Make the most of your mind with Tony Buzan - Happy + Well : Happy + Well

Make the most of your mind with Tony Buzan

Written by on October 26, 2015 in Happiness, Learning with 0 Comments

Tony-Buzan“We’re going to discuss the potential of the human brain. What you have is one of the most extraordinary things. You’re carrying around a miracle,” says Tony Buzan.

“Every child mindmaps naturally,” he says. The colours and flowing, non-linear nature of mindmaps appeal to young minds. However, most people, as school-aged children, avoided doing their notes. There were always other things they ‘needed’ to do – call a friend, watch TV for ‘just half an hour’ before getting down to it. But then we were a little bit thirsty, so we’d get ourselves a drink. By then it was 8 o’clock and we’re feeling hungry. We’d go to the fridge, have a little bit of this, a little bit of that, and by the time we had finished eating, all the blood was in our stomachs and we were feeling a bit tired – time for a nap!

“How many of you have done that?” he asks. The reason for procrastination, he says, is obvious: “The brain knows it’s horrible to make linear notes, so it very intelligently says, ‘I’m not going to do that.’”

“How many of you want to be more creative?” Tony asks us. “You’ve all done that. You’ve been very creative in coming up with reasons to avoid study!”

The mindmap is a wonderful alternative to boring note-taking, Tony Buzan says. Mindmaps are colourful, they radiate from the centre. They almost look like flowers. “The mindmap is a flower of intelligence.” Tony tells us that when we share them on Facebook, Twitter and other forms of social media, we are populating the new Internet universe with flowers.

Tony Buzan asks us to think of one of the many non-uses for a paperclip. Some of the examples from the pre-conference workshop were: a vacuum cleaner, a USB and a hearing aid. However, when discussed at length, it seems that there are always some people who can dispute that non-use. There are theoretically an infinite number of non-uses of a paperclip, but in reality, there are zero possible non-uses – we can always think of some novel way to use something.

“There are an infinite number of problems in the world, it seems” Tony says. But you can flip this way of thinking and say that there are an infinite number of ways to solve these problems.

“The brain is not a problem-solving machine, as it is commonly called. “It’s a solution-finder with and infinite number of solutions.”

“Around the world, the human brain knows that it’s not being used very much.”

Tony Buzan says that at any time, we use less than 1% of our brains in the area of memory, learning and creativity.

He demonstrates this by giving us a number to remember. At ten digits, our memories tend to fail us. However, he gives us the example of a man who was a teenage delinquent, kicked out of school for not being able to remember anything he was taught, who went on to win a memory championship – he memorised over two hundred numbers, then later went on to repeat the number backwards at a cocktail party, ten hours after the memory test!

Tony asks us to discuss the Revolutions of the Mind: “What Age are we are in now?” After the Agrarian, Industrial and Information Ages, we are now entering a new Age. The Information Age, since 1950, gave us information overload. He argues that we’ve surpassed that Age because we no longer think ‘informationally.’ We taught our children to be information workers, we’ve sought out more information than we can process, but with all the stress of having too much information, we’ve come to the limits of that Age. The 1990s saw us enter the Knowledge Age. We appointed Knowledge Managers, but still things weren’t working. “What’s more important than managing knowledge?” Tony asks. “Managing the Knowledge Manager!” And what is the Knowledge Manager? The brain!

We are now in the Age of Intelligence. “In this time and the future, people will think intelligently.” Tony asks us to imagine a plant where people think intelligently. “They will think intelligently about agriculture, intelligently about industry, and we will even think about intelligence intelligently. Every child will be thought of as having infinite intelligence and potential.”

“What is the human language?” Tony asks us. The first thing that comes to mind when we are asked to make an association with the word ‘banana’ is an image of a banana. Images, he argues, are the human language. “That is how you talk to your brain when you’re learning.”

You are now in the Intelligent Age. “The future, when we think intelligently, is paradise.”


Tony Buzan, UK, is the inventor of the Mind Map and world-renowned expert in the fields of creativity, leadership and thinking.

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