Michael Gelb has long been one of my favorite authors . . . I've read just everything he has written, and his bestselling HOW TO THINK LIKE LEONARDO DA VINCI remains a book that I use in a creativity course that I teach.
His latest effort, BRAIN POWER (New World Library), co-authored with Kelly Howell is a terrific book about how to, quoting its subtitle, IMPROVE YOUR MIND AS YOU AGE.
What a great concept!
And the authors show you how this can be done by presenting many useful suggestions, based on the latest brain research. Perhaps my favorite one is the following:
* Maintain a Positive Attitude about Your Memory
If you ask any elementary school teacher what children forget in the classroom every day, you'll learn that in addition to forgetting facts, they also leave behind all sorts of things: books, pens, iPods, etc. When the teacher reminds fourth grader Jason that he left his baseball cap in the coatroom, she doesn't usually hear "What's the matter with me? I'm eight years old, and my memory is going" or "Gosh, another junior moment!" But after age twenty five or so, many folks begin to focus on any glitch in memory as evidence for its demise. Normal forgetting is catalogued as a "senior moment," and the decline of memory becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy."
I also liked this recommendation:
* An attitude of gratitude is relatively easy to cultivate, and a simple gratitude journal is the best way to get started. Take a few minutes every morning to write out a list of things that inspire you to feel grateful. After you compose your list, spend a few seconds focusing on the feeling of gratitude for each thing you've written down. After you've reviewed your list, just "float" in the feeling of gratitude for a minute or so. Repeat the process in the evening. That's all it takes to get your immune system revved up. Practice this simple gratitude exercise, and you'll discover more grace in your everyday life.
None of the above is necessarily difficult to do . . . but the key is to do something, such as:
* Take the social initiative. Rather than waiting for invitations, take the initiative: invite potential friends for dinner or to a movie, concert, or lecture.
[and} Volunteer. Caring about others is one of surest ways to feel better about yourself. Helping out at a soup kitchen, animal shelter, hospice, or school provides a sense of meaning and purpose that keeps you sharp and more fulfilled.
BRAIN POWER also includes a free downloadable brain sync audio program, designed to balance your brain and optimize mental performance. It is the perfect book to read if you're interested in improving your mind, as well as your life.