Maximizing the use of your memory (Part II)


Every athlete preparing for a competition trains his or body following a prescribed pattern which combines physical exercises and proper diet. This applies to our brain which is also a muscle. “Untrained” brains can become “flabby”. Every body builder knows that his body will lack firmness and probably become obese if he or she ever stops working it out. What many people don’t know is that our brain needs the same attention we give to our muscles, if not more, because it is the command center of every action and decision of ours. However, empowering our brain to focus more and learn faster absolutely depends on the emotional state of the learner. Have you ever wondered why children seem to learn languages faster than adults? The simple reason is that children, when brought up in a loving environment, “DO NOT WORRY”. The cares of this life seem to be their least concern. This constant state of joy and bewilderment is the fundamental ingredient in brain empowerment.

          I- A peaceful mindset

One’s state of mind, or psychological disposition when receiving an information determines how long that information will stay in the memory. Information per se is useless. Intelligence gathering for instance relies more on the person collecting the information. That’s the reason why secret service agents go through a rigorous training aimed at making them reliable. Two or three people can witness the same event and narrate it differently depending on their perceptions which are usually the product of their psychological predispositions. The long term memory is so connected to our emotions that it is vital for the learner to be motivated when learning something new or while acquiring new skills. That’s why a song or a fragrance can bring back childhood memories or even information that have been stored for decades.

Every teacher, especially one who teaches children knows that it is impossible to get anything across to a child who shows signs of attention disorder. It takes people with special skills to train children with such challenges. One technique used with these little ones is to get them interested in something. This can be an image, a toy, a game or even a story they like. Once stimulated, any person can learn anything, including what they once deemed “boring”. All learning is conditioned by the state of our mind. If we are anxious, worried, perplexed or even concerned about the cares of this life while trying to acquire information, that information will never last in our memory. This can be frustrating. It can even be embarrassing in our time, the 21st century, which has revolutionized the way we gather and process information thanks to technology.

                       II-A digitally demanding society

Today’s digital overload is so vying for our to attention that it literally threatens our capacity to focus on one thing at a time. Cell phones, computers, television and many other digital gadgets have so become part and parcel of our daily routines that we accommodate in our activities without giving a second thought as to the effect they have on our efficiency. Can one really drive safely while sending text messages, watching TV, and at the same be able to focus on his next assignment, be it work or school related? The challenges of our generation are faced by many and the way people react to these do not necessarily portray an irresponsible behavior, but rather demonstrate that we are becoming trapped by a complex blend of technicalities that our ever-increasing stressful and demanding society has imposed on everyone.
This affects our productivity and can lead to depression and suicide in the worst scenarios. There is too much information to gather and process and we seem to be always left behind.

Digital overload leads to digital distraction and this affects our ability to function properly. The compression of our time takes a serious toll on time that should have been consecrated to sleep, leisure, vacation, connecting with our loved ones, or simply relaxing to allow our blood system to operate normally. Many cardio vascular diseases are attributed to this constant state of stress and fatigue. Our present age has redefined profitability and efficiency around paradigms which advocate the need for brain power above physical power. Even in the activities where our muscle are needed, technology has been constantly taking over. Learning how our mind works will increasingly become the foundation of all academic endeavor because it will equip the learner with the most fundamental of tools he or she needs before embarking on any knowledge acquisition journey and that is the art of learning to learn faster.

It is my goal, in the next series of publication on this topic, to share what I have personally found out to be the most effective techniques of brain empowerment.

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