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!
This is an example of an easy icebreaker to try with a small group:
Going around a group, each person should say one true statement about themselves and one that is false. After each person has said their two statements, the group takes a vote to determine which is which. People should be encouraged to make the false statement sound plausible to make it more fun. You can learn a lot about people with this exercise, and it's fun too.
Here is one to try at your next meeting:
Sit in a circle and pick one person to start. This person should say their name and a one-word description about themselves that starts with the first letter of their name. For example: "Juggling Jake." Going clockwise, the next person would repeat this and add their own information: "Juggling Jake, Golfing George." Continue around the circle until everyone has participated. Not only does this icebreaker introduce everyone to everyone else, but it also tells you a little about each person.
Icebreakers are little exercises that help relax tension and loosen up a formal atmosphere. Starting a meeting or brainstorm with an icebreaker can help get the creative juices flowing and get everyone in a mood to participate.
An icebreaker should not exceed 15 minutes. After all, you do want to get something done, don't you? You should also pay attention to the age of your group and the skills required to complete the icebreaker. You don't want to make an elderly gentleman hop around the room like a bunny or ask a 5 year old to solve a complex puzzle.
Naturally, you shouldn't always take risky options when other equally good (and less risky) options exist. A careful analysis of the risks and rewards involved with each solution will help you determine which one to pursue.
Unfortunately, left brained thinking is the type that is most valued by our society and taught in our schools. Almost all of the major subjects taught in school (math, science, history, etc) depend predominately on left brained thinking. Rarely do teachers encourage their students to think creatively and explore alternate solutions, and rarely are right brained studies (art, design, music, etc) encouraged.
This over emphasis becomes even more problematic as students move into the professional world. In order to get support for a new project or idea, it must be clearly defined and understood (left brained thinking) by the people who are going to be paying for it. It's very difficult to get funding for a project if the goals are not clearly understood. As a result, creative ideas don't happen as frequently as they could if right brained thinking was more valued.
It's no coincidence that the really creative ideas that occur from time to time are usually self-funded by the inventor working out of their garage. These are the people who understand the true value of thinking creatively.
- Memory Tests - Determine how good your memory is.
- Flash Cards - Create and use flash cards to learn new information.
- Vocab Builder - Build a better vocabulary with these words from the SAT and GRE standardized tests.