Mind Map Uses and 7 Steps to Making a Mind Map

mm_laws

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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Straighten Your Fickle Mind

ArrowTHE 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

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.