(This article was published in Succeed magazine)
Every generation throughout the ages has developed the relevant knowledge and skills to deal with their immediate world and circumstances.
According to Dr Kobus Neethling, this understanding has been entrenched so deeply into our existence that we have been conditioned to think in a particular way. The end result is narrow mindedness and inability to use the entire brain to tap into our true potential.
Kobus Neethling life studying the intricacies of the human brain. His qualifications are formidable. They include two Master’s degrees, a Doctorate and a post Doctorate degree in the identification and development of creative behaviour, from the universities of Cape Town and Georgia in the USA.
He has written more than 90 TV series and 80 books, many of which have become international best sellers. However, one book aptly titled, Making the impossible possible, which Neethling co-authored, earned him a Guinness World record. It became the first book of more than 100 pages to be written in the fastest time ever – four and a half minutes.
His latest contribution to the literary world, Am I clever or am I stupid?, was co-authored by Raché Rutherford. It aims to broaden the human mind and improve confidence and thinking skills, while at the same time helping people to accept others with differing personalities, more easily.
"It is never too late to transform the way you think. It doesn’t matter if you are eight or eighty years old, you can still become the person you have always dreamed you wanted to be," says Neethling.
The book removes the stigma attached to the words clever and stupid and helps the reader discover more about him or herself. "You are unique, clever and creative in your own special way and as you become aware of yourunique abilities your confidence will grow and you will start to tap into your full potential."
Neethling believes that the words clever and stupid have been used to describe people for centuries and have become intimidating descriptions used to label people according to broadly accepted norms. This narrowminded labelling is being facilitated in schools where you are given an A, B, C, D, E or F symbol to rate how brilliant or unintelligent you are.
You never escape this labelling and even thirty years after finishing school you continue to label others and yourself according to the clever, average or stupid categories.
While the education you received at school is very important it is critical to expand your thinking beyond these narrow paradigms, to truly understand what is clever and stupid in the 21st century.
Tragically, those classified as stupid eventually convince themselves that they are unable to accomplish anything and tend to settle for mediocrity. To truly transform our approach to this type of thinking, we must reverse this classification by changing the emotions and behaviour attached to the stigma.
"Once you change your thinking, you can change absolutely anything." Accepting this belief gives individuals power to transform anything negative to their advantage. Thoughts come from your own mind – you create them, which means you have the ability to change and condition your thoughts.
This conditioning of your thoughts allows you to eliminate negativity, which limits your abilities, and focus on positivity, which allows you to approach situations in a new, dynamic and fresh way. Neethling has committed his life to helping others achieve greatness by improving their business and personal exploits. "My passion is to show you how to ignite the creative spark from within and shine a light far brighter than any light bulb, spark or flame."
As one of the leading global intellectuals, he does not allow his success to distract him from his true passion, which is to drive transformation by shaping the way individuals use their brains. As a result Neethling has become a renowned international trainer and keynote speaker.
Neethling has presented noteworthy motivational speeches, training and development programmes for many of South Africa's leading companies and organisations. The list includes Shell, BMW, Ogilvy & Mather, Mercedes-Benz, Anglo American, Amplats,Anglo Gold, Old Mutual, Sanlam and three of South Africa’s four major banks.
In April this year Neethling was billed as, "one of the top three speakers in the world on the topics of creativity and innovation" at the 12th European Conference on Creativityand Innovation.