When it comes to self improvement, I’m one who is always searching for ways to optimize my mind and body.
Now everyone seems to talk about health, exercise and diet but an integral part to operating at your full capacity begins in your mind!
Our minds are more powerful than we can even imagine and scientists haven’t even begun to touch the tip of the iceberg when it comes to fully understanding the human brain.
What I do know, is that if you are looking to be the best you can be, then you should definitely be thinking about how you can build and strengthen your cognitive capabilities. As we age, our memory, speed to process information and reasoning can decline and decline even more rapidly if we don’t keep our minds active and challenged.
In some of the research I’ve done, I read about two types of intelligence according psychologist Raymond Cattell. He indentified the idea of both Crystallized and Fluid intelligence.
Roughly at a high level, Crystallized intelligence is a person’s ability to use their sum of experience and knowledge gained throughout life to solve problems. Fluid intelligence on the other hand is the ability to adapt and be flexible in handling new situations while observing patterns that haven’t been experienced before. From the articles and studies I’ve read, Fluid memory and intelligence can become more difficult as we get older but I’m determined to fight the trend.
Personally, I want to do everything I can to be fully optimized. Heck I’ve even read articles that Tom Brady works on ways to optimize his cognitive performance to excel in his job as one of the all-time great quarterbacks in the NFL. https://www.businessinsider.com/tom-brady-brain-exercises-improve-function-2017-10
So here’s two ways I’m personally working on growing my mind, strengthening my cognitive abilities and also having fun!
Learning a new language. I dove in head first and have taken the challenge to learn a new language and challenge myself. With 30 minutes a day using Rosetta Stone, it’s been amazing to see the growth. It’s like I’m pushing my brain in ways similar to what I’m doing for my body when I exercise. Multiple studies and research has shown that those who learn a new language can build your cognitive reserve. Just think of the benefits….you learn something new and you are strengthening your mind!
Learning to play an instrument. When I was younger I had NO interest in playing music at all. Over the years, I saw my brother play and learn guitar in his 30’s and then my son and my wife began playing. I decided to watch some YouTube videos and practice a little every day for fun. Even though I have a long way to go to become any good, I have seen my progress grow daily! It’s been fun, relaxing and brain boosting.
I’ll leave you with these thoughts. I saw an article the other day that Americans are bored 131 days a year ! If that’s true, it’s pretty sad. Life is about growth and we should always be working to expand our minds and become the best we can be. Instead of wasting your life watching hours of mindless television or scrolling through social media, you can be doing positive things to move your life forward. Now get out there learn something new!