Mind Map Uses and 7 Steps to Making a Mind Map


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.



Control Your Mind


Citta Vagga-The Mind

3. The mind is hard to check, swift, flits wherever it listeth: to control it is good. A controlled mind is conducive to happiness.

Dhammapada Story

A devout woman, receiving instruction from the monks, attained Anàgàmi, the third stage of Sainthood, with supernormal powers such as reading others’ thoughts, even before the monks had gained their Deliverance. Understanding the physical needs of the monks, she ministered to them well. Before long they too attained Arahantship. An avaricious monk, hearing of her powers, visited the place. She did everything he desired. The monk, fearing that evil thoughts might arise in him, went to the Buddha and reported the matter. The Buddha advised him to subdue his uncontrollable mind.
Source: Metta.lk

Sinhala Translation
ධම්මපද චිත්ත වග්ගය

3. දමනයට දුෂ්කර වූද, වහා ඉපිද වහා නැසෙන සුලු වූද, කැමති වූ කොයි යම් අරමුණෙක වුවත් වැටෙන සුලු වුද සිත දමනය කිරීම යහපති. කුමක් හෙයින්ද යත් දමනය කළ සිත මගපල සුව හා නිවන්සුව දෙන හෙයිනි.

ප්‍රභවය: ධර්‍මම පදාරථ ව්‍යාඛාව, 1936

Straighten Your Fickle Mind

From Dhammapada Citta Vagga

1. The flickering, fickle mind, difficult to guard, difficult to
control – the wise person straightens it as a fletcher straightens
an arrow.

2. Like a fish that is drawn from its watery abode and thrown upon
land, even so does this mind flutter. Hence should the realm of the
passions be shunned.

Source: Metta.lk

Dhammapada Story
The monk Meghiya was overcome by evil thoughts. The Buddha
admonished him to subdue his mind.

Sinhala version:
ධම්මපද චිත්ත වග්ගය

1. සැලෙන්නා වූද, එක අරමුණක නොසිටින්නා වූද, නොරැක්ක හැකි වූද, තුන් දුසිරිතින් වැළකිය හැකි වූද සිත සිත ප්‍රාඥ තෙම ඍජු කරන්නේය. කුමක් මෙන්ද යත් හී වඩුවෙක් හී දණ්ඩක් ඍජු කරන්නාක් මෙනි.

2. කෙලෙස් සහිත මේ සිත දියෙන් ගොඩ ලු මසෙකු මෙන් නොයෙක් අරමුණෙහි කරකැවීම් වශයෙන් සැලෙන්නේය.එහෙයින් කෙලෙස් නැසිය යුතුය.

ප්‍රභවය: ධර්‍මම පදාරථ ව්‍යාඛාව, 1936
Image source: ebay

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.




Smart Kids Found to Undergo Delayed Brain Development

imagesG62MJJET source-playroomdotcodotua

“Brainy children are not cleverer solely by virtue of having more or less gray matter at any one age,” says Judith Rapoport of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in Bethesda, Md. “Rather, IQ is related to the dynamics of cortex maturation.”

This is not a recent article as it dates back to 2006. But just give it a read anyway if you want to know how brains of smart kids work.

The full link: Smart Kids Found to Undergo Delayed Brain Development.

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


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.


Research on Happiness and Bad Decisions…. from Dan Gilbert


Research shows that when we (humans) make decisions, we tend to focus on what we’re getting and forget about what we are forgoing.

I was just going to share this interesting article–Buried by bad decisions–by Dan Gilbert with you. But then I happened upon Dan Gilbert’s TED Talks:


You can access them all at Dan Gilbert’s Ted page.

Enjoy the article. Its really interesting. Enjoy the talks, I am yet to complete all three. But I’ve watched the first one some time ago.