You are driving a bus across town. Six people get on at the first stop; three people get off at the next stop and two get on; no one gets off at the next stop, and three people get on at the next stop. What is the bus driver’s name?
Challenge – Mental Aerobics – Use it or lose it.
Just as your brain needs the benefits of physical exercise, it also requires mental exercise.
Your brain is an organ, but for the moment, think of it as a muscle. What happens when your muscles do not get used? They begin to atrophy (shrivel up). Your mental muscles atrophy with lack of use as well. Your brain needs consistent stimulation to keep it functioning optimally. So, you ask with anticipation, how do I exercise my brain?
“Relatively easily”, she said confidently. Right now, turn this page upside down and continue to read this article. Can you do it? Sure you can, your brain is amazing. Reading upside down is a good workout for your brain. Read one upside down paragraph (or more if you find it fun and don’t mind the strange glances you will receive) each day.
There are a host of other ways you can exercise your mental muscle. You might:
- Learn a new language. Then learn all you can about the country. Then visit it!
- Read a magazine (right side up please) in a new field.
- Do crossword puzzles. (Usually the fact that people do crossword puzzles is the first comment I receive when I tell people what I do)
- Do Sudoku.
- Learn a new sport.
- Read something intriguing and/or knowledge building.
- Read a mystery and figure out “who done it”. (No fair reading the last chapter.)
- Learn to play bridge, chess, or mahjong.
- Grow a garden. Learn about plants indigenous to your area.
- Freeze vegetables for year round goodness.
- Make jam (the sugarless kind is great).
- Learn to knit or crochet or do macramé.
- Learn to weave.
- Learn to…….
You get the picture. Choose something you have always wanted to do, and never have taken the time or energy to learn. Even learning to manage a new program on your computer or creating a PowerPointTM of your friends and family is a wonderful exercise for your brain. The activity does not matter. What matters is the mental aerobics involved in the learning.
I play computer games – Taipei, Spider Solitaire, Free Cell. These games focus my attention, stretch my mental ability and force me to think creatively of ways to play. Please note winning doesn’t matter (unless you are highly competitive) nearly as much as the strategies you employ to play. Often I will play a Spider Solitaire (level 2) game four or five times before I win. Again, finding the winning path by making your brain work hard is the goal. Winning is merely an extrinsic bonus to exercising your brain.
P.S. The answer is “your name” – read the question again and decide why.