About Me

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Excerpts from "Lively Mind" by Jules Willing

Excerpts from "Lively Mind" by Jules Willing

Chapter IV – Mental Liveliness – What Holds it Back?

If you listen carefully to what people say about their own mental ability, you will observe that most of it is disparaging….I had long thought that this self-disparagement was a form of modesty, a kind of social convention, but I have concluded that it is not; in most cases it is a genuine appraisal. Many people really do deplore their minds, and the adjectives they use are the same they employ in referring to irresponsible children: lazy, undisciplined, wandering, idle.

The consequences are far more serious than one might suppose, for the mind reflects and responds to our own evaluation of it, and this opinion draws the boundaries of our mental universe; our mind will tend to be only as “good” as we think it is.

The only person making the judgements about the value of what is going through your mind is you. This is an enormous responsibility that most of us take very lightly; most of us don’t think of it at all.

Consider this example. An obscure employee in the Swiss patent office – a young man in his twenties named Albert Einstein – had some thoughts about the nature of the universe. Fortunately, he considered them to be significant. Although he had never written a scientific paper, was not associated with any academic institution, did not move in scientific circles, and was ignorant of much of what had been published on the subjects, he wrote not one but five papers, which he mailed to the editor of Annals of Physics. They lacked the usual references and citations, nor were they based on his own laboratory research or experiments. Unlike traditional scientific documents, they were simple statements about what he thought. They were ideas that eventually earned Einstein the Nobel prize and permanently changed our conceptions of time, space, gravity, electromagnetism, and the nature and shape of the universe.

We know this now, but Einstein could not have known that his ideas would have these tremendous consequences. The difference was that the young patent clerk decided his ideas had value. So he wrote them down and sent them in.

Consider what would have happened if, when these ideas passed through his mind, Einstein had considered them to be of interest to no one other than himself, or if he had thought that these ideas were interesting but not important. He would probably have thought about them a while and then gone on to other things. Like so many of the thoughts and ideas all of us have, they would have died in the silence of his mind.

Theoretically, at least, any one of us is capable at any time of generating an idea that might shake the world. It can never cause the slightest tremor, however, until we first:

  • pay attention to it, and then
  • decide it is worth expressing to someone else.

Every thought and idea that fails this two-part test passes into mental oblivion. It astonishes me that we take this responsibility so lightly.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

My puppet

Yesterday, I brought my puppet to life during a presentation at WPSC. My puppet is now called Trigger - as in memory trigger. Trigger is a distant cousin of Tigger and looks identical to Tigger. During the past four years, Trigger has been my mascot and not a puppet - now that has changed, thanks to my sister. My sister, Ratnamala Nori, is a puppeteer in Hyderabad India. She uses puppets to educate and entertain us.

When I was talking with her during a recent visit, she made me realize that I was not willing to take a risk and bring my puppet into my presentations. She made me realize that I was doing the very same thing that I urge my attendees not to do. I feared rejection of my puppet - in other words, I was unwilling to risk trying something new. For four years, Trigger has been quiet! Now he has to speak at every presentation.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Tone your memory

Exercise your brain - it will help you tone your memory...see link!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Sometimes I wish....

that, as I walk past a shelf of books that I recognize, I could scan all of them into my brain with some kind of chip and register the understanding with some kind of master computer.

Sometimes I wish that, as I get a flood of thoughts and feelings in my brain, I could express myself in writing in a "flash" of brilliance in a way that the whole world would understand me.

Sometimes I wish these things, I do, sigh! My thoughts as one with the world and the world's thoughts as one with me.

Then I think that if there would be no need for critical thinking or for choice or uniqueness. Nothing special about my consciousness, or feeling of what happens. Then I am grateful for the privacy of my thoughts and inability to express them completely. Would I really want you to know "all" about me?

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Marketing neuroscience

What's the driving force? See link

Slow it down with exercise...aging I mean!

Research indicates that sedentary people over 50 who begin to exercise may see a slowing down of aging. See link above

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

From "Scientific American Frontiers"

Excerpt from above link

emory, like most brain abilities, seems to suffer fewer ravages of aging in individuals who keep mentally active. Scientists believe this may be due to the continued reinforcement of the brain cell pathways along which thoughts travel. As you think, messages move along the living network of brain cells. When a brain cell is stimulated, it releases chemicals called neurotransmitters. Some neurotransmitters carry messages to neighboring cells. Others maintain the health and longevity of the inter-cellular connections. Still others encourage the growth of new cell connections to produce even more robust pathways. So by using an assortment of thinking pathways, you can sustain and even improve the fitness of your network of brain cells."


I just got back from a two week vacation and this link caught my interest.

History shows that we are explorers at the core! New frontiers, new mindsets, fresh inspiration are at the core of everything that drives us forward in life.