You have the ability to increase your mind powers beyond your wildest dreams entirely through your own efforts. Because of what is known as plasticity, the brain is able to change in response to experience.
This means that you are able to learn for ever and ever because during your lifespan your brain continues to grow and evolve. So don’t let anybody tell you that you are too old to learn.
The power of subconscious mind and your mind powers are limitless. It doesn’t matter how old you are; you are always able to influence the plasticity of your brain.
Your mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions
Oliver Wendell Holmes
I can testify to this from my own personal experience. I never considered myself to have super mind power or anything like it.
In fact, I didn’t commence the study of law until I was 40 years old, and at that age and beyond I achieved a law degree with good honours, qualified and practised as an English solicitor and as a New York Attorney.
I have since had a long and successful career and I continue to enjoy professional activity years after many of my peers have retired and permitted their brains to stagnate through underuse. On the contrary, I am able to lead a varied, interesting and stimulating life.
Experience shows that you either use it or lose it, so to speak; you have to use it to retain and develop it.
I am able to read, understand and absorb large quantities of complex material in a short space of time – far more and greater in difficulty than I was able to manage as a young man.
The older I get, the more I do and the better I get at it. You have my first hand testimony to verify those facts.
It is well-recognised that proper sleep, diet and exercise are essential for maintaining a health mind and body: mens sana in corpora sano – a sound mind in a healthy body.
Why do you think that universities and colleges are so keen to promote sporting prowess in their students?
You might also like to consider cutting out the fast food junk now and consider eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.
Eating healthily in this way will not only keep the rest of your body physically fit; it will also help to avoid the onset of dementia. High achievers also make sure they get plenty of bed rest.
By now you may also have realised that it is important to your brain with more and more information throughout life to enable it to stretch and increase its capacity.
There is no need to worry about filling it up; that is impossible. Even this short introduction will enable you to imagine the infinite possibilities that are open to your mind – the ability to stretch your knowledge beyond measure, to carry on learning and become more and more creative.
In my early study days I was particularly inspired by mind power expert, Tony Buzan, who has written a whole series of books on memory and creativity.
I read them and used the amazing techniques they taught when I was studying for my law exams.
I love particularly Use your Head: how to unleash the power of your mind and The Memory Book: how to remember anything you want.
A fantastic book for realising the creativity which is inside us all is: The Mind Map Book: unlock your creativity, boost your memory, change your life. They are all by Tony Buzan.
When I took my law finals some of the questions were just memory testers, but you had to get through them.
You might be asked to recite standard clauses in a particular sort of lease (and there were something like 32 of them) or suitable clauses in an employment contract (perhaps 40 or so of them).
I don’t know what I would have done without Tony Buzan’s techniques, but in the exam I was able to reel them off without too much thought.
Another of my favourites is by Dominic O’Brien, world memory champion: How to develop a perfect memory. From that book I learned how to memorise a pack of cards.
I remember demonstrating that to my
children years ago on a flight from London to Nice.
But it doesn’t compare with Dominic’s two Guiness Book of Records entries for memorising 35 packs of shuffled cards in 55.62 seconds.
Either Tony Buzan’s systems or Dominic O’Brien’s systems can help you remember names, faces, telephone numbers, pass exams, learn languages – and become remarkably successful at blackjack!
Your brain is an amazing instrument. You just need to know how to use it. It is good to know, isn’t it, that a little effort on your part will reward you with success.
It won’t just fall from the sky, but you can achieve it with just a little effort.
Athletes, sportsmen and gymnasts train regularly to develop muscles and achieve peak fitness.
This is no different. In order to achieve a memory that works in this way you too will need to train.
But the brain likes pictures and it likes absurdity. The more absurd, or silly, the picture you create, the more likely you are to remember it.
A wonderfully simple way to memorise a list of items (maybe a shopping list or a number of points to remember for an exam) is to link those items with a well-known walk or route you travel regularly.
Firstly, take the walk again or, if you
know it well, go over the main points of it in your mind. Decide how
many items you would like to remember for this particular walk.
As you take the walk (mentally or physically) observe the various points of interest, e.g: bus stop, post office, grocery store, pharmacy, cafe, bakery, duck pond, etc. Afterwards go over the walk in your mind until you have learned it thoroughly.
Now you are ready to go. As soon as you have the list you wish to remember, associate each item on the list with each point on the route and make a ridiculous picture.
Make the object bigger and more colourful to make it even sillier.
Imagine you have a shopping list to remember and the first item is a
baguette. Walk your walk. As you pass the bus stop (in your mind)
imagine an enormous baguette leaning on the bus stop.
Put a silly hat on it and a big smile on its face. As you pass the post office imagine the next item on your list.
Let us say it is a bunch of grapes. Imagine the counter clerk with piles of grapes sticking them on envelopes and parcels instead of postage stamps.
And so you continue until the end of your list. Then quickly run through the list in your mind.
Don’t be surprised at how quickly and accurately you can now remember really long lists. The more practise you do (and it is really no more than a game), the better you will get.
This is a simple illustration of the wonder and power of your mind. You never need forget another item on your shopping list!
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