Discovering the Mind's Potential: Empowering Personal Growth and Pursuing Dreams | Schiller International University Skip to main content Skip to footer

We were honored to welcome back Dr. Mikel Alonso at Schiller International University. After The Global Education Revolution event, he came back to inspire us in a new edition of the  “School for Dreamers” series moderated by Professor Jose B. Pinto. Dr. Alonso's journey from personal experiences to groundbreaking findings on understanding the brain took the students on a transformative adventure.

A Change of Plans 

When starting off his academic journey Dr. Alonso looked logically at the job that made the most sense to him skill and monetary-wise, which led him to pursue a career in computer engineering and later specialize in telecommunications. By the age of 28, Dr. Alonso had achieved remarkable success professionally, yet he found himself plagued by sadness and negative emotions.

It was at this point in his life that he experienced a turning point. He realized that despite his accomplishments and material wealth, something was missing. He delved deep into introspection and began to question how emotions work in our brains. This introspection sparked a newfound dream within him – to unravel the mysteries of the human brain and understand the intricate workings of our emotions. 

Neurons: The Building Blocks of the Brain

Dr. Alonso shared that the journey to understanding the brain begins with acknowledging that everything we do and think stems from the interconnections of millions of neurons. He explained that our brain utilizes different neuron pathways every day to carry out various tasks. The fundamental question then arises: How does it all work, and why do we do the things that we do?

In his book, "The Optimistic Brain," Dr. Alonso highlights the remarkable ability of the brain to reprogram itself. Contrary to the previous belief that we do not generate new neurons, he revealed that neurogenesis occurs daily, leading to the birth of thousands of new neurons. This phenomenon, coupled with the brain's inherent neuroplasticity, demonstrates that our thoughts and experiences can shape and change the physical structure of our brain. 

Changing Our Brain to Change Our Lives

He emphasized that utilizing this neuroplasticity can enable us to transform our lives. Drawing from the inspiring story of a man who overcame a stroke, Dr. Alonso explained how the brain can be reprogrammed through a step-by-step process of rebuilding neural pathways. By starting from the bottom and progressively working towards recovery, the man regained his ability to walk. This powerful example showcased the potential of harnessing neuroplasticity to overcome challenges and achieve personal growth.

Teaching Our Brain to Be Happy

Dr. Alonso delved deeper into the wiring of the brain, highlighting that it is not inherently wired for happiness. Instead, our brains are primarily focused on survival and reproduction. Our natural inclination is to conserve energy and avoid expending it on seeking happiness or trying new things. However, he stressed that by understanding and applying the concept of neuroplasticity, we can actively seek happiness and venture outside our comfort zones.

Expanding on the role of relationships in our lives, Dr. Alonso emphasized the significance of love and connection. He shared scientific evidence that suggests the brain experiences the greatest happiness when engaged in sexual intimacy with a long-term partner. Love, he emphasized, is the most fulfilling gift we can give to our brains. 

Furthermore, Dr. Alonso acknowledged the influence of toxic individuals on our well-being. He cautioned against the negative impact they can have, both mentally and physically. Toxic people drain our energy, consume our time, and undermine our self-esteem. When faced with such individuals, he advised preparing ourselves mentally and considering our interactions with them as acts of kindness.

Fear and Stress in Our Lives

Dr. Alonso acknowledged that fear often acts as a limiting factor in our lives, hindering us from pursuing our dreams. However, he affirmed the necessity of confronting and overcoming fear to achieve personal growth.

Addressing the issue of stress, Dr. Alonso shared that one of the most effective therapies for stress is kindness. By being kind to others, we shift our perspective and attract kindness in return, leading to increased happiness. He emphasized that our brains perceive the world based on the narrative we provide. If we label the day as bad or someone as negative, our brains will focus on those aspects, amplifying their impact. Thus, he encouraged the audience to consciously choose to focus on the good things in life.

Shape Your Brain Into its Best Version at Schiller International University

Shape Your Brain Into its Best Version at  Schiller International University

At Schiller International University, we are  committed to nurturing students' dreams and helping them shape a healthy mind. The School for Dreamers event exemplified our dedication to encouraging students to take risks, pursue their passions, and create fulfilling lives. By providing an environment that supports personal growth and empowering individuals to overcome fear, we aim to equip students with the tools and mindset needed to chase their dreams. 

Schiller University partner for dual degrees: University of Roehampton London Logo
ACCSC Accreditation Logo
Comunidad de Madrid Accreditation Logo
evalag Accreditation Logo

About the author