The importance of cognitive flexibility
Cognitive flexibility – the mind’s ability to adapt – is a particularly sought after skill among students given the ever-evolving challenges faced in the real world, with the shift toward direct application of what is taught in the classroom. More and more elite schools are emphasising the importance of having not only academic intelligence but also the ability to adapt and evolve – skills that are a requisite both in and out of the workplace.
Cognitive flexibility is related to resilience; both traits are important in maintaining highly functional mental health as well as in developing pro-social behaviour. These two traits can be practiced with continued exposure to new situations, where the brain is challenged to a point right before the stress threshold is reached and performance is compromised.
When it comes to real life application and showcasing these skills, it is important to show one’s ability to think outside the box by considering potential other viewpoints – to get into law school, for example, and to succeed beyond it.