Two words that will change your life - Happy + Well : Happy + Well

Two words that will change your life

Written by on July 29, 2015 in Learning with 0 Comments

creative-brainHow many reckon their memory is getting worse as they get older? Who thinks they were more imaginative when they were little kids? Whose ability to fantasise has slowly but surely diminished with the passing of time?

Posing these and other questions is Tony Buzan, presenting at Mind & Its Potential 2011. Buzan, who we’re thrilled is returning for Mind & Its Potential 2015, is the author of over 100 books, a leading expert on the brain and thinking, and the inventor of Mind Mapping, a graphical way to represent ideas and concepts.

One of his main arguments is that many mainstream learning practices stifle our creativity and memory. Yet it doesn’t have to be this way. Buzan has spent his long career demonstrating very compellingly, using mind maps, that there’s another, much better way to boost cognitive function no matter what our age.

Buzan shares some sobering statistics gleaned from numerous creativity studies performed around the world. In summary, these are that in terms of the flexibility, speed, energy, originality and perspective people bring to problem solving, kindergarten children score the highest of all (95+). Primary school kids come in next (75), followed by senior school students (50), university graduates (25) and then everybody else (at a lowly 10).

Not surprisingly, governments and organisations are worried. The fact that humans are living longer but average creativity per capita is declining does not bode well for the future. “The picture is that in 50 years, the general population will be doddering, forgetful, uncreative old people,” says Buzan.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that as far as our mental acuity goes, what’s considered “normal is NOT natural.” To underline this point, Buzan reminds us that in an academic context we generally confine ourselves to using one, maybe two different coloured pens to take notes even though most of us love colour. Why would we do this “for the purpose of mentation, memory, learning, understanding, problem solving and creativity?” he asks.

Which begs his next question: what is natural and indeed absolutely essential in this age of information overload where being able to gather data and make sense of it is so important? Buzan’s answer is that, “the way our brains work is to remember by imagination and association … words to hold as beacons for the rest of your life.”

By way of illustration, he asks everyone in the audience to consider what information they retrieve from the “infinite database” of their mind when he says the word ‘mango’. Yep, you guessed it; they all conjure up a picture of a mango and in doing so, prove Buzan’s point.

“Welcome to the human race because our prime language is multisensory images and the associations and colours they generate. It is imagination and association. That is the human language, the one we speak, the language of science, poetry and art.”


Tony Buzan will be presenting the pre-conference workshop and a session at Mind & Its Potential 2015. For more information and to register, please click here.

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