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You exercise your body to stay physically in shape, so why shouldn't you exercise your brain to stay mentally fit? With these daily exercises you will learn how to flex your mind, improve your creativity and boost your memory. As with any exercise, repetition is necessary for you to see improvement, so pick your favorite exercises from our daily suggestions and repeat them as desired. Try to do some mentalrobics every single day!


noun :: Promptness in response. Cheerful readiness.

"The homeless man accepted my offer of a hot meal with alacrity."

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Nobody wants to hear all the things that are "wrong" with their idea. A bad criticizer uses any opportunity to make themselves feel smart or superior by pointing out everything that they think is bad about an idea. They take advantage of the fact that early ideas will inherently have many flaws and imperfections and they assume that they are in possession of the only "correct" idea.

Good criticism serves to give perspective and help the creator evolve the idea into a better solution. A good criticizer knows that early ideas will always have flaws. A good critic asks lots of questions to try to fully understand the situation before they give their feedback. Additionally, good feedback must avoid the use of negative energy. It is certainly possible to be very critical about an idea without using negative remarks that disrespect the creator and put this person on the defensive.

Instead of pointing out what is wrong, try to offer suggestions. For example, instead of saying, "That knob is way too big!" try saying, "Do you think a smaller knob would allow people with smaller hands to use it more comfortably?" Remember that what you dislike is not the same as what is bad. Try to keep personal opinions to yourself.

Another useful technique is to alternate positive and negative remarks. Point out something that is good for each thing that needs changing. For example, "This button is just the right size and shape, maybe we should think about adjusting the size of this knob to match it." It's like Mary Poppins sang, "A spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down."

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The peg mnemonic system uses paired associations, just like the link and loci systems, with one advantage - you can recall the items in a non-sequential order.

To use the system, you will need to pre-memorize a set of concrete nouns that you will use to make your associations. These concrete nouns are chosen to correspond to the numbers in a list. This example list even has a nursery rhyme about it, "one two buckle my shoe, three four shut the door..."

One -- Bun
Two -- Shoe
Three -- Tree
Four -- Door
Five -- Hive
Six -- Sticks
Seven -- Heaven
Eight -- Gate
Nine -- Wine
Ten -- Hen

Once you have this list memorized (the rhymes with the numbers will make this much easier), you can use it to make visual association just as you do for the link or loci systems. Now, if you need to recall the eighth item, simply recall the word for eight (gate) and recall what you have associated with that word. Peg words up to the number 20 can easily be made to remember longer lists.

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