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10 Ways to Become Unstoppable

10 Ways to Become Unstoppable

Our highest potentiality is fulfilled when we realize that we create our own destiny.  We cannot expect to achieve our goals through others, instead we achieve our goals through our own actions.  In the phenomenal book The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand, the protagonist Howard Roark is confronted by Ellsworth Toohey, “Mr. Roark, we’re alone here.  Why don’t you tell me what you think of me?  In any words you wish.  No one will hear us.” for which Roark replied, “But I don’t think of you.”

This is the perfect response in dealing with people who add no value to your life.  Once we can grasp this we can achieve greatness – greatness through our own efforts and creation without guilt.  We can do this by the construction of a framework that makes us unstoppable.  Here are 10 ways to become unstoppable.

1. Be Your Own Creator

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Quantum physics has demonstrated that we have very little understanding of our world.  It has also provided us a beautiful playground for our mind.  In an experiment that still baffles us today – The Double Slit Experiment – we have found that electrons exist in a state of pure potential when they are not being observed.  The act of simply observing is the same as creating.  Through our observations and expectations, we literally create our own reality.

2. No Fear

“In times of adversity and change, we really discover who we are and what we’re made up of.” – Howard Schultz

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The moment you quit worrying about what other people think of you is the moment you truly realize what freedom feels like.  Elite performers will meet resistance at every turn.  People will become jealous and will attack top performers.  However, these people play at a lower level and will never confront you, they will always go behind your back.  Just remember that these people bring no value to your life and if they are jealous of you then you must be doing something right.

3. Be Crazy and Different

“Your theory is crazy, but it’s not crazy enough to be true.” – Niels Bohr

It takes a vast amount of courage to act on crazy and different ideas.  However, the people who move the world forward are those who act on their crazy ideas.  Like flashes of lighting swirling around the sky, bold and crazy ideas will make their way into your mind.  Just make sure you are crazy enough to act on them before they disappear.

4. Put a Dent in the Universe

“We’re here to put a dent in the universe.  Otherwise why else even be here?” – Steve Jobs

Top performers truly dream big.  If you desire to put a dent in the universe, just as Steve Jobs did, then act as if it were impossible to fail.  Quit discussing and just do.  Set a goal that is so unbelievably extraordinary that you can’t achieve it until you develop into the person who can.  Remember, if you can dream it, you can be the first to achieve it.

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5. Visualization

“Change your thoughts and you change your world.” – Norman Vincent Peale

I came across an intriguing idea regarding visualization in Psycho – Cybernetics by Dr. Maxwell Maltz.  The idea was to create a mind movie where the brain thinks and creates in terms of images.  Maltz instructs us that the brain and nervous system are obeying servants of pictures placed in our mind.  The key in using the mind movie is to dive deep into the movie and visualize the small details to make it as real as possible.

6. Exercise and Neurogenesis

“Exercise is Miracle-Gro for the brain.” – Dr. John Ratey

In the best-selling book Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, Dr. John Ratey discusses the correlation between exercise and intellect.  He found that aerobic exercise is the optimal vehicle for the production of a magical substance.

This substance is Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is a nerve growth factor that impacts the development, function and growth of our brain cells.  BDNF is the most powerful and active substance stimulating Neurogenesis.  By simply exercising, we can literally grow our brain cells and increase our intellect.

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7. Read

“We become the books we read.” – Matthew Kelly

BDNF is a protein that encourages the growth of new neurons and synapses through axon and dendrite sprouting.  Continuing our discussion from exercise and neurogenesis; since running increases BDNF production, which increase neuron growth, we must use our brain in order to keep the wiring strong.

Read at every available opportunity – while exercising and driving (audio-books), to your children, and while waiting in line.  Never miss an opportunity to read.  Reading allows doors to open in your mind; doors that were always present, but previously closed.

8. Focus and Intensity

“The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” – Ayn Rand

Grant Cardone wrote in his awesome book The 10X Rule that we must take massive action to succeed in life.  He commented, “Assume that every project you attempt will take more time, money, energy, effort and people than you can imagine.  Multiply every expectation by 10, and you will probably be safe.”  Cardone’s bottom line is that once you define what you want, put the intensity and hyper-focus into it and define what 10X activity means then you will achieve your goal.

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9. Map Your Mind

“A bad system will beat a good person every time.” – W.Edwards Demming

As a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, I understand the significant benefits of simply mapping out a process.  I also understand the benefits of using a powerful technique in generating unique and creative ideas for sorting your thoughts.

Mind mapping is an impressive tool that allows you to map connections in your mind, brainstorm new ideas, and uncover new relationships between ideas.  Simply start by exploring an idea or concept then create branches and sub-branches around the main idea.

10. Discover Your Purpose

“Nothing ever goes away until it teaches us what we need to know.” – Pema Chodron

In order for us to use each of these powerful hacks to become unstoppable, we must first have a solid foundation.  We must discover what drives us, we must discover what our purpose is.  In my life, my beautiful wife and daughter provide my purpose, they provide meaning in a world of chaos.

When my daughter was born, she motivated me to create my own life, to become fearless, to be crazy and different, to put a dent in the universe, to visualize success, to keep my mind and body in peak condition, to adopt a hyper-focus mindset and even to map out my life.  But the greatest thing my daughter provided me was the ability to love my wife more than I ever have.  This provided me a lifetime of motivation and fuel to become unstoppable.

Featured photo credit: Image by Warner Bros. via warnerbros.com

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Dr. Jamie Schwandt

Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt & Red Team Critical Thinker

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

5 Proven Memorization Techniques to Make the Most of Your Memory

5 Proven Memorization Techniques to Make the Most of Your Memory

Do you forget stuff every now and then? Are you trying to enhance your memory but not sure how?

All you need is the right memorization techniques to make the most of your memory.

The human brain is fascinating. More specifically, the vast interconnections within our mind. Mendel Kaelen compares the human brain to a hill covered in snow,

“Think of the brain as a hill covered in snow, and thoughts as sleds gliding down that hill. As one sled after another goes down the hill a small number of main trails will appear in the snow. And every time a new sled goes down, it will be drawn into preexisting trails, almost like a magnet. In time it becomes more and more difficulty to glide down the hill on any other path or in a different direction.”

The intent of Kaelen’s discussion is to think of new ways to temporarily flatten the snow. Kaelen remarked,

“The deeply worn trails disappear, and suddenly the sled can go in other directions, exploring new landscapes and, literally, creating new pathways.”

The idea here is to temporarily rewire your brain, or as Michael Pollan remarked in How to Change Your Mind,

“The power to shake the snow globe, disrupting unhealthy patterns of thought and creating a space of flexibility-entropy-in which more salubrious patterns and narratives have an opportunity to coalesce as the snow slowly settles.”

So, how can we rewire our brain allowing deeply worn connections to disappear and new connections to form? The answer is quite simple. We must change the way we store information in our mind.

    Let’s examine 5 specific memorization techniques that will change the way you think and remember information.

    1. Build a Memory Palace

      What is it?

      The method of loci[1] (aka memory palace) is a method of memory enhancement using visualizations with the use of spatial memory. It uses familiar information about your environment to quickly recall information. It is a method that was discussed by Cicero in an ancient dialogue called De Oratore.

      How to use it?

      Ron White discusses in How to Memorize Fast and Easily: Build a Memory Palace, that it’s essentially a room or building that you have memorized and you use locations in the room to store data. Ron informs us,

      “You memorize locations in a room and then you later go back to those locations to retrieve the data that you want to remember.”

      Example

      An easy 5-step example, in the form of a Wiki, can be found at Artofmemory.com. Let’s examine the the steps:

      • Step 1. Choose a place that you know well. For example, your house or office.
      • Step 2. Plan the route and pick specific locations in your route. For example, your front door, bathroom kitchen, etc.
      • Step 3. Decide what you want to memorize. For example, geography, list of items, answers for a test, etc.
      • Step 4. Place one or two items, with a mental image, and place them in your memory palace. Exaggerate your images. For example, use nudity or crazy images forcing it to stick in your mind.
      • Step 5. Make the image into a mnemonic.

      You can learn more about this technique here: How to Build a Memory Palace to Remember More of Everything

      2. Mnemonic

        What is it?

        A mnemonic is a memory device that aids in retention and/or retrieval of information. Mnemonic systems are techniques consciously used to improve memory by helping us use information already stored in long-term memory to make memorization easier.[2]

        How to use it?

        Mnemonics make use of retrieval cues to encode information in our brain allowing for efficient storage and retrieval of the information. The trick is to learn how to easily create mnemonics. If you find that you struggle with creating your own, try the following website: Mnemonic Generator.

        Example

        I recently came across a video using mnemonics to memorize countries. Memorizing Countries using Mnemonics is a video created as an introduction to a class for using memory techniques to learn the names of countries on maps.

        I actively search for videos that provide enormous educational value, yet receive very little exposure. At the time of this writing, this video has received less than 4k views. Let’s examine the video.

        Goal: Create a mnemonic to memorize the countries in the Caribbean (just the countries you need to learn).

        Step 1. Looking at a map – write out each country (for which five were chosen).

        Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico.

        Step 2. Write the first letter of each country vertically.

        C

        J

        H

        D

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        P

        Step 3. Create a sentence or phrase.

        Cubs

        Just

        Hate

        Doing

        Push-ups

        Cubs just hate doing push-ups. (Cuba Jamaica Haiti Dominican Republic Puerto Rico)

        3. Mnemonic Peg System

          What is it?

          According to Artofmemory.com, a mnemonic peg system is a technique for memorizing lists and it works by memorizing a list of words that are easy to associate with the numbers they represent.[3] These objects are the pegs of the system.

          How to use it?

          The trick is to create a Number Rhyme System with each number having a rhyming mnemonic keyword.

          Example

          Let’s look at an example of a Number Rhyme System:[4]

          0 = hero

          1 = gun

          2 = shoe

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          3 = tree

          4 = door

          5 = hive

          6 = sticks

          7 = heaven

          8 = gate

          9 = line

          Another technique like the Peg system is the Number Shape System.[5] Here you are assigning mnemonic images based on the shape of the number. Watch the following video for an example of this system: Number Shape System for Memorizing Numbers.

          4. Chunking

            What is it?

            Chunking is a way to remember large bits of information by chunking them into smaller pieces of information. We are more likely to then remember the information when we put the small pieces back together to see the entire picture.

            How to use it?

            In the video Chunking – A Learning Technique, we can see that there are several ways to chunk information.

            Example

            Let’s examine a simple example using a nine-digit number.

            Step 1. What is the number you are trying to remember?

            081127882

            Step 2. Cut the number into smaller pieces through chunking.

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            081 – 127 – 882

            Let’s look at one more example from the same video.

            “Piano teachers will first demonstrate an entire song to students. They will then ask their students to practice one measure at a time. Once the part has been learned and the neural connections in the brain have been built, then students go on to the next measure. After all chunks have been played separately, they are combined until the entire piece is connected.”

            5. Transfer of Learning

              What is it?

              Transfer of learning is a way to learn something in one area and apply it in another. Authors of Thinking at Every Desk, Derek and Laura Cabrera inform us about the transfer of learning,

              “If a student has a high transfer skills, she can learn one thing and then teach herself 10, 50, or 100 additional things.”

              How to use it?

              There are two specific ways to use it:

              1. Vertical Transfer (aka Far Transfer). Think of learning something in grade school and applying it another grade or later in life.
              2. Horizontal Transfer (aka Near Transfer). Think of learning a concept in history and applying it in math.

              Example

              I provide a detailed step-by-step example for this technique in this article:

              Learn How to Learn: How to Understand and Connect Difficult Ideas Easily

              The Bottom Line

              The key to using the techniques discussed here is to remember that we must actively think about information.

              We cannot simply drill information into our brain through rote memorization. We must change the way we think about memorization. We must find a way to “shake the snow-globe” in our mind or flatten the snow so that we can create new learning paths.

              Or as Derek and Laura Cabrera point out, we must insert “Thinking” into the equation,

              “Information X Thinking = Knowledge”

              More About Enhancing Memories

              Featured photo credit: Nong Vang via unsplash.com

              Reference

              [1] Remember Everything: Memory Palaces and the Method of Loci
              [2] The Learning Center Exchange: 9 Types of Mnemonics for Better Memory
              [3] Art of Memory: Mnemonic Peg System
              [4] Art of Memory: Number Rhyme System
              [5] Art of Memory: Number Shape System

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