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A Bulletproof Way To Never Again Forget a Million Dollar Idea

A Bulletproof Way To Never Again Forget a Million Dollar Idea

Have you ever thought about how many million dollar ideas you have forgotten?!

I’m absolutely sure that at least a couple of times in your life you’ve had a brilliant idea but somehow it slipped your mind. You were on the crowded bus and you simply couldn’t write it down. Or maybe you were walking down the street but your mobile went flat or you didn’t have a pen.

And then a few months later you hear news on TV that some guy used YOUR idea and became a millionaire. We all know the feeling. I bet you can feel the surge of frustration this very moment!

So why did it happen?

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DISADVANTAGES OF TYPICAL NOTE-TAKING

  • It’s not always possible to write something down due to conditions and the nature of “eureka” moments. Usually the best ideas strike us in the conditions which make typical note taking impossible: under shower, while running, right before you fall asleep. No wonder. Usually that’s the moment when your brain is relaxed and produces alpha brain waves (Niedermeyer E.(1997). Alpha rhythms as physiological and abnormal phenomena).
  • You might not have proper tools to help you capture your ideas (e.g. pen, mobile phone, etc.)
  • It might be weird. Another fairly typical situation in which new ideas are created is when you have a conversation with somebody and then, out of nowhere, your beautiful brains crash to produce some inspiring idea. The problem is that you don’t always know some person well enough to put a conversation on hold in order to write your ideas down.

The point being – technology is great but it won’t always be there to save the day.Most of us are afraid of being dependent on other people. But do you really think that being dependent on a battery or a pen is more noble? (Sure, they won’t judge you but that’s about the only difference). Who will keep data for you when we run out of trees?!

So what can you do to prevent it from happening?

USE YOUR IMAGINATION TO PLAN IN YOUR MIND!

To make sure that you never ever forget another brilliant idea, you have to use the power of your imagination. So what’s the secret?

Mnemonics!

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One of the methods with proven record of effectiveness is the method of loci (Bellezza, F. S., 1996, Mnemonic methods to enhance storage and retrieval). This technique, as fancy as it sounds, was already known to the ancient Greeks and Romans.

The general idea behind this method is to create associations between the elements which are well-known to you and new pieces of information (ideas in our case).

To do this, we should:

  1. choose the layout of some building / flat / house which we are familiar with.
  2. select some distinctive loci within the place of our choice
  3. specify key words characterizing your idea
  4. create some vivid, abstract (or just plain absurd) associations between the loci and key words.
  5. finally, take a mental walk, once you’re home, to retrieve the precious idea

Let’s go through an example to show how straightforward and bulletproof this method is.

EXAMPLE

It’s a safe bet that you know exactly how your flat / house looks like and probably at least a few places of your friends, and family members. And that gives us a lot of potential places you can use.

I’ll use my own room as an example (distinctive loci) as I seem to spend there unhealthy amount of time. Let’s say that I have an idea to create a comic book about a dysfunctional super hero, called the Incredible Incompetento. His only super-power is being able to ruin every company’s project.

Through my mind’s eye I see him as a clumsy, white-collar worker with glasses (key word). Next, I’ll picture him entering my room and spilling a cup of coffee all over my sketches (association) and burning my hands in the process

 

Forget about forgetting and embrace your regret-free life. Never again will your brilliant ideas sink into oblivion! And if it ever happens that you become a millionaire, don’t forget to drop me a thank you message.

Has it ever happened to you that you’ve forgotten some important idea? Let me know in the comments!

Featured photo credit: soultga via rgbstock.com

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

When you train your brain, you will:

  • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
  • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
  • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

1. Work your memory

Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

For example, say you just met someone new:

“Hi, my name is George”

Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

Got it? Good.

2. Do something different repeatedly

By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

But how does this apply to your life right now?

Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

3. Learn something new

It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

4. Follow a brain training program

The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

5. Work your body

You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

6. Spend time with your loved ones

If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

7. Avoid crossword puzzles

Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

The bottom line

Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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