therapy in order to change people’s rigid or negative thought patterns and at the same time improve the behavior they present in their lives.
This cognitive flexibility is essential for any child and adult, but especially for children with ASD and the elderly. In this way, people of any age will have new skills and feel better about themselves by realizing that their thinking is more flexible and that they can better deal with daily life situations, whatever they may be.
When people feel capable of overcoming adversity or daily problems, they will know that resilience is in themselves, something that will undoubtedly make them have greater well-being both in their present and in their future. Cognitive flexibility is essential at the social level to have a successful society.