“If you’re not learning while you’re earning, you’re cheating yourself out of the better portion of your compensation.” – Napoleon Hill
Whenever I don’t use my brain everyday – historically & consistently one of the most active parts of my body – I can feel little mental spasms (much like a muscle feels like when it atrophies).
So finding little ways to exercise my brains throughout the day is a big part of my life.
Napoleon Hill seems to refer to work only, but I see that quote as applying to more of life than just “earning”. If I’m not learning something new in anything I do, I’m probably pretty unhappy.
Luckily, anthropologists find fascination in the hum drum of every day life. We track jargon, decode unsaid rules, and find patterns to test against future experiences.
Sometimes, when people around me say they are thinking about “nothing at all”, I cannot help myself from looking at them with slight envy. Of course, past that moment, I rarely think to attempt the feat myself.
Ways to keep the brain “working” include:
1. Writing every day. If you are a writer, hopefully you are already doing this. If you are not a writer and hope to be one, this step is essential. And trust me, I know it’s easier said than done.
2. Have intellectual conversations. These can consist of nothing more than reading a new article and asking a friend about it. Be sure to keep your ears open, however, or your conversation will veer away from an exchange of ideas to one person talking at another.
3. Check out websites like Lumosity.com. This site has little flash games specifically designed to exercise parts of your brain. My favorite part is that the site tracks your improvement in things like facial recognition, spacial memory, and name recall, etc.
4. Medidate. Perhaps not surprisingly, I have always been drawn to meditation, though it has never been easy for me. Basically, it’s the art of clearing your mind completely – which, in today’s modern world, might be harder than you think. If you are using your brain all the time, like any muscle, it’s going to get tired and stop working to its full potential.
I could go on. Like I said, ways to use my brain has been a daily part of my life since I was a little girl. One tends to gather dozens of little tricks over a couple decades.
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