Most Basic Virtue after a TBI is Cognition by William Jarvis, EdD

beauty queenFor many years, the contestants on beauty pageants would answer “World Peace” to the question, “What is the most important aspect of society?” Many would answer “Love.”

Different people have different ideas of the important things in life.  What is the most important thing to the TBI Survivor for improvement? Some would think perseverance and some would think consistency. Both are important, but there may be an even more influential virtue.

I suggest that the most influential virtue is “thought.” It is not what a person thinks, but that there is the ability to think in the first place. It was Norman Vincent Peale who said, “Change your thoughts and you’ll change your world.” Cognitive thought influences everything you do.  Does not your ability to think supersede what you think about?

I believe that the most basic virtue after a TBI is cognition itself. Many survivors have cognitive limitations after their injury. Improving cognition helps a Survivor shape and deal with a new life with TBI. Everyone is different and everyone adjusts with different rates of “success.” This “adjustment” largely depends on the ability to think clearly about your limitations. It is when you have clear thinking that you can make good decisions on how to progress forward. It’s about cognition

Many rehabilitation programs have cognitive therapy as a vital part of the program.  Rehabilitation programs that implement this involve their patient in “cognitive activities” to reinforce thinking skills. To improve at anything a person must engage in activities that include that particular skill. Therefore, cognition is improved through speaking, writing, and any activity that uses “thought.” Even writing this blog is improves cognitive development.

No matter how serious your injury, doing activities to improve thinking is most helpful to your overall improvement. Improved thinking will result in optimistic, positive thoughts of what is possible.  Simultaneously, the TBI Survivor will improve other dimensions of engagement with life. Change your thoughts and you’ll change your world.

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