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Mentalrobics™

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!

In a Brainstorm, you don't need to come up with completely unique, original, and fully formed ideas. If everyone did this, the meeting would be very quiet while everyone sat and thought, and you wouldn't end up with very many novel ideas. The best ideas come from a collaborative effort of springboarding off one idea to arrive at another improved or modified solution. After you have built on the original idea several times, you'll have something completely new that you never would have thought of on your own.

Never hold back because your idea is only partially formed or incomplete. The other brainstormers can build on it and turn it into a possible solution. Even a little random thought could provide the spark that gives someone else a great idea.

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Every Brainstorm should have a moderator whose job it is to write down all the ideas. It's going to be very difficult for them to do this if there are multiple conversations going on. You don't need to raise your hand or take turns, just be careful to avoid side conversations. This also helps keep the conversation on topic and helps keep everyone engaged in the brainstorm.

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When participating in a Brainstorm, it's important to stay focused on the topic. It's very easy to become side-tracked on one particular idea and try to work out all the details of it. Remember that the point of a brainstorm is to generate lots of ideas. There will be plenty of time later to talk in depth about the promising ones. Try to keep focused on the goal of generating as many ideas as possible on the brainstorm topic.

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This Brainstorm rule goes hand in hand with the Defer Judgment rule that we talked about earlier.

Encouraging wild ideas is the opposite of passing judgment. Don't censor your own ideas just because you think they are impractical. Even if you have an idea that is totally crazy, silly, or seemingly impossible you should still contribute it. Crazy ideas inspire people to think of unusual solutions. Silly ideas bring some humor to the meeting and help keep spirits up. And who knows, your seemingly impossible idea might have a simple fix that turns it into a stellar solution. So speak up and contribute all your wild ideas.

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Deferring Judgment is a vital rule to adhere to when conducting a Brainstorm. To defer judgment, don't stop to evaluate any ideas during the brainstorm and never ever say that an idea is stupid or won't work. This rule will keep the momentum going and keep the group coming up with new ideas. Nothing kills the energy in a brainstorm faster than criticism. Not to mention that the person who offered the idea will feel embarrassed and will be less likely to continue contributing. There will be plenty of time after the brainstorm to go through all the ideas and weed out the gems.

Shooting down other people's ideas is just a cheap way to demonstrate your own superiority. In reality, it shows your inflexibility and will make people not want you to participate in their future brainstorms.

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