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Top Secret Brainpower Algorithms
Brainpower algorithms is my own term for the rules that we develop to help us think more efficiently. There are examples from every area of life. Salesmen more effectively sell once they are trained to smile and match the pace of the buyer's speech. Real estate investors can more easily analyze a property if they have a mental checklist that they run through. Writers think in terms of headlines that "grab" the reader by using words like "top secret."
Universal Brainpower Algorithms
Some of the most useful rules of life are simple questions that cut through the clutter in our minds and point to the most essential aspects of things. Consider the question "What would (insert hero here) do?" Asking this is a powerful way to quickly resolve ethical issues. A Christian facing an ethical problem, for example, can usually quickly imagine what Jesus would do. This process bypasses the rationalizing that often passes as rationality, and lets our powerful unconscious mind show us the way. Here are some other questions that can be useful.
- What can I learn from this?
- How can I use this to my advantage?
- How can I most quickly and effectively resolve this?
- What is good about this situation?
- What is the key element here?
- How can I look at this differently?
- Do I have all the information I need to make a decision?
More Specific Brainpower Techniques
To develop your brainpower in specific areas, find out what successful people in those fields are thinking. For example, consciously or not, a good comedian is always looking around and asking things like, "How can I take this to the extreme?" "What is the silliest part of this situation?" "Which words in this have double meanings that I can play with?" or "What's wrong with this picture?" He may also be imagining things reversed, done differently, or from another perspective.
An inventor thinks about how things work, how to apply those principles of function to other things, or how to make them work differently. He challenges assumptions, asking things like, "Do chairs really need legs, or would there be advantages to hanging them from the ceiling?" These idea-creating techniques are just specific brainpower algorithms.
The key to using these brainpower algorithms most effectively isn't in learning as many as you can. Many of us have learned enough "self improvement" techniques to last a lifetime. It isn't that knowing more is harmful, but application is the key here, not compiling more unused knowledge. You need to take what you know and use it, and, even more importantly, make it into a habit. A simple and useful principle turned into a good habit is more powerful than a head full of great ideas.
How do you create these brainpower habits? Repetition. How long do you have to repeatedly do something or think something for it to become a habit? The consensus of the experts is about three weeks. Pick the mental "program" you wan to install in your brain, and start using it every day for a few weeks. Carry a card with reminders if necessary.
We have mental habits anyhow, but they are not necessarily the best ones, right? Why not consciously train yourself to use the questions, rules, and patterns of behavior that are the most useful for you? This is how you make brain content into brainpower.
About the Author: Steve Gillman has been studying brainpower and related topics for years. For more on How To Increase Brain Power, and to get the Brain Power Newsletter and other free gifts, visit: http://www.IncreaseBrainPower.com