BrainDance.com Newsletter: Spring, 1997

by Patrick Magee, author of Brain Dancing


" In a time of rapid change, it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists. " -- Eric Hoffer

Summary of this issue:

The First Annual Mind Sports Olympiad  
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History will be made August 18-24, 1997, when the first ever Mind Sports Olympiad will be held at the Royal Festival Hall in London, England. Anyone can enter and the cost is reasonable (about $40 per event.) In the same way that the Summer and Winter Olympics bring together the world's greatest athletes, the Mind Sports Olympiad will create a forum for the brightest people on the planet to push themselves to new levels of mental fitness. Check out their website for details. This event is being organized by Tony Buzan (inventor of Mind Maps), International Grand Master Raymond Keene, and David Levy (International Master at Chess, past President of the International Computer Chess Association, and founder of the Computer Olympiad.)

Overview of Brain Dancing Strategies for Working Smarter

Click here to read this overview.

Building Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem  
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Here is my response to a newsgroup post a while back looking for good books on confidence and self-esteem:

Nothing succeeds like success in building self-confidence.

However, if we base our security and self-esteem exclusively on such things, we leave ourselves vulnerable to outside influences. In his book, The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People, Stephen Covey suggests centering yourself on the degree to which you have aligned your habits with fundamental principles that do not change.

In Benjiman Franklin's autobiography, he used a strategy of working on just 1 of his 13 habits each week, which gave him 4 weeks a year on each habit.

In his book, Psychocybernetics, Maxwell Maltz suggests that it takes 21 days to change a habit, and that the most important habit is that of our self-image. In other words, if we can change our self-image to that of a person in control of the habits we allow to take root, then we are more likely to be able to cultivate the habits Covey and Franklin suggest.

Then of course there is NLP, which suggests that we look at the structure of subjective experience, the internal map referenced by the words "self-esteem" and "self-confidence". The question to ask is: what beliefs, if I had them, would allow me to experience the levels of self-esteem and self-confidence that I'd like on a consistent basis?" NLP offers a number of strategies for installing new beliefs that you may want to check out.

When you have accurately detected a direction in alignment with something you deeply care about, and then built a series of successes around that direction, it seems like that ought to help, especially when each project is used as an opportunity to strengthen character building habits.

My Six Favorite Self-Improvement Books  
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Chapter 11 of Unlimited Power, by Anthony Robbins, introduced me to juicing and a number of other strategies for increasing my energy level. This extra energy helped fuel my self-help research which led to so many other great distinctions. It also introduced me to Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), which I consider to be the most significant set of breakthrough distinctions in the last 20 years. This book motivated me to attend Tony's seminar, where I met people who have led me to other sources of self-improvement information. It was Tony's follow-through with tapes, seminars and videos that made this book such an outstanding launch pad for my personal development. Especially valuable was the "7 Lies of Success" section, which emphasizes that our beliefs are a choice, and should therefore be chosen in a way that supports the pursuit of our life's purpose.

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey, taught me how to align my habits with fundamental principles. This book contains so much profound wisdom it is hard to summarize. This may have something to do with the fact that it has sold over 8 million copies. Call 800-331-7716 to receive a free booklet of sample time management worksheets and a summary of the concepts.

Use Both Sides of Your Brain, by Tony Buzan, taught me things that improved the efficiency with which I extracted useful ideas from every book I read from that point forward. It taught me how to Mind Map, read more selectively, improved my memory, and inspired a belief that I could do more with my brain and life.

Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill, taught me the mastermind principle and several other breakthrough ideas. It led me to The Law of Success, also by Hill, which contains a more in depth discussion of his ideas. Reading Think and Grow Rich 5 or 6 times 15 years ago layed the mental foundation for many of the lessons that followed.

The Road Less Traveled, by M. Scott Peck, taught me about love, discipline and grace in a language that touched me deeply. Love is a verb. Discipline is the set of tools we use to solve problems. This book has also sold several million copies. The ideas he addresses are very real to me, "where the tire meets the road" in life.

The Fifth Discipline, by Peter Senge, explains systems thinking, dialogue, vision, creative tension, and a number of other learning distinctions that make this book a classic.

Cool Self-Development Links

Physical fitness master Covert Bailey has published an online database of frequently asked questions. If you are looking for a convenient, low-impact aerobic exercise, check out the Health-Rider designed and marketed by Mr. Bailey.

Mind Maps is a registered trademark of the Buzan Organisation.
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