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Revisiting the Super Brain

March 15, 2014 by  
Filed under blog

The last couple days I followed my own advice and re-read a great book that I hadn’t picked up for about a year. The book is by the brilliant Deepak Chopra and Rudolph E. Tanzi and is titled Super Brain. I saw the book on my bedside shelf and it grabbed my attention–probably because my experience the night before.

Kimberly and I attended a gala fund raiser for the National Ability Center and listened to a short speech by Anna Beninati where she talked about her experience as a skier. She’s very talented and has Olympic gold medal dreams. But what makes her story so special and unusual is the stupid decision she made as a teenager. She was running alongside a moving train trying to jump on it only she didn’t quite make it. She fell beneath the train cutting off both her legs. However, she considers herself very lucky. Wow!

Why does she consider herself lucky? Well, first of all she is grateful to be alive but it doesn’t stop there. She’s lucky because that terrible accident changed her brain. Accepting that she had no legs, she decided she would make her life count for something and I don’t think if she wins gold at the winter Para Olympics in Korea in a few years that she will stop at that point. That will probably just be the beginning of using her “Super Brain”. I think she already deserves a gold medal for using her brain to push it to that level.

Our brains, as Chopra’s book explains can make us or break us. It all depends on how we use them. We have a choice to either control and program our brains to serve us or we can sit back, do nothing and let our brains control us.

On that note, let me share some of my “margin notes” from Super Brain.

P. 40 Whatever you pay attention to grows.

P. 42 Expect past memories, as well as the things we’ve learned, to come to us and they almost always do.

P. 16 You train your brain to do what you want it to and it will do it.

P. 31 You can choose to follow the upward learning curve no matter how old you are! (Creates new dendrites, synapses and neural pathways.)

P. 63 If you actively act as the leader of your brain you can reprogram your own neurochemistry.

P. 70 Inertia is depression’s best friend.

P. 71 Depression creates an illusion that all my power is stripped away.

P. 72 The brain is transformed by meditation.

P. 40 Don’t ever say to yourself or others “my memory is going”. If you say that your inner brain will prove you right.

P. 230 You need to motivate self –especially as you age.

And as an overall summary of this great book –the theme could simply be….Use Your Brain–Don’t Let It Use You!!

The Secret to a Great, Happy, and Productive Life

February 22, 2013 by  
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You can greatly enhance your life no matter what age you are by doing something very, very simple. What is this simple cost free secret? Well, it’s not so much a secret as something most of us forget about and stop doing as we age. I am talking from personal experience, especially now as I am nearing the BIG 70!!

Ok, so what the heck is this big secret?  It’s simply “Action.” That’s right it’s Action and Movement. It’s getting up off your butt both physically and mentally.  Deepak Chopra and Rudolph E. Tanzi in their wonderful book Super Brain give some very powerful evidence that physical exercise and movement along with environment enhancement stimulates the growth of new neurons. And this happens at any age!

You, no doubt, have experienced a big lift in your mood, on days you were kind of of feeling down and out, by merely taking a walk or even just getting up from watching TV and taking a drive in the country or through your own or a new neighborhood.  I know if I push myself to take even a short hike in the mountains or on the beach it gives my brain a huge mood boost. Ditto by doing a few push-ups, sit ups or jumping on the stair master for 15 or 20 minutes

There is a great quote in “Super Brain” that I love. It says it all–“Inertia is depression’s best friend.”  Simple but true.

So, remember, action is the KEY!  Keep moving and make a point to do so every day.  Let me give you just a few of the benefits you’ll get from being active.And  I hope you will add to this list the things you’ve learned from your own experience.

BENEFITS OF ACTION AND MOVEMENT—

  • Feeling increasingly better the more you stay in motion- and that is for physical and mental activity.
  • Getting a whole bunch of stuff done—financially, socially, spiritually, helping others, etc.
  • Overcoming depression and bad moods without drugs.
  • Losing weight.
  • Staying in shape and having overall better health.
  • Helping others by your example.
  • Slowing the aging process.
  • Increasing brain cells and brain activity.
  • Greatly reducing the chance of dementia.

Do think about action and movement and please challenge yourself to do more in that direction. You’ll see how much difference it makes to your happiness, your mood and your satisfaction in your life.