Mind Map Uses and 7 Steps to Making a Mind Map

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I use mind maps quite often when planning a project or structuring the contents for a book I am writing. It is a great way to expand on ideas without writing in a linear format.

What is a Mind Map?

A Mind Map is “a powerful graphic technique which provides a universal key to unlock the potential of the brain,” says Tony Buzan.

It harnesses the full range of cortical skills – word, image, number, logic, rhythm, colour and spatial awareness – in a single, uniquely powerful manner. In so doing, it gives you the freedom to roam the infinite expanses of your brain.

A Mind Map can be applied to every aspect of life where improved learning and clearer thinking will enhance human performance.

7 Steps to Making a Mind Map

  1. Start in the CENTRE of a blank page turned sideways. Why? Because starting in the centre gives your Brain freedom to spread out in all directions and to express itself more freely and naturally.
  2. Use an IMAGE or PICTURE for your central idea. Why? Because an image is worth a thousand words and helps you use your Imagination. A central image is more interesting, keeps you focussed, helps you concentrate, and gives your Brain more of a buzz!
  3. Use COLOURS throughout. Why? Because colours are as exciting to your Brain as are images. Colour adds extra vibrancy and life to your Mind Map, adds tremendous energy to your Creative Thinking, and is fun!
  4. CONNECT your MAIN BRANCHES to the central image and connect your second- and third-level branches to the first and second levels, etc. Why? Because your Brain works by association. It likes to link two (or three, or four) things together. If you connect the branches, you will understand and remember a lot more easily.
  5. Make your branches CURVED rather than straight-lined. Why? Because having nothing but straight lines is boring to your Brain.
  6. Use ONE KEY WORD PER LINE. Why Because single key words give your Mind Map more power and flexibility.
  7. Use IMAGES throughout. Why Because each image, like the central image, is also worth a thousand words. So if you have only 10 images in your Mind Map, it’s already the equal of 10,000 words of notes!
Source: http://www.tonybuzan.com/about/mind-mapping/

Let me know how you fare with mind maps. Questions welcome.

 

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Mindculture for Kids and Adults – New Facebook Page

Mindculture for Kids and Adults - My New Facebook Page
Mindculture for Kids and Adults – My New Facebook Page

Dear All, I started a new Facebook page, Mindculture for Kids and Adults.

Your mind is your greatest asset.
This page is dedicated to sharing info on the art and science of mind culture from cradle to grave.

If your focus in self improvement is business oriented, you may also want to visit my Business Trainer Sri Lanka Facebook page.

Please visit, like and follow. And share the good news with your friends and family.

Thanks

Nilooka

 

3 Things You Can Do to Improve Happiness and Well-being

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Here’s what Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a leading expert on well-being and author of Flow: the Psychology of Optimal Experience says you can do to improve happiness and well-being:

  • Be attuned to what gives you genuine satisfaction. Although many people assume that popular activities like watching TV are enjoyable, their own reports generally indicate that they feel more engaged, energetic, satisfied and happy when doing other things.
  • Study yourself. To better understand their own happiness, Csikszentmihalyi says, people should systematically record their activities and feelings every few hours for a week or two. In recording your observations, try to focus on how you actually feel, rather than what you think you ought to be feeling or what you expect to feel. Afterwards, note the high points, particularly, and the low ones. Then try to adjust how you spend time according to your findings.
  • Take control. Repairing unhappy conditions requires active effort. People often assume external conditions will change for the better or let chance determine their response. That’s a mistake. “Get control,” Csikszentmihalyi says. When things aren’t right, “you have to put in the same effort you would if your business were in trouble. Just as markets move, life changes too.”

The above is an excerpt from a Time magazine article. Click on link for the original article, Getting Serious About Happiness, by Jeremy Caplan.

 

Rewiring Your Emotions (via Mindful.org)

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Think you’re destined to respond the same way emotionally to the same old triggers?

Not necessarily so, says Sharon Begley. With a little mind training, you can chart new pathways. 

Here’s the full article: Rewiring Your Emotions

 

 

Neuroscientists and psychologists find links between handwriting and learning (NYT article)

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Have you entirely given up on handwriting? Do you still believe it helps you organize your thoughts even if you work on a computer to put together a document? Well, you may be right.

Here’s what a New York Times science article, What’s Lost as Handwriting Fades, says:

“When we write, a unique neural circuit is automatically activated,” said Stanislas Dehaene, a psychologist at the Collège de France in Paris. “There is a core recognition of the gesture in the written word, a sort of recognition by mental simulation in your brain.

“And it seems that this circuit is contributing in unique ways we didn’t realize,” he continued. “Learning is made easier.”

You can read the complete article at the above link.

Here are a few more links you’d find interesting:

Please don’t let your kids give up on cursive altogether. And try writing something yourself, especially if it has to do with learning important things.

What are your character strengths?

24CharacterStrengths image source-viacharacterblogdotorg

Shown above in visual format are what researchers in the field of positive psychology call character strengths. There are 24 and each of us have many of these to some degree. What are yours?

There are online tests to see where you stand on each one. How far or lower they are ranked.

Here’s one link (for which you must register, but its free):

I am nearing the end of a Coursera online course by the RELAY Graduate School of Education. While the  course is about Teaching Character and Creating Positive Class Rooms the course content is very useful for everyone. Many of us participants are benefiting personally in terms of figuring out our real character strengths and also weak areas.

The discussion forums are brimming with great ideas on how to use this info with kids in classrooms, outside, and at home.

Even though it may be too late to take part in the course, you may want to check out the videos and understand the concepts. There are lots of resources for you to check out as well. The course ends in a week or so.

But you can download the content for future reference provided you register in the course. Hopefully it will run again sometime.

The course is led by Dave Levin whose work with KIPP academies is mentioned in the book How Children Succeed. Other people I read about in that book, like Dr Angela Duckworth and Dominic Randolph, another educator like Dave Levin, are interviewed.

There are real case studies from real class rooms in action.

Researchers into relevant topics are also interviewed. These include:

As I’d read many things about the course content, including the above books, I found it even more interesting. Especially the explore section with additional resources.

Check this out. You’ll thank your self and your kids will thank you too.