How do you go about creating a fit mind? The first thing that you need to accomplish is to take away any doubts that you have about yourself and your mental capacity. You must never put yourself down in the area of intelligence or make statements about your educational unworthiness. Visualize your brain as being supercharged and full of electrical charge. When I wake up, I always visualize my brain beginning to spark like an engine kicking on. After that, I envision my brain cells warming up and beginning to move. I follow this with a mental video of my mind flowing perfectly with electrical currents and charges. Try it for several days and you will notice your brain becoming supercharged with activity.
You need to see yourself as intellectual and wise. You can do this by creating a mental picture of yourself sharing your area of expertise with a large audience. You need to visualize yourself as an educated person that attains and retains knowledge effortlessly. View yourself as having a photographic memory and possessing the IQ of a genius. When you think about yourself in your mind, picture yourself to be scholarly. See yourself in scenarios that place you in studious and learned activities. You may imagine yourself as a college lecturer sharing your great knowledge with a classroom of students. Another scenario to play out in your mind has you accepting a diploma or other award for your academic achievements. Whatever it is, spend a few minutes each day envisioning yourself as an academic. You also need to flood your mind daily with affirmations of your intelligence. Use the affirmations to build your confidence in your intellectual abilities. Do this several times throughout the day, aloud and to yourself.
Put up photos around your house of you at your graduation ceremony. Post one on your desktop, put one on your desk, and tape one in the corner of your mirror in your bathroom or any other place in your home that you frequent. Have a picture of yourself in your cap and gown inside your desk drawer at work so you can see it often. By placing it in your desk drawer you will be forced to look at picture of yourself appearing studious every time you open your drawer. This also keeps it out of view from your colleagues!
This is where you follow your visualization up with action. Quite simply, you need to mentally exercise your brain like a bodybuilder exercises his muscles. It is vitally important that you stress your brain the way you would pump iron to build your biceps. You get the blood flowing to your brain by giving it a mental workout every day. Just as an athlete trains daily to prepare his body for competition, you should train your brain for life’s daily competitions. Research has proven that your brain acts just like a muscle by growing in size and strength the more you use it. Your brain is the control center of your entire nervous system and is made up of over 100 billion cells. Not only does your brain control your breathing, thoughts and movements, but it is also the organizer of your decisions, idea, aspirations and dreams.
The right side of your brain spends its time controlling the left side of the body; it controls your emotions and helps you recognize and remember people and music. The left side of your brain controls the right side of the body, and is the part that enables us in the area of reasoning, language and mathematics. Different parts of the brain are like different muscles located in your body. Bodybuilders spend time performing different exercises to “beef up” the different muscle groups of their bodies. Today’s world has a plethora of bodybuilding and fitness magazines, but I have yet to see a magazine dedicated to building the most important part of the body – the mind.
Here are a few things you can do to “beef up” the most important muscle in your body – your brain!
Right Side Brain Train
The answer to training the right side of your brain is easy. You will need to target doing activities that involve memory, emotions and music. You will also need to master controlling your emotional reactions to outside stimuli, rather than letting your emotions control you. I am going to list several mental exercises that I fully believe will “beef up” the right side of your brain. My goal is to pump your right side up so your brain has the ripped muscles of a bodybuilder.
I had a horrible memory that I had to spend years developing through visualization and mental activity and exercise. I used to run into an old friend and easily forget his name when it was time to introduce him. It is essential, in developing a perfect mind, that you improve your memory. Begin to do this by memorizing things that interest you. You can memorize quotes, or Bible verses, statistics or any facts about topics that you are keenly interested in. If you are a military history buff, begin to mentally log the days of wars and important battles. Memorize facts and history about classical music if that is your forté. If automobiles and motors get your attention, then memorize facts about cars and the machines that make them slip down the road. If learning the Bible fascinates you, then commit Bible verses to memory. The most important thing is to commit to memory knowledge about things that captivate you. You can never pump up your mind effectively by learning facts that bore you. Your memorization time should be enjoyable and absolutely no work at all.
Building your memory can also be achieved by fine-tuning your observation skills. The average person sometimes misses things around them that are obvious. Have you ever experienced trouble finding a certain product on the shelf at a grocery store? Think of the situation where you spent several minutes scanning every inch of every shelf and were unsuccessful in finding the item. You were in the aisle that the product should be in, but you just could not seem to find it. Then you went and got a stock boy to help you find it. He took you back to the same aisle you had been searching in and immediately found the product you were looking for. You had looked several times at the product, but never saw it. In order to train your observation skills, you need to practice paying attention to detail. Look at what is around you in your daily activities and later, after you have left that area, make an extensive list of things that you noticed. You can also look for thirty seconds at a photograph that contains a lot of detail. While you are looking at it, try to remember every detail about the picture. Then, turn the photo over, and, on a piece of paper, describe the scene that you just looked at. You will be surprised at all you missed, when you go back and compare the picture and your written description. The more you practice these memory retention exercises the better observer you will become.
An additional way of invigorating the right side of your brain is to read and discuss topics that you enjoy. You can search the internet and find a wealth of information about your interests or you can read a book or magazine about your interests. While you are on the internet, let me encourage you to search out and join forums that relate to your subject. You can learn and share your knowledge with others in forums specifically targeted to your interests. A word of warning, forums can become addictive, and I suggest you implement a schedule as to how much time a week you spend in cyber forums. An added training method is for you to blog on the web about what you love. If does not matter if a few people or no one at all reads what you write, as you will be exercising your brain by using a blog as an outlet to express your views and opinions.
Improving your vocabulary is superb way of tightening up your brain and improving you memory. Try and learn one word a day or one word a week. It can easily be done as you are driving, on break at work or while you are having a cup of coffee. As your vocabulary expands, so will your brain power. Use your new words as often as they fit into conversation that you are having with your family, friends and coworkers. The repetitious use of your new vocabulary words will help you to remember them.
You might ask, “How do I find the time to memorize things with my busy schedule?” In the first place, you don’t have time to make excuses for not having time to build your perfect mind. You can’t afford not to take time to improve your mind if your goal is having a perfect life. If you are pressed for time, then tape a piece of paper to your bathroom mirror with whatever it is you want to memorize. You can commit it to memory while you are shaving, brushing your teeth or combing your hair.
It is easy to memorize information if it pertains to something that wholeheartedly interests you. You may not be interested in learning the exact quote, but if the topic is one that you intensely love, then most facts will stick with you. In addition, you might want to record something on a piece of paper or a 3×5 card so you can occasionally review it during your day. I have found that the more I do these exercises, the easier it is for me to retain the facts I want to pledge to memory.
You can also get your memory up to speed by tapping into past events from your life. Revisit the memory of a high school class that you took and try to recall all of your classmate’s names. Try to recall some of the lectures from the class in detail and write some of it down. Write down the names of all your teachers from kindergarten to twelfth grade, memories from class, or interactions with other students. Try to bring your mind around to remember details from the past. It can be any event from your past that would inspire your brain to remember things. You don’t have to commit the text you recorded, and, as a matter of fact, you can throw the paper away when you are done. It is just an exercise to stimulate the right side of your brain.
If you want to continue to build your memory, then the next step is to read anything you can get your hands on. It can be books or articles about history, current events, politics, world events or news. Anything that you read will help to bring knowledge power to your brain. You may only retain one fact from an article that you glanced at, but it is one more fact that will be catalogued in your brain. If you do not like reading, then stick to short articles or news stories. Make sure that you select a broad range of topics to study, as this will help trigger memory in the future. When you study many different topics, you will be able to engage just about anyone in a conversation. When a person that you are talking to brings up a topic that you have spent some time reading about, your mind will snap to attention. Like someone pulling the trigger on a pistol, your mind will begin to fire off facts about the topic being discussed that you previously studied. Being able to display your knowledge about multiple subjects will propel you in your career, business and social life. I became a news junkie many years ago. I check the current news every few hours, and I have a steady stream of news alerts covering multiple topics that are continually dispatched to my email account. I want to have a flood of knowledge of current events bombarding me at all times, and this has benefited me an untold number of times in my life. The knowledge that I acquire from my news addiction has opened the doors for numerous business and personal relationships. I constantly find myself building bonds with people because we always have something current to talk about. Many of the relationships have benefited me both emotionally and financially. I have also been able to be a help to a countless number of people, as well.
In your quest for a rippling brain muscle, I suggest that you take up public speaking. You can read books and attend seminars or classes that will teach you how to effectively speak in public. Some of the best brain exercising comes from preparing well-written speeches and then presenting them publicly. In order to hold a crowd’s attention, you must know your subject inside and out, and you must also know it passionately. I can go on for hours about how to build a perfect life because I have been practicing what I teach for years. I have been verbally teaching and coaching people with these techniques. I have taken copious amounts of written notes on full-size sheets of paper (and some even on the back of gum wrappers) about how to build a perfect life. I am passionate about what I am teaching and have committed all of the perfect-life concepts to memory. It has been easily done because I prepared this material like one big speech. You know that your memory is in excellent shape when you can talk for hours about certain topics. Spend time preparing and practicing speeches even if you never make a speech in your entire life. The exercise your brain will get will be well worth it. If you really want to present speeches, then I suggest you join a public speaking club. You can check the internet for your nearest Toastmaster Club or get with some other people who are interested and start your own speaker’s club. You may want to find a formal or informal debate group to join, and load your brain with ammunition for discussing current affairs. Some of the best times I have had in my life were spent debating topics with my colleagues. I was rarely able to change any minds, but I learned to be well prepared to state my case. Effective speech writing, speech delivering and the ability to successfully hold a debate with your peers will be your brain’s way of bench pressing 300 pounds!
Songs and Musical Instruments
As stated at the beginning of the chapter, the right side of your brain is what allows you to recognize and play music. Many studies have proven that students that play musical instruments do better in their studies. This proves that playing or learning to play a musical instrument is extremely beneficial in increasing your brain power. Playing music helps keep the mind alert and active, and leads to increased memory power. Learning to play an instrument is challenging and will help train you to have a disciplined mind. Aside from helping to “beef up” your brain, playing music is a great stress reliever, is fun, and will give you a great feeling of accomplishment. Even if you don’t have the time or the money to learn to play an instrument, you can still learn and sing the lyrics of songs. This will help with your memory exercises. In Asian countries, there are karaoke venues on almost every street. The lyrics are displayed on a screen in sync with the music, and people relax and enjoy themselves by dropping in and singing songs with their friends. They are having a good time, but, at the same time, they are exercising their brains. Asian people have a tremendous talent for learning languages, and many spend time learning English words by having fun singing karaoke.
The right side of the brain needs a lot of attention. It has been neglected for years, because schools tend to focus on mathematics and science. I believe that this has had a negative impact on people’s creativity. Creativity is what develops ideas for business startups, creative marketing and sales campaigns. Creativity is what gives birth to life’s dreams. If the right side of your brain is not performing at its finest when it comes to creativity, then your life’s goals can’t be effectively realized. It is impossible to have objectives if you never have the dream to spark your motivation.
In my opinion, the most important thing that the right side of your brain controls is your emotions. The left side is the logical side of the brain and the right side is the emotional side. The average person allows their emotions to control their actions because they have not trained their brain to control their emotions. I am not telling you to suppress your emotions, but rather to manage them. Come to terms with your circumstances and learn to focus on the positives. Train your mind to recognize and avoid things that trigger negative emotions. You can analyze yourself and begin to pick up early on when you feel yourself getting out of control. You can learn how to calm yourself down and react appropriately and with controlled emotions to any situation. If you get angry, it should be because you decide to, not because you have lost control of yourself. It reminds me of a line Michael Caine said when he played Thomas Fowler in the movie The Quiet American. He said. “I know I am behaving badly, but I have every intention of behaving badly. As a matter of fact, this is exactly the kind of situation where one should behave badly.” The number of road rage incidents, domestic violence cases, arguments and violent crimes in the world today points to the fact that people allow their emotions to control them. Train your mind to be in control and calmly decide the appropriate emotional action. It is up to you to decide to be happy or sad or to become angry, all the while being in control of the reaction you decide to take. When a situation gets heated, then you need to slow down, analyze things and properly react. Someone cutting you off does not warrant a verbal or physical altercation. We all know the negative outcome is not worth it in a road rage situation, yet there are over 1,200 instances of physical violence on American roads each year. In the U.S., there are nearly a million domestic violence cases reported each year, resulting in approximately 1,700 murders. These are individuals who never learned how to be in command of their emotions.
You will need to work extra hard at training the right side of the brain in order to have balance between the right and the left sides. The time and the effort will help construct your perfect mind.
The Left Side Brain Train
The left side of your brain controls the right side and is the part that enables us in the areas of reasoning, language and mathematics. In order to build your brain’s left side, you will need to participate in exercises that make you a problem solver. You will need to train your left side with activities that improve your language and math skills.
When you are training your left side, you need to visualize the exercises as you are doing them. Do your problem solving in your head rather than on paper. Instead of writing things down, you need to picture them like a photograph or a video. This will stimulate your left side and also train you to problem-solve technical things. I used to shy away from repairing things around the house, because I could not visualize how the parts would go together. In school, I had trouble with problem-solving questions that would show several different shapes and ask which ones fit together. I hated those problems the most, but, in reality, those are the ones I should have been practicing the most.
What types of exercises help to “beef up” the left side of your brain? Any activities that force you to solve a problem or use your hands and brain at the same time are excellent left-side trainers. If the exercise requires you to look at a problem, think about how to solve it, and then to actually solve it, then you should be doing it if you want to build that side of your brain.
Get Your Game On
Take time to do crossword puzzles and other brain teasers. Go and look in your old toy box to find your old Rubik’s Cube and get working on that thing again. One of the things that I decided to take up as a hobby later in life was building models. I started out with the easy ones, and, as I got better and better, I began to assemble and paint some very intricate models. I had a large magnifying glass, and was able to piece together and paint some tiny pieces. When I got done with the model, I would give it away to someone that collected them. I was not exceptionally good at model assembly, but it was an excellent exercise that forced me to work with my hands and my brain at the same time.
You may be shocked that I am even going to suggest this, but playing video games is an excellent left-brain trainer. I am urging you not to become addicted to video games, but they really do help perfect the left side of your brain. Some of the newer ones, like the Wii, not only allow you to play traditional video games, but they have interactive sports games that allow you to work up a sweat in your living room. They have sports such as golf, bowling, tennis, boxing and baseball. Again, as long as you do not become addicted to video games, they are beneficial in improving the left side of your brain.
Board games that make you think and solve problems are also beneficial. I contribute a lot of my business-solving capabilities to playing board games all throughout my life. Monopoly not only inspired me to try my hand at real estate, but it also helped me learn how to have a strategy in the business. Other games that can help pump up the left side of your brain are Catch Phrase, Clue, and Trivial Pursuit. I also recommend occasionally playing such classic games as chess, checkers, tic-tac-toe, and even hangman. From junior high to college, I played a variety of role-playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons, Gamma World, and Chain Mail. I feel that these games not only helped me to think and be a problem solver, but they also helped me to learn how to interact with others and get things done through teamwork. I wish that I could have gotten Robert Kiyosaki’s Cashflow game when I was younger. I wonder how much my success would have been boosted by having the opportunity to play the Cashflow game as a child? I know that we are all busy, but games can not only be an excellent brain trainer, but they can also provide weekly, quality time for you to spend with your family. Instead of renting a movie or turning the television on, you can have some memorable family time and fun, and build your brains at the same time.
Doing mathematics is another outstanding way to work on your brain’s left side. I know it would be pretty boring for most people to sit around and do math problems, and I certainly will not be doing that. You should, however, do math problems in your head in your everyday life. This includes balancing your checkbook, figuring your monthly budget or totaling how much you should leave as a tip when you are out for dinner. You will also use math if you are trying to figure out how long it will take you to pay off bills by making extra payments. My wife and I mentally keep a tally each time we drop an item into the shopping cart at the grocery store. We compete to see who gets the right amount at the checkout counter. We travel extensively and do almost all of our currency converting in our head. Doing it in your head, rather than using a pen and paper or a calculator, will get the left side of your brain going. I had a grammar school teacher that I absolutely hated. She was the meanest woman on the planet. One thing I can thank her for, though, was that she did not let us carry numbers to the top of a mathematical equation. If she saw that we did, or even saw an eraser mark, then the answer was counted as wrong, even if we had the correct answer. This taught me how to figure in my head, and I am thankful that she made me stress the left side of my brain.
Another thing that benefits the left side of the brain is language studies. Did you know that most Americans are behind the rest of the world when it comes to knowing a foreign language? It is not uncommon for Europeans to not only know a second language, but to be fluent in three or four or five. If you take the time to learn a foreign language, your brain will get super pumped. I speak two languages and plan on learning more. My wife speaks six languages, and I have to tell you that her brain is as sharp as a razor. To learn a foreign language, you can get language CD’s and books, take classes or hire a private tutor. The best way to learn a foreign language is to live abroad for a few years. How can you afford to do that? One way to learn a language fluently is to save your money and live frugally in another country. Another way to make ends meet while living abroad is to get a job teaching English in a country for a few years. You can benefit from the cultural experience, learn a new language, and make money while you are at it. You can also secure overseas employment with a company that has operations abroad. Living in a foreign country helps you to become fluent in a foreign language, exposes you to a different culture and a different way of thinking, and also helps you to be well rounded in life.
Finally, you can give the left side of your brain a workout by taking courses in subjects that interest you and are also taught in hands-on classes. You can take some adult education courses in photography, computer repair, home inspection, culinary arts or even ballroom dancing. All of these types of courses will help to keep your brain active and also teach you something new. They may even lead to a part-time or full-time business venture.
The Whole Brain
The health of the entire brain is maintained by a wide range of factors. Just exercising your brain will not perfect it. You must commit to doing a variety of things in order to have your brain in optimum health. You brain is affected by everything you introduce to it. What you see and what you hear play a huge factor in your brain’s well being. The solid foods and the beverages you consume will either boost or interrupt the strength of your brain. The friends and family that you associate with will determine the fitness level at which your brain operates. Your physical as well as your emotional condition will shape your brain’s well being.
If you spend all of your time watching and listening to negative material, then I can promise that your brain is headed for a lower level of power. Your brain will be running into negatives by introducing it to the world’s bad news and the negatives that surround you in your daily life. We all want to know what is going on in the world, but browse over it quickly, if you must read it. Either choose not to read or listen to it, or at least limit yourself to just skimming over it. Then, overcompensate with an abundance of positive and inspirational news that gives your brain a flow of positive energy. If you spend all your time dwelling on negative issues, then your brain will probably be in a vegetative state most of the time. I can promise you that it will not be operating to its potential. You have enough problems of your own, without carrying the burden of the world’s problems along as well.
You need to learn how the foods and beverages you consume affect your brain and your thinking process. Have you ever noticed that the morning after you gorged yourself on an unhealthy meal, that you feel out of it mentally? I constantly am adding to my list of foods that “step on my brain”. I know that if I eat certain foods at night, that the next day my brain will be operating anywhere from 0% percent to somewhere around 75% of its potential. I need my brain operating at 100% if am going to complete the day’s tasks I have before me. Do I ever eat foods that diminish my brain’s functioning power? Once in a while I do, but, for the most part, I don’t touch my list of “no” foods. I just don’t like the way certain foods make me feel and perform. If I am going to eat something that is detrimental to my brain’s performance, I make sure I don’t have to use my brain the next day. I make sure that I don’t have any appointments or speaking engagements and I just plan to vegetate all day. I may do this four or five times a year, but I always regret the way I feel that day.
We are all different, and it is up to you determine what foods should go on your “step on your brain” list. What has an adverse affect on me may not do anything to you at all. You need to watch and evaluate how your brain functions after eating certain foods. Some of the foods that I think may be beneficial in building a perfect brain are foods that our minds recognize as something we should consume. This would include foods that are not processed or unhealthy to your mind and body. These are foods and beverages that do not contain any chemical additives or dyes. Foods such as organic fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and whole grains are extremely beneficial to a healthy brain. Ocean fish, fresh unprocessed lean meats, and chicken and turkey are also favorable brain foods. You should add a variety of vitamins and minerals to your diet, including vitamin B and omega 3 fish oil. I would also take one liquid supplement that contains phytoplankton and another juice supplement that has a high ORAC value of antioxidants. There are several companies that offer them that can be located with a Google search. In addition, make sure that you eat a balanced diet, with several servings of fruits and vegetables as snacks.
The last thing your brain needs is to eliminate anything that stresses it. Eliminate it whether it is a debt, a relationship, job stress, or whatever it may be. Use your brain for productive activities and force yourself not to allow stress to interfere with this. Worrying inhibits creativity and productiveness more than anything else in a person’s life. I once read a study that concluded that people spend an average of two hours a day worrying about things over which they have no control. Stop worrying about the things you can’t control and solve the problems of those things over which you do have control. Worrying will never solve a problem and, more times than not, it makes the situation worse. Stress and worrying lead to restless nights and long-term insomnia. One thing that is desperately abused by most people is a good night’s sleep. I recommend that you try to keep to a sleep schedule and make an attempt to go to bed at nearly the same time every night. This will set your mind and body like a clock. When you go to sleep, you need to free your mind of any thoughts that will inhibit your sleep. Don’t think of negative things, life’s problems or what you have to do the next day. Try to think of absolutely nothing and let your body and mind relax. Make sure your room is dark and noise free, and I recommend that you do not have a television in your bedroom. A majority of people all around the world miss out on the proper amount of sleep they require because they are watching TV in bed when they should be sleeping. I make it a point not to exercise, take phone calls, get on the internet, or discuss a problem or anything major an hour before I go to bed. I don’t read, watch TV, work on a project or do anything that uses brain power when it is close to my scheduled bedtime.