Brain Byte: Put Your Smartphone Down and Look Around

Photo Credit: Meme Binge on Flickr

Photo Credit: Meme Binge on Flickr

My husband has not worn a watch in the 30 years that I have known him, yet he can tell you the time within minutes. He seems to have an innate sense of time. He can also drive me almost anywhere within our state without using a GPS. In fact, he says, “Turn that thing off!” If I enlist the help of the friendly Navigator App on my smartphone. He has a keen picture in his mind of where he is going; keeps his sense of direction and navigates more by his internal compass than actual road names. He knows if he goes about 20 miles east, 4 miles south, takes a turn west at the destination road, that he will soon arrive where he set out to be.

He is also aware of the environment around him: he watches the clouds, feels the air, and smells a storm a mile away. According to the “world’s smartest person” Marilyn Vos Savant in her book, Brain Building in Just 12 Weeks, my husband is doing the work of a genius.

Ms. Vos Savant suggests in Brain Builders #44 that we stop wearing a watch or looking at a clock for one week and instead start tuning into time. She points to the fact that animals have body clocks and so do humans. However, we are losing touch with our natural rhythms of time due to the reliance of technology and not using our brain as our time tool. Think about the migration of birds and the movement of certain fish, like salmon returning to the same spawning hole each year at the same time.

Think about what you are thinking about or NOT thinking about.  How much are you relying on technology?  How much of the time are you relying on your own built in senses and bio-computer?  The more you do the later, the smarter and more equipped you become to respond to your changing environment.  I am afraid it is true: “Smartphones are making us dumb.”

My Brain Byte challenge to you this week: Put down the Smartphone and look around! Now go out there and get smarter.

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Does Study Affect Your Creativity?

Success favors the prepared mind. – Louis Pasteur

Classroom with multicolor chairs

Where does creativity come from?  Some think it appears out of no where and some believe you are born creative.

Studies of highly creative people reveal that they nurture their creativity through a continuous quest for knowledge. Tony Buzan, one of the foremost creativity consultants in the world, defines creativity as ‘the degree of removal from the norm.’  Michael Gelb writes in Thinking for a Change that creativity is the result of a new combination of existing elements.  Combining these two ideas: to think outside the norm we must know more, coalesce the ideas, and produce new outcomes.

In conclusion, the more you know the more your capacity for creativity expands.

 

 

Brain Blooming

The best way to get a good idea is to get lots of ideas. – Linus Pauling (Nobel Prize Winner in Chemistry)

Some will challenge this and say too many ideas can lead to junk. But how will you know that the last idea will not be the best?

Brain Bloom quickly and effectively by using a Mind Map to capture every idea while naturally ordering them with the hierarchy of the Map.  You will quickly see themes and be able to pick out the good from the bad in short order.

 

 

Brain Byte: What Did Einstein Say About “Genius”?

Some Things Albert Einstein Accomplished (from Wikipedia)

Albert Einstein (/ˈælbərt ˈnstn/; German: [ˈalbɐrt ˈaɪnʃtaɪn] ( ); 14 March 1879 – 18 April 1955) was a German-born theoretical physicist and philosopher of science.[3] He developed the general theory of relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics (alongsidequantum mechanics).[2][4] He is best known in popular culture for his mass–energy equivalence formula E = mc2 (which has been dubbed “the world’s most famous equation”).[5] He received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics “for his services to theoretical physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect“.[6] The latter was pivotal in establishing quantum theory.

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Einstein’s theory of Genius

In spite of Albert Einstein’s incredible contributions to science, it is said that he was late to speak, an average math student, and possible that he failed French.

According to The Einstein Factor, Albert Einstein believed that you could stimulate ingenious thought by allowing your imagination to float freely, unrestrained by conventional inhibitions.  For example, Einstein attributed his discovery of the Theory of Relativity not to any special gift but rather to what he called his “retarded” development.

“A normal adult never stops to think about problems of space and time,” Einstein mused. “These are things which he has thought of as a child.  But my intellectual development was retarded, as a result of which I began to wonder about space and time only when I had already grown up.”

Einstein_1921_by_F_Schmutzer_-_restoration

 

 

 

 

 

Footnotes: Body information from The Einstein Factor book by Win Wenger, Ph.D. and Richard Poe.

Wise Wednesday: The Joy of Creativity

Hand Heart at Sunset

I have read many creativity books over the years  Most recently I am reading Thinking for a Change: 11 ways Highly Successful People Approach Life and Work, John Maxwell shares 5 Ways to Discover the Joy of Creativity:
1) Remove creativity killers
2) Ask the right questions
3) Develop a creative environment
4) Spend time with creative people
5) Get out of your box

I am using Maxwell’s 5 Ways as a starting point and adding insights from my experiences.

Remove Creativity Killers
Years ago I read a great book titled: No Yes But’s, and Other Creativity Killers. The premise of the book was that when you respond to an idea with, “Yes, but…” you infer the original idea was ‘not good enough’ and are sure to discourage and stifle all creativity from that point forward.

Learn to Eliminate Discouraging comments like:

It is not logical
We’ve tried that before
It has never been done
It can’t be done
It’s too much work
Be serious
Be practical
There is only one way
Don’t ask questions

Ask the Right Questions

To stimulate creative thinking, ask yourself:
Why must it be done this way? What is the root problem? What are the underlying issues? Why is it important? What is the opposite? What happens if we do not do this at all?
“The uncreative mind can spot wrong answers, but it takes a creative mind to spot wrong questions.” – Sir Antony Jay, Management Trainer

Develop a Creative Environment

Encourages creativity
Places a high value on trust among team members and individuality Embraces those who are creative or different
Focuses on innovation, not just invention
Places high value on options
Willing to let people go outside the Lines
Values Dreamers

Also consider the physical environment: if you have white or gray all around you, perhaps you need to bring someone in to help set a more creative surrounding.  Put things on your desk that have color because color excites the brain for most people, it evokes feelings and associations and tends to spark creative thinking.  Place a few toys on your desk to play with when you need a brain break.

Spend Time with Creative People
Creativity is contagious!  And, personally, I believe it is FUN to hang around people who are creative.  They are unique in their thinking, dress, words, ideas and tend to get me out of my comfort zone because they think EXTRAordinarily.

Get Out of Your Box

The most effective way to help yourself to get out of the box is to expose yourself to new paradigms. One way we can do that is by traveling to new places. Explore other cultures, countries, and traditions. Find out how people very different from you live and think. Another way to get out of your box is to read books on new subjects.

Wise Wednesday: What Creative Thinking May Do for You

You can’t use up creativity.  The more you use, the more you have. — Maya Angelou

According to John Maxwell in Thinking for a Change, there are 5 specific things creative thinking has the potential to do for you:

1) Adds Value to Everything

2) Compounds into more creative thinking (given enough time and focus)

3) Draws People to You and Your Ideas – think about the Leonardo da Vinci effect: people are still talking about him 500 plus years later

4) Helps You Learn More – “Creativity is the joy of not knowing it all.” — Ernie Zelinski.  Creativity is having options

5) Challenges the Status Quo

Next Brain Byte we will look at some ideas on How To discover the joy of creative thinking.

Wood, Stone, and Fire: Beauty, Brawn, and Blazes – Reflections of Worship

“Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you.” Exodus 25:8-9

As we study Exodus chapter 25 through 30, we see that God is the Master Planner. In this case, God gives Israel the exact specifications to build the Temple where He will “dwell” among his people  The incredible part of this documentation is that it took place 2000 years prior to the birth of Jesus and each element and requirement laid forth by God, points perfectly to His ultimate sacrifice.  Whether you believe, or not, that Jesus truly lived and died for you – will you read Exodus 25-30 along with 1 Chronicles 21:24; Romans 12:1; 2 Corinthians 8:2; Matthew 1:23; John 1:14; Ephesians 2:19-22.  This reading could change your life. Forever.

The Tabernacle prepared for God’s presence. He provided the stone, the fire, the wood, and the precious gems to make this Tabernacle beautiful and worthy of His presence among his people.

Fireplace 2014

I am so thankful today for the joy I have gazing at the beauty of God’s creation.

I have an unusual love for stones [BEAUTY]. I delight in the colors, shapes, and original designs of nearly every stone I spy. It is a common sight to see me stopping on a walk to bend down and collect yet another rock from the dirt path.

God is the Master Planner and the Master Provider of all the materials and the skilled craftsman of the original Temple.  As I consider this,  I am especially grateful at the place I find myself worshipping God in my home. Here at the foot of my beautifully crafted split stone wall; the work [BRAWN] of my skilled and artistic brother-in-law; and near the warm wood fire, installed by the hardworking hands of my husband, who also laid the slate hearth and chops the wood for us. This place combines many things that are precious to me.  It is a reminder of God’s Master Design in Creation (stone, wood, fire) and God’s provision of family, love, and the warmth of fire [BLAZES].  As we seek Him and worship Him we know that He will show us the perfect plan for our day and give us wisdom (Daniel 2:21, James 1:5) for decisions that affect our future.

And your fame spread among the nations on account of your beauty, because the splendor I had given you made your beauty perfect, declares the Sovereign LORD. Ezekiel 16:14 NIV [BEAUTY]

The LORD is their strength, and he is the saving strength of his anointed. Psalm 28:8 KJV [BRAWN]

Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105 NLT [BLAZES]

Whole Brain Writing

Writing Inspiration

Welcome to those of you who are joining me from the Compel website for writers!  I hope you will explore this blog for more tools to equip you with your writing endeavors.  If you are not familiar with Compel and are in the market to sharpen your writing skills you may wish to visit www.CompelTraining.com

My passion is to help people use their whole brain in everything they do.  Research shows that the more we use all parts of our learning-brain, the cerebral cortex, the more likely we are to increase our memory and creative thinking.  Surely, your writing will benefit from both memory and creativity!

The more you add in all of the senses, the more you will involve your reader to connect and participate in a more memorable way to your writing.

The most comprehensive whole brain writing tool to date is the Mind Map.  The Mind Map is a tool to organize your thoughts that engages all of your cortical (brain) skills – automatically!  You will find helpful resources and more information on Mind Maps at my website at www.Blooming-Brains.com  You will find a direct link to it on the right side-bar menu also.

As you explore this blog more, I do hope you find facts, tips, inspiration, and much encouragement for your personal and professional endeavors.  Here is one post from my guest spot on WomensMinistryNet:

How to Make the Most of Your Mind, a five minute video http://wp.me/p1tgzO-7a

Thanks again for stopping by, and consider signing up for weekly emails to keep you focused on growing your brain.

Also consider leaving a question or a success story with using your whole brain for the writing wow-factor.  Thanks!

 

 

Wise Wednesday Brain Byte: Linearity

Lines. Lines. And more lines.

image

Creative use of lines: A mini Frisbee golf basket

Linearity is a left brain cortical skill. Yet lines are commonly used by artists in brilliant fashion.

Brain Byte: You Have Unlimited Brain Potential. How Much Do You Use?

LEONARDO

Pyotr Anokhin of Moscow University published research in 1968 which demonstrated that the minimum number of potential thought patterns the average brain can make is the number 1 followed by 10.5 million kilometers of type written zeros.

That is virtually an infinite amount of thought capacity!  Our brain is incredibly synergistic.  Each brain cell can connect with up to ten thousand other brain cells in a single instant.

The Greatest brains use measurably more of their brains than the average.  According to Tony Buzan and Raymond Keene (world chess champion) in The Book of Genius, the top ten greatest brains of all time are:

10.  Albert Einstein

9.  Phidias (architect of Athens)

8.  Alexander the Great

7.  Thomas Jefferson

6.  Sir Isaac Newton

5.  Michelangelo

4.  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

3.  The Great Pyramid Builders

2. William Shakespeare

1. Leonardo da Vinci

Buzan and Keene rated their subjects in categories including Originality, Versatility, Dominance-in-Field, Universality-of-Vision, and Strength and Energy.

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