Sunday, June 24, 2012

Enhance Creativity With Novelty And Challenge

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Note: We are currently in contractual negotiations with the bluebird to get him to be the spokesbird for THE BRAINTENANCE BLOG -- "The Bluebird Of Braintenance."


Two of the greatest variables which enhance creativity (which happens to be a close cousin of problem-solving) are novelty and challenge.

Novelty is simply doing something which is a departure or disruption from your usual routine, thought patterns or subject matter which consumes a great deal of your time ordinarily. By the way, novelty can be a departure from physical routine as well as psychological or intellectual routines.

Challenge is the exercise of pushing your psychological, intellectual or physical envelope or self-imposed 'comfy cube'

Where novelty forces you to focus on those different skill sets or muscle groups, challenge has to do with applying and exercising them. By analogy, novelty is like exercising a new and formerly neglected muscle group (i.e., exercising your triceps where you've been only exercising your biceps for years), and challenge is actually doing more repetitions, more sets and using increased weights as you integrate this whole new regimen into your routine.

The following twelve somewhat zany but very effective exercises were created by Dorothea Brande, and were mentioned by Gretchen Rubin of The Happiness Project:


1. Spend an hour each day without saying anything except in answer to direct questions, in the midst of the usual group, without creating the impression that you’re sulking or ill. Be as ordinary as possible. But do not volunteer remarks or try to draw out information.

2. Think for 30 minutes a day about one subject exclusively. Start with five minutes.

3. Write a letter without using the words I, me, mine, my.

4. Talk for 15 minutes a day without using I, me, my, mine.

5. Write a letter in a “successful” or placid tone. No misstatements, no lying. Look for aspects or activities that can be honestly reported that way.

6. Pause on the threshold of any crowded room and size it up.

7. Keep a new acquaintance talking about himself or herself without allowing him to become conscious of it. Turn back any courteous reciprocal questions in a way that your auditor doesn’t feel rebuffed.

8. Talk exclusively about yourself and your interests without complaining, boasting, or boring your companions.

9. Cut “I mean” or “As a matter of fact” or any other verbal mannerism out of your conversation.

10. Plan two hours of a day and stick to the plan.

11. Set yourself twelve tasks at random: e.g., go twenty miles from home using ordinary conveyance; go 12 hours without food; go eat a meal in the most unlikely place you can find; say nothing all day except in answer to questions; stay up all night and work.

12. From time to time, give yourself a day when you answer “yes” to any reasonable request.

These are actually tremendous novelties paired with potentially enormous challenges for most of us. I would suggest that you review the whole list before embarking upon any of its proposals. How often have you ever actually done any one of them? How often has anybody whom you may know done of any of them -- or at least to the extent that you noticed?

When you've finished evaluating the list and thinking "Come On... Does that snooty Douglas E. Castle really expect me to do these things?" My answer is "Yes. Do every single one. Also, don't call me snooty."

p.s. If you enjoy Braintenance, please follow us on Twitter at @Braintenance. For a whole selection of other Twitter feeds regarding an amazingly diverse list of topics, you'll find a whole bunch truly worth keeping up with at The Twitterlinks Hubspot Blog.




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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Braintenance - The Many Types Of Learning - Douglas E. Castle

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Dear Readers:

I will be returning from a brief assignment out of town on June 21st, and will begin posting regularly then. Thank you for reading me and for taking some time to view The Twitterlinks Hubspot Blog in order to find some of our information-packed Twitter feeds which suit your interests to follow.

Douglas E. Castle

p.s.  Please feel free to visit my Linked In profile at Linked In - Douglas E. Castle











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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Mazes: Build Intelligence.Stay Sharp.

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Solving problems involving mazes builds intelligence, keeps you sharp, wards off dementia, clears (broadens) old neural pathways and paves new ones, greatly expands your possibility thinking abilities, decision making abilities and your ability to visualize using your imagination. As an added bonus, working through mazes is a meditative-type exercise and actually helps discipline your ability to focus without 'wandering off' [like your eccentric Uncle Ned at a family barbecue].

Mazes are actually pictorially analogous to the structure of the physical brain. Navigating a maze might just be similar (on a very small and simplified scale) to navigating neuronal corridors of the mind...

Another amazing (pun intended) by-product of the repeated exercise of escaping (i.e., running through or navigating) mazes is that despite the element of trial and error which may necessarily be involved  -- you find a way that doesn't work, go back to the point where you believe that you might have taken a fateful wrong turn, and go in a different direction -- many maze champions are very good at somehow "anticipating" the tricks and techniques used by certain maze designers. This is a fascinating phenomenon.

If you look at a maze from a vantage point, reasonably high above it, so that you can view the entire layout, it will be mush easier to navigate when it comes time to actually run it. This is a dramatic example of perspective, and how it influences the way people think. If you are just thrown into a maze that you have never scanned from above in totality, the whole exercise becomes less a study in memory and navigation than a test of trial and error, learning curves and intuition.

You can find a variety of mazes with which to test yourself with at these sites:

http://www.mazes.org.uk/

http://www.clickmazes.com/

Now have some fun.

Douglas E Castle for The Braintenance Blog

p.s. Please follow us by going to The Twitterlinks Hubspot Blog and selecting a few Twitter feeds of interest (varied subjects). ***This week's recommendation is the brand new EXPANDEDMINDS1. Click and follow -- we'd be honored to have you.





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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Human Brain And God - The Debate Continues...

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A fascinating article follows from BigThink, a wonderful source of intelligence, information and imagination. When you've finished enjoying it, please return to this page for some (in)famous last words. We'll wait.

Is The Human Brain Hardwired for God?
Why do we care whether or not God exists? And why do so many people believe? A new generation of neuroscientists is addressing those questions directly, with the ambitious goal of measuring what happens to the human brain during spiritual experiences. Dr. Andrew Newberg is the Director of Research at the Myrna Brind Center for Integrative Medicine and a pioneer in the field of neurotheology. He's studied the brains of Franciscan nuns during prayer, Tibetan monks during meditation, and Pentecostals speaking in tongues in his lab. His surprising finding -- belief is not as invisible as it seems. Read »

My personal opinion is that the Human Brain is not hardwired for God, per se, but that it is hardwired for a connection to a greater consciousness -- perhaps a spiritual awareness, perhaps a certain type of perception-altering experience, or perhaps to the Collective Mind, where we, as individuals, become holons, or complete cells which are self-contained components of a much greater, multi-dimensional consciousness or massive mind.

We have a center (or two) anatomically built into our physical brains which would indeed seem to be highly receptive to some greater power. But precisely what the nature of this greater power actually is still seems to be highly subjectively-defined force, depending upon the background and programmed religious and spiritual teachings and beliefs of the person to whom you are posing the question.

In other news, please take a moment and visit a recent post about DISRUPTION THEORY. That should provide enough material to challenge your cranial capacity!

Douglas E Castle for The Braintenance Blog





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SLIGHTLY MORE EXCITING INFORMATION ABOUT THE FOUNDER OF BRAINTENANCE (WHO SEEMS QUITE COCKY).

About the Author, Facilitator and Producer…

DOUGLAS CASTLE


Douglas Castle is a seasoned and highly-acclaimed advisor, director, executive officer, trustee and consultant to emerging entrepreneurial enterprises, growing companies, and cause-based humanitarian and educational organizations worldwide. His travels and assignments have encompassed a highly-diverse spectrum of industries, situations and highly sensitive negotiations. Mr.Castle is a noted speaker, commentator and a prolific author on a great many topics. ####


For further information regarding Mr. Castle’s professional background and achievements, as well as a brief list of some of his blogs, simply click on ABOUT DOUGLAS CASTLE .  



You may access Mr. Castle’s author profile on Google’s BLOGGER
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