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fitness of their bodies are dependent on what they do with what they were born

h, the same applies t their brains.

active through a variety of activities. In hisdfdhk

youth, he read voraciously, devourinwhatehfghver publication he could get his

hands on. He put his b,n,nm,nm,rain through rigorous exercise by constantly immersing

himself in puzzles and games involving strategy, chess in particular.

As a result, he found himself

ascending the career ladder faster than his peers, often impressing management

with his quick thinking and strategies that proved lucrative to the company he

worked for. When he realized he was meant for greater things, Jim struck out on

his own. Where others found failure, Jim found only success in every endeavor

he sought out, thanks in large part to his remarkable analytical thinking.

Henry, on the other hand, whiles

his time in pursuit of pleasure. Whenever he isn't busy with work, he drinks to

excess. He spends his leisure time in front of the television, or on the

desktop computer, finding meaningless drivel that contributes nothing to the

enrichment of his mind. He isn't very well-informed in the ways of the world,

because he knows nothing beyond football and funny pictures of cats on the

Internet.
It's no surprise that Henry

struggles to advance in his career, and isn't having the best relationship with

his significant other. After all, the man struggles with even the kinds of

things that we would consider simple and routine.

What Henry what everyone reading

this book, in fact needs to realize is that the brain, like any other muscle

and the brain is a muscle in the body, it needs to be kept fit. It

needs to be put through the wringer in order to fully maximize its potential.

If you were to walk up to theh

skinniest, most malnourished man you could find and told him that he was

perfectly capable of picking up three hundred pounds, he would probably laugh

at your face and say something like, I can hardly pickup my briefcase, what

more three hundred pounds just look at me! However, with proper diet,

training, and motivation that man could, in fact, pickup three hundred pounds

in a matter of months. Why? Because we can change our bodies, our muscles can

become stronger, and by changing our hobbies our body transforms in noticeable

ways.

If you walked up to a fat person

and told them that they are perfectly capable of touching their toes and doing

a back bend, they would also laugh at you. However, with proper training,

motivation, and diet he would just like the skinny man change his body and

be flexible enough to touch his toes and do a back bend.


In our society, there is a thought

process that assumes you're either born with a particular ability or you're

not. The man who is skinny will say, I wasn't born strong and I have always

been skinny. The man who is not flexible will say, I just wasn't born

flexible, I have never been that way. Most people are born the same with the

exception of major genetic mental or physical disparities, most people's body

can be changed and transformed in any way we want if we so choose.

Just as no one comes out of the

womb with the ability to fly a plane, it takes work and training in order to

obtain any skill or improvement in life. The funny thing is that, even though

many people understand this on a level of getting stronger or more flexible

with their body, changing habits and eating better to improve health, or

learning skills and vocations for better paying jobs, we often entirely

disregard the role our brain plays in this whole thing. It is something that we

take for granted.

Your brain is an organ and it is

connected with the rest of your body as your body improves, your brain

improves. However, your brain itself can be worked out and made stronger just

like isolating a muscle group for a workout (working on abs one day, working on

biceps the next, working on legs the next). You can work individually on your

brain. Not only that, you can work on specific aspects of your brain, such as

emotional maturity, memory, analytical thinking skills, and more.


We have many jokes in our world,

such as the absent-minded professor the guy fumbling around not remembering

where he put his keys, what his pin number is, or why he walked into the

kitchen for the third time. These are things we will just laugh at and shrug

off as our propensity to just be forgetful.

As people age, they simply accept

the thought process that their brain will decline along with their body and

that they will start losing their memory and cognitive abilities. However,

there are 65 year olds who are more active and healthy than 25 year olds, so

obviously you don't need to sacrifice too much physically if you take care of

yourself as a lifestyle. The same thing is absolutely true for the mind as

Jim and Henry have proven keeping your mind active well into old age will

ensure it remains intact and functioning at optimum capacity.

We don't need to accept these losses,

and as you'll discover throughout this book, the more you work out your brain,

the longer you live and the longer you keep your wits about you. Understanding

the processes your brain goes through in order to make decisions helps you

learn how to control that process. By understanding the ways in which your

brain learns and holds onto memories, you can then exploit the process to

remember more with less effort.

Think of this book as a gym workout


routine for your noggin. If you stick with it, and stay motivated, you will

start to see results. If you practice infrequently and get frustrated that

you're not instantly seeing results, then nothing will change.

Being a genius and having control

over your mind does not mean being a rocket scientist or a brilliant

mathematician. As you will also find out throughout this book everyone can be

a genius in their own way. There are many kinds of ways to be intelligent and

everyone learns differently and wants different things. By maximizing your

brain and taking control of your mind, you are simply ensuring that whatever it

is that you do, you're doing it to your highest capacity.

Now, let's find out what kind of

genius you are.

Chapter 1 - MEET YOUR BRAIN

The brain is like a computer

The brain is like a computer. We

only use ten percent of our brain. We have a left and a right brain, and you

are either right-brained or left-brained. IQ is an accurate measurement of your

intelligence, the higher your IQ, the smarter you are. The brain stops growing
and learning after a certain age, and after a while you cease the ability to

learn new things. The older you get, the less brain cells you have. The brain

is separate from the body.

If you're like most people, you

probably believe at least one or two of the above-stated misconceptions about

the brain. The fact of the matter is that all of the above is completely

untrue. This demonstrates how little the general population actually knows

about the brain and how it works. Of course, it's not completely your fault,

some of the statements above have been circulated for years among the

scientific community. It has only been in the last ten years or so that

scientists have been able to find more out about the brain due to better

technology such as the MRI machine. In just the last ten years, almost all of

the preconceived notions and popularly accepted studies on the brain have been

systematically squashed, and we've learned new, staggering facts about the

brain that have shown us what little we actually know about this extraordinary,

versatile, ever-expanding organ.

Because of all of these

misconception, hearsay, rumors, and gossip regarding the brain, don't you think

it's time you meet the real brain? The brain behind the legend, the one stuck

up there in your skull shrouded in mystery, the one allowing you to even read

this text right now and translate it into something you uniquely understand.

Because, the only way you're going to be able to get the most out of your brain

is to understand how it works and what it likes. Let's get started, shall we?
1)

You have at least three brains

Your brain wants you to know that

there are a lot of sides to it that it's not just one gelatinous

walnut-looking blob rattling around in your cranium. How could you be so

insensitive to think so? There are actually three facets of your brain rattling

around up there, and each sub-brain so to speak has a special function and

purpose that make you uniquely human.

The Reptilian Brain If you were to be bitten by a zombie

tomorrow and reduced to a decaying, shuffling member of the undead with an

insatiable need to consume living human flesh, one could say that you were

operating solely on your reptilian brain. Believe or not, the reptilian part of

your brain is closely related to the brains of crocodiles, snakes, and lizards.

It is also closely related to birds, so one could say this is your bird brain

as well. It is located at the base of your skull, right at the top part of your

spinal column and controls the baser functions of your humanity such as

breathing, heart rate, and your instincts pretty much all you have left when

you're a zombie.

Even though this part of your brain


is closely related to what we consider lower life forms, it plays a very

important role in your survival, reactions, and decision making processes. For

example, your reptilian brain governs your fight or flight response and other

primitive instincts like territory. Have you ever felt angry or threatened when

someone invades your space or gets too close to you and you have that, Back

off! response? That's your lizard brain. Have you ever been faced with a

situation of extreme fear and made a snap decision to either stand and fight

(such as a bully back in school, or a perceived Big Foot looming near your camp

site) or run away very, very quickly? Again, this is your reptilian brain.

These base instincts, such as

feeling threatened on a subconscious level when someone moves closer to you, tell

you things like this is yours and they are trying to take it away and invade

your territory.

Mammalian brain (The Limbic System) Your mammalian brain is

associated with what we would consider more intelligent forms of life such as

other mammals at this point, we're getting a little closer to what makes you

a genuine human. This part of your brain is very emotional it's like an

overly dramatic reality TV show going on 24/7. It also helps maintain the

balance of your body by controlling things like hormones, thirst, hunger,

sexuality, pleasure, metabolism, immune function, and important aspects of your

long-term memory. This part of your brain looks kind of like a neat little

collar that wraps around the brain stem.


If you've ever gotten angry at

someone, not because of what they said, but simply how they said it, you can

blame this part of your brain. The hypothalamus and amygdala that make up your

mammalian brain control your emotional and goal-seeking behavior. It is why

humans follow people or things that emotionally appeal to them rather than what

is purely rational. It is why we gamble instead of save. It is why we will

blindly follow a passionate, emotional speech regardless of whether or not it

is logically correct or even factual. It is anything but logical it exists

prior to our invention of logic or the other part of our brain that governs

logic and overrides pure emotional thought processes, which we'll get into here

in a minute.

It's important to note also, that

this part of your brain controls your health this demonstrates that your

emotional state is intrinsically linked to your overall health both mentally

and physically. Your emotional state can mean the difference between a healthy

or unhealthy immune system, a good ability to hold information and devote it to

memory. For example, when something involves strong emotions, it is more easily

remembered. It's the reason why you can remember your first kiss in detail or

where you were on September 11th, 2001, but you have no idea where

your keys are or why you walked into the kitchen.

This part of your brain is also a

hedonistic pleasure-seeker. It enjoys role playing, collaboration, and it


absolutely loves games, which demonstrates how important group exercises and

game-playing are to the learning process. Because this part of the brain wants

to stay positive and happy, it means that a good emotional state when learning

will improve your memory and overall learning capabilities it says That was

fun! Let's do it again rather than Do I really have to sit here in a room

with zero stimulation and crunch numbers? Lame.

The reason your mammalian brain is

so obsessed with emotion and stimulation as it relates to your long-term memory

is simple it makes sense on an evolutionary scale. If a gigantic bear is

rushing at you with every intent to tear you limb-from-limb, you will remember

it the rest of your life so, in case that situation happens again, you don't

need to think twice about it, you will simply react with what saved you before.

The same is true for happiness, which releases endorphins into your system and

makes you feel good this positive emotional state is beneficial for your

overall health and state of mind, which means that recognizing such positive

actions in the future are beneficial.

The Thinking Brain (Neocortex) If your Reptilian Brain is all

like, Dude, get out of my territory! and your Mammalian Brain is all like, I

want some sex, and I want some candy, and I want to feel awesome all the time,

and OH MY GOD that guy's speech made me cry, so I believe whatever he says

then your Thinking Brain is like, Guys, chill first of all, the guy that is

in your space poses no threat due to the fact that he is extending his hand in
a gesture that you commonly associate with friendly and therefore your threat

level should subside, and even though the speech from that man made you cry,

have you considered the fact that he is on death row as a convicted murderer

despite his passionate innocence speech? Okay good. Now go read a book or

something.

Without your Neocortex you would be

waffling around like an enraged and overly emotional cross between a crocodile

and a whale. This part of your brain is what makes you uniquely human it is

what makes you use logic and critical thinking skills to analyze situations

rather than simply react to them.

If you were to spread this part of

your brain out flat, it would be about the size of a newspaper, but because

your skull is so small, it is rolled up into waves and covers your other two

brains like a blanket covering a messy teenager's bed.

Without the Neocortex you wouldn't

be certifiably human, nor would you be intelligent. In addition to making you a

smarty pants, the Neocortex also handles seeing, hearing, creating, thinking,

talking, and pretty much anything that makes you a higher intelligence. Without

this part of your brain, your world would not be organized, experiences would

not be stored neatly, speech would not be understood. You wouldn't be able to

look at a painting or a sculpture or a poem or music piece and appreciate it

for what it is a point of view, a perspective of reality, a critique on


culture.

The neocortex is divided into

certain parts (your frontal lobes) which govern speech, hearing, vision, and

touch this is where your sensory memories are stored. Unlike the rest of your

brain, your pre-frontal lobes are the latest to develop, usually taking all the

way until you reach your early teens. The frontal lobes are located just behind

your forehead where you use judgment, plan for the future, and create higher

processes of thought.

Your frontal lobes work in tandem

with your Mammalian Brain, so that you are using your emotions intelligently.

For example, developing compassion, altruism, and a sense of justice and honor.

This is where you discover things like the value of contributing to your family

or extended community. This is where you begin to care, empathize, and

sympathize with other people.

At this point, you and your brain

are a small step closer to understanding each other, but there's a lot more to

it than just its three layers there are also two halves. It's important to

understand at this point that, although we as humans (using our brains of

course) absolutely love to dissect things in order to categorize them,

sometimes it's better to look at the bigger picture. Although there are

essentially three types of brains rattling around in your head, none of them

are actually separate from each other-- they all work together.
For a long time, scientists thought

that the right and left hemispheres of the brain were uniquely separate. This,

as we know now, is untrue (as you will find out). The two halves have their own

unique properties that work in tandem. We'll explore those now.

2)

You have two halves of your brain

You've probably heard the

right-brain left-brain argument before. It's become something of a

pop-psychology go-to for bar conversations. You've no doubt been told on

multiple occasions you must be right-brained whenever expressing a large

amount of creative thought processes just to be told, on another occasion, that

you're left brained when coldly analyzing a situation. So, which one are you?

The fact is that you, me, and nearly everybody else in the world are both.

The Right Brain This is where you process rhyme, rhythm, music,

visual impressions, color, pictures, analogies, patterns, conceptual thought,

intangible ideas such as beauty, love, and loyalty. People refer to you as

right-brained if you do just about anything creative such as music, acting,

poetry, and so on. To hear people talk about the right brain, it's easy to

picture a whimsical young woman in a flowing dress gleefully prancing through

an open meadow, singing at the top of her lungs and twirling in the sunshine.

The Left Brain The left brain governs language, mathematical

processes, logical thoughts, sequences, and analysis. To hear people talk about

this part of the brain, it's like picturing a bookish, nerdy accountant sitting

in a dark room surrounded by papers, clad in coke-bottle glasses crunching

numbers and sipping on an endless amount of coffee.

Here's the question, though. Does

engaging in a mathematical thought process somehow disengage the creative part

of your brain? The answer is no. Although there may be an inherent divide

between the right and half brain as far as the purposes of both halves are

concerned, the fact of the matter is that you cannot have one without the

other, and they are not separate in anything.

Although both hemispheres of your

brain perform different functions, both sides of the brain are connected by a

complex network of 300 million neurons that shuttle information back and forth

between each other the academic and the creative. The brain is much too

complex to simply cut it in half and categorize it neatly.

3)

Ride the wave

In addition to having, essentially,


three brains present in one organ and two spheres, you also have four waves of

the brain, which are as follows:

Beta This is your conscious mind. The beta wave cycles between

13 and 25 per second. This is probably where you are now reading this. You are

alert, you are thinking and you are doing so analytically. This is what allows

you to make the grocery list, decide what you're going to do throughout the

day, and crunch numbers (how much in bills do you owe versus how much you're

going to spend on groceries and so on).

Alpha This is your relaxation state. Have you ever just zoned

out, and looked out the window in a completely relaxed daydream state? This is

when your brain waves shift to alpha stage. Your brain is cycling at 8 to 12

per second. This is when you're able to let your imagination soar it's a

state of relaxed alertness. Often people reach this stage through exercises

such as meditation.

Theta This is that weird area when you're falling asleep, but

you're still awake. This is essentially the early stages of sleep and your

brain is cycling at 4 to 7 a minute. It's kind of like the Twilight Zone. You

are processing the day's information, and you may have sparks and flashes of

inspiration.

Delta This last brain wave cycles between 1 and 3 per second,

it's when you're in deep sleep and you're not dreaming.

The times when you absorb the most

information and learn at your best is both in the Alpha and Theta stages. This

is not to say that you're going to be able to strap on some earphones and

listen to Moby Dick while meditating just to retain all of the information,

it's to say that, in a relaxed meditative state you are able to better

concentrate when you're not thinking of all the things you have to do in a Beta

wave state such as laundry, pick up the kids, and so on.

So, what can we learn from all of

this information, now that you've been better introduced to your brain? The

fact of the matter is that you have a greater ability than you think you do.

There is no cookie-cutter, cut-and-dry way to learn that makes one situation

better than another. As Einstein once said, Everybody is a genius. But, if you

judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life

believing that it is stupid.

You are not using 10% of your brain

you're using all of it all the time. The only thing that separates you and a

genius, is your ability to find your strong points and exploit them in your

everyday life. This takes a certain level of control, dedication, and training,
but all brains work fundamentally the same. They process information through a

variety of senses, and by communicating with its various parts in tandem.

Again, to quote Einstein, We only

use 10 percent of our brains. The fact is that, even if you think you're not

good at anything, you are using 100% of your brain all the time. However, most

of us think we are limited in this sense we aren't, we were only conditioned

that way. Once you understand all of the different parts of your brain and how

they interact with each other as a single organism, you can make more informed

decisions, control your subconscious, and make better choices.

Chapter 2 - WE ARE BUT THE SUM OF EXPERIENCES

Memory is a funny thing

Memory is a funny thing. Many

people accept the thought process that memory fades with time. These same

people think that you either have a great memory or you don't. That's about as

absurd as assuming that one person is more flexible than another, as if

flexibility is somehow attainable by some and unattainable by others depending

upon whether or not you're naturally that way.

No matter who you are or what age

you are, if you work on your flexibility, train your joints, and practice deep
breathing techniques, you will be able to become more flexible. People that

hold too much tension, breath rapidly, and are stressed out will not be able to

become more flexible. However, the fact remains, that no matter who you are,

where you are, or what age you are flexibility is still attainable just as

weight loss, cardiovascular health, and muscle gains is. For some reason, many

people do not apply this to their brain.

Your brain is a muscle, and you

either use it or you lose it. Many will accept the thought process that, when

they get older, their brain will simply get worse their memory will slow

down, they will have an increase of dementia or Alzheimers, and so on.

However, that doesn't have to be a case. It's only been recently that

scientists have learned that the brain is not stagnant. Saying, 'you can't

teach an old dog new tricks' is a myth. The fact of the matter is that your

brain is plastic.

Of course, your brain is not made

of plastic this means that your brain as neuroplasticity. The more you

exercise it, the more neural connections are built up (pathways) throughout

your brain, which causes long lasting functional changes in the brain.

Basically, any time you learn something new, you are changing neural

connections, you are engaging your brain's neuroplasticity.

Previously, it was thought that the

brain simply fizzled out at about the age 25 after that you simply couldn't
learn as many new things. If you didn't have a great education, and cram a

bunch of useful information and skills into your brain by the age of 25, it was

going to be ten times harder to learn after that.

It's true that, after you get

older, it does get more difficult to learn because you're not as open as you

were when you were a kid. For example, when you are a child, you can easily

learn multiple languages by simply hearing them and absorbing them, as you get

older this becomes more difficult, but this doesn't mean it's because your

brain changed, it just means that your brain became conditioned to learn a

certain way. So, it's not so much that old dogs can't learn new tricks, it's

just that old habits die hard. And, that's really what brain plasticity is all

about constantly learning new things and improving yourself, to ensure that

your mind remains strong.

The reason many people, as they get

into their 50's and onward, start to experience memory problems and find it

more and more difficult to learn new things, is simply because they adopted an

unchanging routine and a sedentary lifestyle. Training your brain involves

practice, diet, and exercise.

Let's go through a couple of steps

to improving your memory by realizing how the brain makes memories and what

really makes your mind stronger in the long run.


Step One Your Brain is NOT Separate From Your Body

People like to compartmentalize

themselves on a constant basis. They will talk about their mental health, their

physical health, their spiritual health, their financial health, as if these

things are all separate. This simply isn't true. Statistically speaking,

depressed people have terrible diets and do not exercise, for example. Herein

lies the question is that person depressed because they have a mental

disorder, or are they depressed because they lack a proper diet and exercise?

There is literally no way to separate the two, it's a 50/50 situation.

There are those that will say that

depression causes a lack of motivation, therefore the mental state trumps the

ability to change eating habits and physical habits. This is true depression

is a very real mental problem that is often times chemically based, it takes a

lot of medication and therapy to help regulate states such as bipolar disorder.

However, to treat only the mental symptoms and completely ignore the physical

habits (which so many people do) is only addressing half the problem.

Your brain is an organ, just like

any other in your body. If you had a heart attack, the doctor would tell you it

was due to your diet and sedentary lifestyle. If your liver experienced

problems, your doctor would tell you it was due to alcohol, food, and lifestyle

(the things you're putting into your body). The same goes for every other part
of your body, but often the brain is not treated in this same fashion. Many

professionals, when faced with mental complaints, deteriorating memory, and

cognitive decline, will completely ignore diet, exercise, and mental practices.

Let's look at all three of these facets and their impact on the brain.

1.

Exercise Regular exercise (especially aerobic exercise such as

running, circuit training, and other forms of cardio in which the body performs

a variety of movements in a circuit fashion) dramatically improves memory and

reduces cognitive decline.

Back in the 1990s scientists at the

Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California discovered that

exercise literally bulks up the brain. When mice were given access to running

wheels, they produced many more cells in the area of the brain that controls

memory creation than animals that didn't run. These animals performed better on

memory tests than their sedentary counterparts.

At the time, this study was rather

groundbreaking and, since then, scientists have been working to understand

exactly how exercise improves memory at a molecular level. This led to a human

study that was published in The Journal of Aging Research, in which scientists

at the University of British Columbia recruited dozens of women ages 70 to 80

who had mild cognitive impairment. Basically, their memory and thinking was

more muddled than would be expected at a given age.


The women were all put on various

exercising routines a group was put on weight training, a group was put on

aerobic exercise (walking and running) and a group was put on

stretching/toning. At the start and the end of this exercise, the women

completed a large amount of tests designed to study their verbal and spatial memory.

Verbal memory is the ability to remember words. Spatial memory is the ability

to remember where things were once placed. Both of these abilities tend to

deteriorate with age, and this is of course exaggerated in people with mild

cognitive impairment (a situation that has a higher risk of dementia and

Alzheimer's).

After six months, the women in the

toning group scored worse on the memory tests than they had at the start of

their study their impairment had grown. This group of women were the ones not

doing any cardio or weight training exercise, but simply stretching. However,

the women who had exercised by walking or weight training, performed better on

almost all of the cognitive tests than they had before.

However, it's important to note

that there were some differences. Both exercise groups improved equally on all

tests of spatial memory, but the women who had walked showed greater gains in

verbal memory than women who had lifted weights.

Teresa Liu-Ambrose, an associate


professor in the Brain Research Center at the University of British Columbia,

says that for the most robust brain health, it's advisable to incorporate both

aerobic and resistance training.

This is important to understand,

because many people trying to improve their memory will work on mental tricks

(which we'll discuss later in this chapter) but completely ignore the fact that

they are living a sedentary lifestyle. Because your brain is an organ and

thrives off of oxygen, healthy cells, and clear blood flow, exercising increases

all of these benefits.

Not only that, but exercise

CONSTANTLY builds new neural connections in your brain, which makes it easier

to learn, remember, and think clearly across the board. By doing things such as

martial arts, tennis, baseball, soccer, and other sports that incorporate both

weight resistance and cardio with a the fundamental need to be more

coordinated, you increase your cognitive functioning even further.

So, plainly said, if you want to

have a better memory, take control of your mind, and ensure that your brain

stays healthy well into old age (which is entirely possible) you will exercise

regularly and make it a part of your lifestyle.

Diet - You saw this one


coming. If there is one thing people don't like to talk about more than

exercise, it's most definitely diet. As an increasingly globalized

culture, it is becoming easier and easier to obtain a myriad of foods, but

harder and harder to find any that are actually good for us. For as large

as supermarkets really are, there may be about two or three shelves with

food that actually should be consumed.

In the United States, and

increasingly across the world, obesity is becoming a huge epidemic paired with

heart problems, high blood pressure, and more. Issues such as stress, depression,

anxiety, lack of sleep, and general cognitive decline are all accentuated by a

poor diet.

To really understand the importance

of diet in regard to the brain, you have to understand that it is essentially

our diet that lead to our larger, more complex brain to begin with. If human

beings hadn't had such a varied diet full of leafy greens, lean and fatty meats

such as deer, reptiles, and especially seafood, which is rich in omega 3 fatty

acids, we would not have grown such a large brain.

Currently, our brains are actually

shrinking due to too much sugar in the diet (carbohydrates) and our bodies are

riddled from badly-sourced meat products filled with chemical feed and

unnecessary enhancements.
Simply put, your brain and body

crave antioxidants, b-12, omega 3 fatty acids, certain vitamins, and complex

nutrients. People nowadays find it very difficult to eat right due to a few

factors, including the confusion surrounding what actually constitutes as a

healthy diet, the perceived inconvenience of preparing healthy food, and the

perceived cost of healthy food.

The fact of the matter is that

feeding your brain and body properly is very simple. It comes down to three

things well-sourced meat, eggs, and dairy (if you're a vegetarian you want

b-12 and protein supplements), leafy greens, small amounts of whole-grain and

fruits. That's literally it those three things account for a well-balanced

diet.

When you go to the grocery store,

look for wild-caught fish (not farm raised), free range organic chicken, and

free-range grass-fed beef or bison. Eat organic leafy greens such as spinach

and kale. Mix in vegetables and nuts such as eggplant, tomato, cashews,

sunflower seeds, almonds, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and so on (be diverse

and add lots of color to your food). Don't go overboard with bread and fruits

have a small serving of whole-grains and fruits such as berries, bananas, kiwi,

and pineapple per day.

This type of eating costs less,


because it fills you up and keeps you fuller for longer. The diet is nutrient

dense and low in calories, and it supplies your brain with the fatty acids and

anti- oxidants it needs to have a long, full life devoid of Alzheimers,

dementia, and alarming cognitive decline.

However knowing what to eat isn't the

hard part, it's understanding what not to eat, which should be the following

soda, anything with high-fructose corn syrup (look closely, nearly everything

has it), GMO (genetically modified organisms, this is also as common as high

fructose corn syrup), processed and enriched foods (such as white bread),

factory farm-raised meat, fast food, excess alcohol (1 to 3 units of alcohol

per day are good, and actually beneficial for your body and mind), sugary

foods, mixed-grains (7-grain, multigrain...etc) and so on.

An even better option for buying

the correct food is to find a local food co-op, farmer's market, or farm where

you can buy locally-grown organic food direct from the source so it's fresh and

better for you, it's also astoundingly cheaper (you don't have the middle man,

distribution costs, and profit margins to take into account just the guy who

grew the food).

Practice The final part of

this equation is practice. This entails challenging your mind on a

constant basis and not becoming stagnant. This is often the hardest thing
for people to do. Even the person who is exercising regularly and eating

right, does not want to spend the time doing mental jump-ropes, because

challenging the mind in this way is simply inconvenient.

Most of us, when we come home from

work (or even a workout and healthy lunch) want nothing more than to veg out in

front of the television or mindlessly surf the Internet as we check our social

media profiles. In fact, as we got older in life, we often settle down into a

comfortable routine we perform a job that we have been performing a long

time, that rarely changes (even if it is challenging). For most people, this

routine consists of waking, eating, working, relaxing, and sleeping. It is at

this stage that our minds begin to stagnate because we cease to stimulate it

through new learning and practice.

It's actually incredibly simple to

challenge your brain and it's not something you have to spend a load of time on

either, doing something new and mentally challenging for 30 minutes to an hour

a day is enough to keep your mind sharp. It also is an incredible way to build

new neural connections and improve memory.

Here are some suggestions:

Use your left hand to eat a meal or throw a ball up against a wall for a
while (or, if you are left handed, use your right hand)

Learn to play chess, and play online or with friends consistently (this

is really great for increasing spatial reasoning skills).

Begin learning a new language (invest in Pimsleur Approach or Rosetta

Stone and practice every day, eventually getting to the point where you

practice with a native speaker).

Engage in mathematical games (there are lots of smart phone apps, iPad

apps and games that use math problems in a fun way).

Put together a puzzle.

Begin drawing or painting either on your own, or with professional

classes.

Learn how to build something (even models work well)

These practices take you out of

your mental comfort zone, and stimulate your brain in a way that it is not used

to. Every time you start doing something that is mentally out of the norm for

your brain (essentially a mental exercise) you build new neural connections and

strengthen your mind. You are taking advantage of your brain's neuroplasticity.
To recap, you need to combine

exercise, proper diet, and mental training in order to get the most out of your

memory. Making this a part of your life will ensure that your brain is strong

well into old age, and that you retain your cognitive abilities and memory

rather than degenerating into memory problems that so many elderly people today

experience. Remember use it or lose it.

Step Two There is No One Way to Remember

Remember how, in chapter one, we dispelled

some common myths about the brain? One of those myths was that the IQ is an

accurate way to measure intelligence. The way in which we are taught, and the

way in which our intelligence is measured, is a huge cause of people's overall

inability to remember things on a more optimal level.

Essentially, IQ is based on

linguistic and numerical knowledge. The higher a person scores on the IQ test,

the smarter they are considered. However, this is an incredibly poor

measurement of a person's overall intelligence or ability to memorize, because

it supposes that all human beings learn things and memorize things

predominantly using words and numbers, which simply isn't the case.

If this type of intelligence

measurement were correct, then people with the highest IQ's would be the
employers of those with lower IQ's, but we often see this is not the case, why?

Because intelligence in regard to words and numbers does not equate to

intelligence in social situations, networking, marketing, and leadership four

fundamental characteristics of success in business that are not measured by an

IQ test.

However, because measuring one's

numerical and linguistic ability is more tangible than measuring one's artistic

intelligence, the IQ test has become the standard for schools. These same

schools teach using numerical and linguistic repetition using things like flash

cards and verbal repetition to drive home the memory of facts, phrases, and

equations.

It's sad to say, but according to

memory research and how the brain actually retains information, we're going

about it all wrong. If you've always had a problem with memory, the good news

is that you've most likely been taught incorrectly the most effective ways to

remember something.

First let's look at the ten types of

intelligences and the five types of memory.

Ten Types of Intelligences


The theory of multiple

intelligences was laid out by Howard Gardner in his 1983 book Frames of Mind:

The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. They are as follows:

Musical/Rhythmic This intelligence

deals with people who are naturally sensitive to sounds, rhythms, tones,

and music. People with high intelligence in this area typically have good

pitch (even absolute pitch). They are able to sing, play musical instruments,

and compose music.

Visual/Spatial

Those

with a high intelligence in this area are able to visualize with their

mind's eye incredibly well.

Verbal

Linguistic

This is a large part of our current IQ testing system. People who fall

into this category have a high verbal-linguistic intelligence and have a

good way with words and languages. They are good at reading, writing, and
telling stories as well as memorizing words and dates.

Logical/Mathematical

This

is the second aspect of the current IQ testing system. This area has to do

with logic, abstractions, reasoning, numbers, and critical thinking.

People more attune with this type of intelligence have a greater capacity

to understand the principles of a variety of casual systems.

Bodily/Kinesthetic A lot of people

wouldn't consider physical prowess a part of mental intelligence, but it

most definitely is. As we've already discussed earlier in this chapter,

physical exercise is an integral part of greater memory and cognitive

ability. People who have a higher aptitude with this intelligence tend to

have great control over their bodily motions and can handle objects

skillfully. They have an acute sense of timing, a clear sense of the goal

of a physical action, along with the ability to train responses. These

types of people learn very well by involving muscular movement such as

getting up and moving around throughout the learning experience. They are

good at dancing, sports, acting, and making objects.


Interpersonal

This

area has to do with interaction with others. Essentially, people who have

a higher interpersonal intelligence level are characterized by their

sensitivity to others' moods, feelings, temperaments, and motivations, as

well as their ability to work well in a group. According to Gardner in his

book How Are Kids Smart: Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom,

Interpersonal intelligence is often misunderstood as being extroverted or

liking other people. Basically, those with this type of intelligence

communicate effectively and find it easy to empathize with others.

Intrapersonal These individuals are

typically introspective and are commonly thought of as shy or introverted.

These self-reflective individuals carry a deep understanding of self and

what their personal strengths/weaknesses are. They are able to accurately

predict their own reactions/emotions.

Naturalistic

I bet
you didn't think having a green thumb was a type of intelligence, but it

most certainly is. This area has to do with nurturing and relating

information to one's natural surroundings (just look at George Washington

Carver, for example). This intelligence is able to classify natural forms

such as animal and plant species and rocks and mountain types. This, of

course, is clearly valuable to our ancestors who were hunters, gatherers,

and farmers. It continues to play an important role with farmers,

botanists, and chefs today.

Existential

This

pertains to spiritual or religious intelligence. Although it is not an

official intelligence type, it is a possible addition. Gardner did not

want to commit to a spiritual intelligence, but suggested existential

may be a more useful construct.

What this means for you, dear

reader, is that your inability to multiply in your head does not make you less

intelligent nor does someone's inability to play sports make them

unintelligent. It means that we all have certain intelligence-based strengths

and ways that we learn.


The most important thing to take

away from this is that you should always strive for a healthy balance between

all ten of these intelligence types. Although you may not excel completely in

all of them (more likely you will only excel largely in one or two types such

as interpersonal and sports or verbal and mathematical) making sure that you

are well rounded will help you with your memory, because as we are about to

find out, creating a better memory and honing your abilities in this area is

all about a combination of things.

5 Types of Memory

Working Your working memory

is incredibly short-term, and usually lasts no more than a few seconds.

It's why you usually have to write a list before going to the grocery

store. Even though you need maybe three to five things, balancing them in

your head is very difficult, and most people will forget within the

minute. In a conversation, working memory would allow you to remember the

beginning of a sentence, but only until the speaker came to the end of it.

This type of memory also works incredibly well for multitasking for

example talking on the phone, jotting down a list, and gesturing to

someone hello. The average person will begin losing efficiency in

working memory after the age of forty.


Implicit

You've

no doubt heard the saying, It's like riding a bike. This statement

entails that riding a bike is something that you never forget once

you've learned it, you've learned for life. The same thing goes for

driving a car, swimming, and anything else entailing muscle memory.

Implicit memory doesnt actually require any awareness on your behalf. For

example, have you ever been on the phone with somebody while driving, just

to arrive at your house and realize that you were never really paying

attention to begin with? This is due to implicit memory there was no

awareness required for you to drive a car on a route that you've taken a

hundred times before. Implicit memory is stored in the cerebellum, and

loss of this kind of memory would be due to serious mental deterioration.

Remote Have you ever met

somebody who is just full of random facts dates, times, places. They're

the worst people to play trivia games with, because they always win! They

must have fantastic remote memory, which is blanketed around the cerebral

cortex. This typically declines the older we get, but more on a retrieval

basis. It's like a house that keeps having items added to it over time.

Essentially, the homeowner has a general idea of where a particular item


is, but recovering it becomes more and more difficult.

Episodic

This

is when your memories are presented like a TV episode or a story in a

book. Often times you recall these types of memories by verbally saying

things like, Then I got up and brushed my teeth, walked out the door, got

into my car, and drove to a restaurant where I ordered nachos. The way we

say this out loud, is also the way we remember it in our minds.

Semantic Do you know what the

symbol of a cross means? Do you know what the word video game means?

Your semantic memory deals in symbols and words typically these words

and symbols directly spark a memory. Even words or symbols that you have

not seen for many years, will be remembered with this type of memory in an

instant. This is true for brand names, corporate trademarks, logos, and more.

Now that you have a better

understanding of what measures true intelligence, and the various types of

memory functions your brain uses, the question is what is the most effective
way to remember things, and really make them stick in your mind?

Step Three Make Memories Stick

In the first chapter we talked a

little about the relation between your frontal lobes (Thinking Brain) and your

Mammalian Brain (where all your emotions are stored) and how big emotional

events in your life are always easier to remember because of this relation

either traumatic events (such as a catastrophic event like 9/11) or positive

events (such as your first kiss).

Let's go deeper into some other

things that create more lasting memories. Do you ever smell something and

immediately remember a time, place, and corresponding emotion? It could be in

the middle of the day, and nothing important could be happening whatsoever, and

all of a sudden you get a whiff of someone having a BBQ in their backyard, and

something about the smell whisks you back 20 years prior when you and your

father were at a friend's house grilling out you can remember it vividly, and

exactly how you felt at that time.

The same is true for taste, touch, and

sound. For example, people who haven't heard a song in years, can still

remember all the words, where they were when they first heard it, and all the

memories and emotions associated with that song even though it was years ago.
Basically the best possible way

to make memories stick in your mind is to combine them together with emotions

senses such as taste, touch, smell, sight, and so on. Devoting a list to song,

for example, will help you remember it for years. When you hear, see, say, and

do something, you remember it better.

There are two principles to make it

easier for you to make memories stick and they are

Imagination

Association

There is not always going to be

sights, sounds, smells, or the ability to perform an action in order to devote

something to memory. This is where your imagination comes into play. Basically,

if you want to remember anything at all, you must associate it with a fixed

item. The more absurd the imagery, the more likely you are to remember it.

Look at the following list:

Curtains

Candles

Dog

Banana

Shoes

Record player

Bleach

Now, read the following story and

really pay attention to it. Visualize everything in the story and see it in

your head.

A man walks out of his house with a

lit candle balancing on his head riding a HUGE furry black dog. His shoes are

bright pink. As he rides out to the street, the dog slips on a banana peel and

they slide backward all the way into the house where they get tangled up in the

curtains next to the window. The man and his dog are trying to get untangled

from the curtains, and end up knocking over a blue record player that falls

into a bucket of bleach.


Now, after reading that story, and

having visualized it (read it one more time if you need to) without looking

back at the list, or the story, get out a piece of paper and write down every

item you remember from the list.

Chances are you will remember at

least 4, 5, or more of the list items. This is because, due to linking a story

and an absurd series of events, it was easier for you to remember. You combined

various types of memory (such as episodic memory and working memory) to recount

the story that was written.

Think about it how easy is it for

you to recall to a friend every step of last night's episode of your favorite

TV show (including entire lines of dialogue, how sets looked, and a

start-to-finish series of events), but you can't remember what you ate for

breakfast this morning? By engaging in this linking exercise, you can easily

memorize lists within a couple of minutes of looking at them, by merely

stringing them together and linking them with an absurd story and imagery. You

will always remember something crazy and absurd over something mundane and

devoid of sensory stimulation.

* The Roman House Technique

That's just one way to make

memories stick. Depending one of the ten intelligences you identify with more,
various other techniques may work better. For example, take the Roman House

technique. Back in ancient Rome (and the Greeks before them) there was a

culture where memory and intelligence was incredibly highly valued. Even back

then before all of our studies into the brain, the Romans instinctively knew

that in order to make memories stick, a series of senses had to be stimulated

at once. This is how the Greeks and the Romans after them were able to memorize

entire oratories by heart and record them later.

With the Roman House technique, you

imagine first that you own a big empty space (your house). Now, you begin to

fill your house up with certain objects (you can either imagine this, or write

it down, or draw a detailed picture whatever helps you remember). You can

fill your Roman House with anything that you want, just make sure that the room

is filled with things that won't leave such as a coat rack next to the door

once you walk in. A TV set, a book shelf, a couch with a coffee table in front

of it.

Now, let's say you have to remember

the following things:

Get the oil changed

Take clothes to the dry cleaner

Go to the grocery store (pickup frozen pizza, orange juice, three cans

of tuna)

Pay electric bill

Now, with the furniture and

appliances that you have already filled your Roman House with, you add features

to them from your list. For example, right when you walk into the door you see

the coat hanger just dripping with dirty laundry dirty, stinky laundry, it's

disgusting. When you see the couch, it's stained black with oil. Out on the

coffee table is a fresh, delicious looking pizza, a glass of ice cold orange

juice, and three cans of tuna stacked up then the lights in the room go out

and everything is dark.

At this point, you don't have to

write these things down, you simply change the environment you've already

established in your Roman House. You do this first thing in the morning you

walk through your Roman House looking at all of these things, imaging being

there in the environment and how everything feels. Throughout the day, you

start cleaning your Roman House. You take the dirty laundry off the coat hanger

(this is when you go to the dry cleaners). You get your oil changed, and the

oil stains disappear from the car. You pay your electric bill and the lights

come on. You purchase the items from the grocery store and those items

disappear from the coffee table.


This is another way to quickly

remember large amounts of information quickly and indefinitely. This is very

similar to the linking exercise.

Number Shape System

A great way to remember numbered

list is to associate each number with the item on the list. Even though many

objects may seemingly be difficult to associate with a number image, there are

always way to tweak it in your mind.

For example, look at the following

list:

Baseball

bat

Fishing

hooks

Pie

cutters

Spatula

Bicycle

tires
Planting

pots

Cherry

pie

Reading

glasses

Balloons

Clown

mask

That's kind of a weird list, and

nothing seemingly fits together, which makes memorizing it a little more

difficult. Your goal now, is to take each number on that list and create an

image for it associated with the item.

The number one looks like a

baseball bat.

The number two looks like a fishing

hook

The number three looks like a pie

cutter shape
The number for looks like a spatula

The number five looks like a bike

wheel with handlebars at the top

The number six looks like a pot

with a sprout growing out of the top

The number seven looks like a pie

shape (fill in the other line to look like a triangle pie shape)

The number eight looks like a pair

of glasses

The number nine looks like a

balloon with a string attached

The number ten looks like eyes with

a big nose (the one is the eyes, the zero is the big red nose)

Once you imagine each number as an actual

picture of the item itself, you should be able to see the numbers one through

ten in any order and instantly know what item is associated with it.

Even if the list items seem like


they couldn't possibly correspond with a number (for example the number one

with an aquarium) you can always figure out a way. For example, with an

aquarium, simply imagine a tall column aquarium with fish swimming around. Or,

if in the example of, let's say, a globe and the number one, imagine the number

one as an arrow pointing to an area on the globe.

Step Four Your Skills Grow With Time and Experience

These are just a few of the

exercises available. You can come up with your own system depending on your

learning strengths. As long as you see, hear, experience, and forge some kind

of emotional connection with anything, you will remember it better than simply

trying to read it over and over again or repeat it out loud.

We went over a lot of lists in this

chapter, but these methods work with anything such as meeting new people. If

you meet someone new and you want to remember their name, simply say their name

out loud back to them after they introduce themselves and associate something

with them a color or a sound for example. You can also use absurd imagery to remember

them. For example, you can say Nice to meet you Susie and in your mind make

Susie rhyme with Bluesy and imagine her in a fedora playing a jazz piano at a

club. Of course, Susie never needs to know that you made such a comparison, but

the rhyme and absurd imagery paired with the fact that you said the name out

loud, will ensure greater memory.


It doesn't matter where you are in

age or how initially difficult these exercises may seem remember, your brain

is plastic. The law of neuroplasticity says that through time, you WILL develop

new neural connections that make these processes easier. This will dramatically

increase your memory in everything, and your ability to use these techniques

will become second nature.

It's important to practice these

things continually. For example, the next time you go grocery shopping, don't

write down your list (of course you can have a backup, but only check it once

you've filled your cart and are ready to check out).

You can also make this a fun game.

You can get with a friend or family member and write down a list of 5 things.

Then, time your friend for 30 seconds, flip the page over, and have them write

down what they remember. As time goes on, the amount in the list increases (10

items and one minute to memorize, 15 items and 1 minute 15 seconds to

memorize). Remember, your Mammalian Brain absolutely loves fun, games, and

responds better to heightened emotional environments the fun of making this a

game paired with the emotional enjoyment of being with a friend and the stress

that comes with trying to beat the clock, all increase your memory and your

memory abilities.
Chapter 3 - IT'S ELEMENTARY MY DEAR

Constant

battle in your brain

There is a constant battle going on

in your brain regarding the decisions you make in everyday life. This battle is

between your three brains, but with more intensity between your neocortix

(frontal lobes) and your Mammalian Brain (emotional brain). Essentially, all

human beings are not innately analytical thinkers, it's something that we do

with great effort and will power, because no matter what decision you are faced

with your first reaction will always be to react to it in an emotional way. It

is when you are able to stop that thinking process, slow things down, and

analyze a situation analytically, that you tell your emotional brain to hold

off making assumptions until all the facts can be processed and a logical

outcome determined.

Thinking analytically means not

jumping to conclusions right away. For example someone at a party doesn't

talk to you, so you automatically think, They don't like me. This is an

emotional response, not an analytical one. Instead, remember that you also

didn't attempt to develop a conversation with them, as far as that other person

is concerned, they may think YOU don't like THEM. This is a small example of

analytical thinking.
Without an analytical thought

process literally none of our decisions would be rational. In fact, even with this

analytical ability, very few of our decisions are rational. Take, for example,

a statistics for New York City taxi drivers.

Most Taxi Drivers in NYC set

financial goals for themselves, once they reach that goal every day they can go

home. The goal they set for themselves is usually up to them, along with the

actual hours that they work. Studies found that the majority of taxi drivers

will stop their day early if they make their quota quicker than usual. This

typically means that it's a very good day for business they're busy and

they're getting a lot of fares, which is the reason they're making their quota.

However, these same taxi drivers will work double shifts and fight sleep

deprivation when it's a slow day, just to make their quotas.

This fact is inherently illogical

and irrational, and shows how skewed the human thought process really is. Why

would these taxi drivers not work a double shift on a busy, more profitable day

and make double the money and take slow days off instead?

Herein lies a fundamental aspect of

the human thought process gain versus loss. Human beings will work

exponentially harder when faced with the emotional thought process of loss,

than they will for gain. The emotional connection the taxi drivers have to not

lose out on their quota causes them to work twice as hard on an unprofitable
day that it does for them to experience an almost guaranteed gain on a fast

day. This type of emotional thinking paired with short-term views is the type

of process most people go through.

Basically, it means people would

rather work less hard even when they know they have something to gain, than

they will when they think they have something to lose. You are less likely to

work for some kind of bonus or extra. But, you will probably fight tooth and

nail when something you have is in threat of being taken away.

Take, for example, street

experiments done with gain versus loss habits of humans. Street magicians often

use this human thought process for their own gain. They will give someone, for

example, $20 and tell them they can walk away with that money. Or, they can

gamble with a game, and possibly win $50. Once they are told this, they are

given $50, and then $30 is taken back, this provokes the thought process of

loss in their mind, I had $50 and now I only have $20. Of course, the

logical, most rational thing to do would be to walk away with the money,

especially considering it took zero work or time to obtain. However, an

overwhelming percentage of people choose to play the game, and end up losing

it. The reason why, is because their short-sighted sense of loss overruled the

rational gain they had just received.

This same experiment was done while

people's brains were being scanned. What was found is that everyone, no matter
what, initially had an emotional response to the decisions they were given.

However, the people that made rational decisions when faced with the odds

during a gain/loss scenario, had stronger activity in their frontal lobes

(neocortix or Thinking Brain). Essentially, everyone reacted to the situation

emotionally first. However, only a few subjects stopped themselves, and

willingly subjected the situation to an analytical thought process, which

caused their frontal lobe activity to counteract their emotional Mammalian

Brain and reactive Reptilian Brain.

Analytical thinking basically means

training your mind, through a variety of systematic approaches, not to jump to

emotional decisions and to instead make informed decisions based on a variety

of concrete information. This ability is also known as critical thinking

skills.

The ability and habit of using

critical thinking skills to see the world around you (in cooperation with

creative thinking skills of course) is of utmost importance for a healthy,

learned, and progressive society as a whole. Without it we simply devolve, and

that's a fact.

Being a Critical Thinker Means Being a Detective

Perhaps one of the most famous


analytical thinkers of our time is the fictional Sherlock-Holmes. Whether you

know him from the many movies and TV series over the years, including Robert

Downey Jr's role, or the books themselves, Sherlock-Holmes makes analytical

cool and fun, which it is!

Let's look at some of the things a

detective does not do in order to be effective.

Assumptions: The first job of a detective is to stray away from

assumptions, because assumptions are decisions and beliefs that have a

nonexistent logic base and can be backed up by absolutely nothing other than

feelings (which does not equate to fact in any sense).

Another important thing to

understand in this context is that entire arguments that sound logical can be

built off of nothing other than assumption. If the starting line (the

assumption) is wrong, then the result will always be wrong as well as the

thought process leading up to that result.

In the book Accelerated Learning

For The 21st Century: The Six-Step Plan to Unlock Your Mastermind

by Colin Rose and Malcolm J. Nicholl, they cite an incredibly example of this. Let's

suppose you see a man standing over a corpse with a smoking gun. You, and the

entire neighborhood for that matter, know that he owed the dead man a log of

money and was in love with the dead man's wife.


For many people, who are letting

their Mammalian brain allow them to immediately rush to an emotional-based

assumption, the thought process behind this immediate thought process may sound

logical. From the outset, all of the puzzle pieces seem to fit immediately

together.

However, as a critical thinker, it

is always in every situation your job to stop, quell your emotional

assumption, and examine the situation by following the steps we will outline

later. Because, in this example, the man with the smoking gun could have

actually snatched the gun away just a fraction of a second too late to prevent

a suicide.

Circular Logic Circular logic is something a lot of people use

in order to sound right, they trap the person they're talking to in a circle

they can't get out of. For example, Freud declared that every basic motive in

life was essentially sexual. However, if you were to argue with Freud about

this thought process, his reasoning would be that you are a victim of

suppressed sexuality. This allows the person employing circular logic to always

be right, despite whether or not they actually are. Getting trapped in circular

logic is a big problem that no detective or analytical thinker should get

themselves trapped in.


There are always two sides, and any analytical thinker must

immediately forgo his/her initial reaction to understand the opposing view

When you are told a piece of

information or if you hear a moving speech or a testimonial or anything you

WILL always have an initial emotional reaction to it and you will always

immediately make an assumption-based thought about that situation. However, in

order to be an effective critical thinker, your job is to immediately suspend

that thought and ask yourself the following questions:

Is

there any evidence to support my initial opinion? If there is any

evidence, is it good evidence? Furthermore, is that evidence based on

fact, belief, or other people's opinions? What brought me to believe this

opinion, and what are my reasons of believing it (does it agree with my

initial upbringing or societal prejudice/bias toward the situation). What

percentage of certainty do I have that this is, indeed, true?

What

arguments would an opponent of my opinion employ against me? Assuming I

believe what my opponent believes, can I see any validity in their point
of view, and if so, what is it and does it counteract my initial

viewpoint? What if my starting assumption is incorrect, how would my

opponent take advantage of this?

Once

you have answered the above questions, your goal is to now more carefully

assess the situation with your new information and new perspectives from

anew. It will always produce a final decision. This is when you use

structured analysis.

How to accurately define a problem

Quite simply put, the only way to

truly diagnose a problem, so that your ensuing Sherlock-Holmes-esque detective

work of using critical thinking and deduction will actual yield the correct

result, is to ask a BUNCH of questions and simply keep asking. It's like

climbing a tree from the opposite direction (from the top down). Initially,

from the top of the tree, there are many branches. Your job is to keep climbing

down until you get to the bottom and discover the root.

As told by Doug Jones in his book


High Performance Teamwork published by Nightingale Conant, it typically takes

five whys before the root of a problem is solved. He illustrates this thought

process by citing an example of a foundry that makes iron and steel parts.

This foundry started experience a

problem with a high scrap rate. They decided to ask the line workers why this

was the case. The answer they received was, The tracks are worn, so the molds

don't fit correctly. That results in bubbles and rough edges (scrap). The

answer made sense, so the higher-ups spent $100,000 on new tracks, but nothing

improved.

They decided to go back and ask the

line workers why, only this time they asked much more than a single question:

Why

are we getting scrap?

Because the metal is not hot

enough

Why

is the metal not hot enough?


Because the glow rods are burned

out

Why

are the glow rods burned out?

Because there is metal spilled

on them.

Why

is there metal spilled on them?

Because the cleaning crew spills

metal on them.

(To

the cleaning crew) Why do you spill metal on the glow rods?

We were not aware we were

spilling it and we didn't realize it was significant if we did. Besides, we

are competing with the first-shift crew to see who can clean the most furnaces.

There's a bonus on it.


In this case, a line of situations

and people who were seemingly unconnected from the problem solved the problem,

a problem that would not have been figured out had the staff not continued

simply asking why. The owners ended up cross-training the cleaning crews with

the line crews so each person understood how their job affected each other (and

the whole). They also began rewarding the quality of cleaning rather than the

speed in which something was cleaned. This cut the usage of glow rods down from

twenty a week to one a week. Each rod costs $100, which saved $100,000 a year

and cut scrap rates down from 10% to 2% an over $500,000 a year savings.

Critical thinking is a mental chess game, the victorious result of

which is emotionally satisfying

People who are highly analytical

are often thought of as cold fish heartless number-crunching, emotionless,

beady-eyed buzzkills. That couldn't be further from the truth, there are few

greater joys than coming out on top due to your ability to handle yourself

mentally.

By working on your critical

thinking abilities you already have a gigantic advantage over your peers, and

the rest of humanity for that matter. This is because most people do not

recognize how to think critically and will always (always) respond to


information emotionally, base their opinions on their emotions, and handle

themselves emotionally when defending these irrational, illogical thought

processes, opinions, and beliefs.

The thing is, you will always react

exactly the same way, the difference is your ability to control your brain, by

training your logical Thinking Brain to counteract and work more effectively

with your emotional brain, to create an intuitive, analytical thought process

that correctly combines the creative emotional brain with the logical thinking

brain. This is true mastery of the mind.

You ability to handle situations

and information in this manner will provide you with a huge degree of control

over situations. It allows you to avoid getting swept up in a herd of mass

hysteria. It allows you to be the voice of reason. It allows you to make

better, more informed decisions than other people. This is essentially what

separates successful people from unsuccessful people it's a sociological and

evolutionary advantage, the likes of which you can draw great emotional

satisfaction from.

Chapter 4 - IT'S ALL IN THE MIND

Condition your mind


Conditioning your mind with

exercise, diet, mental practice, better memory analysis, and critical thinking

skills really means nothing if you cannot shut it on or off at will. True

control over your mind is when you have the ability to silence it, create your

own reality, and discard thoughts that would keep you from accomplishing what

you really want.

History is full of tortured

geniuses, whose great minds and great talent eventually ended up completely

crippling them. They were a bright, soaring light illuminating society for just

a short time until their inability to truly control their mind cut their lives

and their careers short.

You've no doubt heard the saying,

There is a fine line between genius and insanity. This is absolutely true, as

science and study has began to prove that genius and mental disorder are

inextricably linked. So, what does this make the genius more often than not?

Typically, this makes the genius nothing more than a slave to their superior

leanings. It doesn't matter if these people are geniuses in creative skills,

mathematics, philosophy, leadership, business, literature, or sports, it's easy

for outsiders to look at these people and think to themselves, Hey, that smart

person must have it together, but research says otherwise.

Kate Redfield Jamison, a clinical

psychologist and professor at johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said


that 20 to 30 scientific studies endorse the thought process that through many

varieties of psychosis, creativity seems to be the most strongly linked to mood

disorders, namely bipolar disorder. Consequently, Jamison herself suffers from

this mental affliction.

One study tested the intelligence

of 700,000 Swedish 16-year-olds and followed up with them a decade later. The

students who had excelled the most when they were 16 were four times as likely

to go on to develop bipolar disorder, which is characterized by dramatic mood

swings that falter between extremes like a seesaw, lacking balance. This is

commonly known as mania and severe depression.

James Fallon, a neurobiologist at

the University of California-Irvine, explains that, People with bipolar tend

to be creative when they're coming out of deep depression. He says that when

bipolar patients' moods improves, their brain activity shifts. The activity

dies down in the lower part of the brain region (the frontal lobe, which is

part of your Neocortex, Thinking Brain) and flares up in a higher part of

that lobe. This shift happens when people have bouts of creativity as well.

There is a nexus between these circuits that have to do with bipolar and

creativity.

Furthermore, these people are often

subject to broken homes, unfortunate socio-economic situations, and loneliness.

Let's look at some of history's most well-known creative geniuses.


Henri Marie Raymond de Toulouse-Lautrec

This French artist was initially

born into a noble family in 1864. However, he was the result of generations of

inbreeding. His parents were first cousins, for example, and always kept with

the tradition of marrying relatives. This caused Lautrec to be born with

congenital defects that made his life incredibly hard. After he fractured a

bone that failed to heal properly, he was diagnosed with a disease that stunted

his growth. His torso developed normally, but he had the legs of a child. As an

adult, he was only five feet in height, and his genitals were rumored to be

malformed.

Normal physical activity was

impossible for Toulouse, and his appearance made him an outcast. He began using

art as a way to seek solace and immersed himself in drawing and painting. He

began creating Post-impressionist and Art Nouveau works. After seeking refuge

in the seedy underbelly of the famed Moulin Rouge, most of his paintings

depicted the wild and sad life of the bohemian culture of Paris. He painted the

cabarets of the city and the characters that haunted them.

Toulouse-Lautrec eventually

descended into self-destruction. He contracted syphilis and became a vehement

alcoholic whose favorite drink was a drink called Absinthe (or The Green
Fairy) which contained outlandish hallucinatory properties.

Thomas De Quincey

De Quincey was born in England in

1785. He was frail as a child and ill. He lost his father at a young age, and

moved in with his mother where he spent most of his youth in solitude. His

mother was incredibly harsh, going so far as to pull him out of school for

three years in order to prevent him from growing egotistical.

As a young adult, De Quincey

started wandering. He lived in poverty and avoided his family. He eventually

returned to his education, but remained a loner who could not blend in with his

counterparts. He began taking opium during his studies and spiraled deeper and

deeper into addiction and debt. Eventually he wrote Confessions of an

Opium-Eater, his most well-known work to date.

Sylvia Plath

Famous author and poet Sylvia Plath

author of the famous novel The Bell Jar was born in 1932. She began to

suffer from mental illness as an early adult, an affliction that would

eventually lead to her death. Event throughout her constant accolades and awards,
Sylvia attempted suicide several times with pills, but she survived. In 1962

Sylvia killed herself by turning on the gas in her home and putting her head

into the kitchen oven while her children slept in their rooms.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky

This Russian author created many

multiple works of genius including The Brothers Karamazov and Crime and

Punishment. He is regarded as the founder of existentialism. Dostoyevsky grew

up with a violent alcoholic father. From a child, he was subject to fits of epilepsy.

He began writing on a large scale

until he became involved in politics and was eventually exiled to Siberia in

1849 and a cruel mock execution. He spent four years living in harsh, filthy

surroundings before being released. Later in his life he developed a crippling

gambling addiction, accumulated debt, and suffered from severe depression. He

died after suffering from a seizure that caused a lung hemorrhage.

These are just a few examples, but

there are many more such as Kurt Cobain, George Orwell, Tennessee Williams,

Ludwig Van Beethoven, Ernest Hemingway, and Vincent Van Gogh.

Now, you may be thinking to

yourself that you don't have anything in common with these people, and this
very well may be true. However, these examples were provided in order to

illustrate the extremes that can happen when people let unfortunate situations,

the weight of their own intellect, and their situation to completely destroy

their lives.

You are quite literally a result of

thousands of subconscious cues that have implanted themselves into your psyche

overtime. For example, do you have any pet peeves, but you're not sure why?

Perhaps you hate it when someone says a certain word. Perhaps you hate a

certain color. Perhaps you hate it when someone touches a certain part of your

body, but you're not really sure why you feel this way, you just know you don't

like it.

At some point in your life

something happened to cause you to connotate these words, actions, or spots as

negative. The exact situation is something you have no doubt forgotten. I could

have been something directly related to you, or it could have been something

you saw on TV, heard on the radio, or were socially conditioned to think due to

a particular class clique at school.

For example, many parents will hug

their children when the child is feeling sad or is crying. This is done in good

intention, as it is intended to console. However, what if the child is never

hugged at the height of good news or happy occasions they are only hugged

when feeling sad or crying. This will often create a feeling of sadness later
on in life when being hugged by anyone, even during happy occasions.

No matter what the way you think

and feel have everything to do with the society you live in and thousands of

pieces of information lying in your subconscious, manifesting themselves into

your thought process on a daily basis, and you usually never know what they

are.

These thoughts are often dealt with

through distraction concentrating on work, going out and socializing, solving

problems, indulging in any kind of entertainment (music, television, Internet).

Many of us have never known life without a screen in front of our faces. Most

of us have never just done one thing walked, lied down, stood, sat, ate, or

any natural human activity without thinking of a hundred of other things at the

same time.

Because of this lack of self

analysis, constant sensory overload and distraction, and lack of understanding

of exactly why we think of ourselves the way we do (subconscious self image),

we are simply crippled under the weight of our own mind thoughts that never

cease, an entire ever-expanding universe in which you have no real control or

understanding of and only seek to drown out with noise and distraction.

Indeed, the true master of mind is

one that can recognize their subconscious manifestations, take control of their
mind, live in the present, and even re-program negative aspects of their mind

to improve everything in their life.

Being Present

From the minute you wake up in the

morning until you go to bed, you are typically in one of two thinking modes

the past, or the future. However, if you think about it, this is completely

absurd. There is literally nothing you can do in the past because it's over,

and you have zero control over the future because it hasn't happened yet.

What is missing from this equation

is the very simple practice of being present when eating eat, when walking

walk, when sitting sit, when laying down, lie, when working work, when brushing

your teeth, brush your teeth.

The funny thing is that people

think that being in the present is incredibly difficult. In fact, there are

entire schools of thought in which mindfulness is practiced as a life-long

path to enlightenment just look at Buddhism and Daoism.

Yet, logically, it is the act of

thinking about the past and future that is difficult. How much time do we waste

doing it? The world is full of people pacing their floors right now in
anxiousness, perhaps smoking cigarettes on their porch one after the other,

perhaps laying awake in their beds, perhaps half-working on a project they keep

getting distracted with all of them spending hours and hours worrying about

the future or thinking about the past (either the good days or decisions that

could have been made).

These people are stressing their

minds to no end, ruining their health, and for what? Literally things that they

have zero control over. Nothing about the past or the future is controllable.

What you can control is what you're doing right now. To think about the past

causes depression. To think about the future causes anxiousness. To be in the

present is to be content.

You always have control over the

present moment simply because you are alive and existing in that moment. You

know that moment to be true and a matter-of-fact reality.

Practicing mindfulness, or the act

of being in the present moment, is a lifestyle that will allow you to have

better control over your mind and dramatically lessen your stress. Human beings

are one of the only species on earth that experience debilitating stress when

their life is not in immediate danger. Even a Zebra being stocked by a Lion

will run for its life and become stressed at that moment. If it gets away, it will

stop being stressed within moments it doesn't not sit around thinking about

how it just got chased by a lion and how it could have died nor does it sit in

fear of the future it simply realizes that was the past, it is alive now, and
therefore at the present moment everything is fine.

By living life in the present

moment, you are able to deal with anything that comes your way because you

react to it in real time.

In order to practice mindfulness,

try the following exercises:

Sit in silence This is often referred to as meditation. The two

best times to do this are right when you wake up and right before you go to

sleep. For example, instead of waking up and immediately getting stressed out

thinking about all the things you have to do that day. Simply sit up, hang your

feet over the bed, close your eyes and listen to your breath. Sit there for at

least five minutes, and eventually get to where you can do it for five to

fifteen minutes. Do not try to suppress any thoughts that come along, simply

observe them watch them like a movie screen and let them pass in front of

you. If you start to analyze the day, bring your attention back to your

breathing feel your breath going in deeply, and out slowly. This will calm

your mind and put you in the present moment.

Move in the present Mindfulness is something you can practice

through actions. Try doing something like going on a bike ride, taking a walk,
going on a run, or simple household chores such as sweeping, mowing the yard,

or washing the dishes. Instead of immediately trying to put on music or the

television to distract yourself during these situations pay attention to what

you're doing. Think to yourself, I am sweeping now, I am mowing now, I am

walking now, I am running now. Think only about what you are doing at that

present moment, slow down and be empty.

Move Your Blood This is just a side note, it is highly

advisable that, right after you finish your morning mindfulness exercise, that

you stand up and do light stretches. Circle your arms, circle your hips, twist

your torso (drunk twist), open and close your hands rapidly and then circle

your wrists, bend down and touch your toes (or as far as you can) jump up and

down a few times. This simple little stretch routine should take less than

three minutes, but is very important to get your blood moving out of your

liver, provide a great flow to your brain, and prepare you for to take on

anything throughout the day.

Reprogramming Your Mind

Even if you're a genuinely happy

person, it's always good to program your mind to stay in a constant state of

positivity. This is not to say that you should be unrealistic, it's to say that

you should have the mental fortitude to handle even the most devastating
situations, insults, and setbacks in life by having a positive self image. This

can be easily brought out by aspirations and properly preparing for the day.

Try the following exercises:

Post-Meditation Positive Aspirations Now we're adding to your

morning quiet time. Once you've finished your mindfulness practice and

stretching tell yourself how you're day is going to go Today I'm going to

have a fantastic day, I'm going to handle any challenges that come my way, I'm

going to keep a positive mental attitude no matter what happens.

Gratitude If you have any major goals in mind, be grateful that

they are already accomplished this trains your mind to stop thinking I hope

I can get this accomplished and instead puts you in the mindset of, I've

already accomplished this, now I'm just waiting on the results. You can do

this at any time throughout the day, even while you're walking to your office.

Say to yourself, 'I'm grateful that my goals are accomplished. Visualize your

goal already being accomplished step into that vision and feel how it will

feel once it is accomplished. Follow this up by being grateful for your current

circumstances a roof over your head, enough food to eat, family, friends,

job...etc.

Body Language Remember, there is no separation between mind and

body. Right now, I want you to clench your fists and furrow your eyebrows,

snarl your nose and look straight ahead while doing this, I want you to think

about something that makes you happy. Difficult, isn't it? The reason is

because the body language is something that signals anger, remaining in that

state will make you angry. The same goes for happiness. If you're sad and

depressed, or find yourself spiraling down, it will be much harder for you to

force your mind to change, but much easier for you to check your body language.

Are you slumping? Is your chin down? Are you frowning? Correct it sit/stand

up straight, widen your stride, put your shoulders back, smile confidently.

It's impossible to keep a negative attitude when you adjust your body language,

your mind will follow.

Affirmations In life, there is much fear, shame, and guilt,

most of it is buried in your subconscious. Affirmations help keep you centered,

focused, and in the correct perspective. Use regularly as a practice, it can

reprogram your brain for the better. Picture affirmations as a kind of massage,

releasing the toxins of doubt from your mind. You can use various affirmations

for certain situations. You can look in a mirror when you say them or simply

say them under your breath as you're walking or driving from one place to

another. The following is a sample list of affirmations that you can use in

various facets of your life:

Health
Every

day I am getting healthier and healthier and feeling better and better.

I always

feel good. As a result, my body feels good and I radiate good feelings.

I am

of strong heart and body. I am full of vigor, energy and vitality.

I eat

well, exercise regularly and stay healthy.

I am

happy, hale and hearty.

I am

resistant to disease and injury because I have a strong constitution and

exercise regularly.

Happiness

Every

day and in every way, I am getting happier and happier.

Happiness

is my birthright. I choose to be happy and I deserve to be happy.

Happiness

is contagious. I absorb happiness from others and spread happiness to

others.
I

enjoy every moment of every day.

touch many lives with joy and cheer. My happiness makes others happy.

Being

happy comes easy to me. Happiness is my second nature.

I am

kind, I am loving. I am happy.

Relationships

and Romance

I am

deeply and truly in love with my partner. Our bond is unshakeable.

My

boss appreciates my work and helps me grow.

love my children unconditionally and accept them as they are.

My

partner is simply amazing and our love for each other knows no bounds.

My

partner and I are soul mates. We complement each other and know each other

perfectly.

Everywhere
I look, I find love. Love is patient, love is kind.

Wealth

I am

adept at choosing assets that make me wealthy.

I am

a creator of wealth and will never want for material things.

Wealth

flows into my life smoothly and without any obstruction. I welcome wealth

in all ways.

Whatever

I do, whether work or leisure, results in great wealth for me.

I am

wealthy because I welcome wealth into my life.

Weight Loss

Every

day I am approaching my ideal weight.

love being physically fit and full of energy and being at my ideal weight.

I
have a healthy metabolism that helps me reach my ideal weight.

exercise regularly and eat well, so that I will reach my ideal weight by

the end of the season.

Every

day I am getting slimmer and better-looking.

Every

physical act I do burns fats and helps me reach my ideal weight.

Self-Esteem

love and accept myself unconditionally.

have flaws, but constantly work to improve them. My flaws do not cripple

or hinder me in any way.

earn great respect from my peers and I respect them in return.

I am

a unique person, with a unique set of skills and talents that others find great

value in.

What

others say about me does not matter and does not diminish me in any way.
Success

I am

a magnet for success and succeed at everything I do.

I am

able to solve all problems, because I am insightful and patient.

I am in

control of my thoughts, emotions and desires. I focus on success and I get

results.

I am

always prepared and I never get caught off-guard by challenges. I embrace

challenges, as they allow me to test and improve myself.

Success

is not the destination, success is a journey. I constantly walk the path

of success.

Quit Smoking

I am

smoke-free and nicotine-free.

prefer the smell of fresh air through clean lungs.

I am
healthy and hearty. Cigarettes will tarnish my body.

I no

longer smoke. I am happier and healthier.

choose myself over cigarettes, happiness over addiction and health over

smoking.

My

motivation is seeing my own success. My success comes from my motivation.