Apr
14

Mentally Firm or Flabby?

By

Woooo nelly! Gonna hit some flak for this title. But think about it- we all recognize and cringe at the notion of being physically flabby, for better or worse.  Better when the attention leads to health and worse when it leads to negative self-image.

But who teaches us how to firm up our mental muscle? In school over the years we have to learn some techniques for readin', writin', 'rithmatic and short-term-until-the-test-is-over- memory, but they tend not to be taught in a way that as students we can replicate their usage in future learning projects. The processes are not made explicit, so we are not even cognitively aware what is going on in our mind to learn how we're learning, let alone what we are learning.

By introducing the notion of thinking as a skill and by learning a handful of thinking tools, we can exponentially increase our capacity for excellent learning, successful test-taking, creativity and overall thinking ability. In the process, I will be introducing the notion of  'mental rigor and resilience' along with structured thinking tools to whip out and use as needed depending on the thinking process required.

See these two purses in the picture?

Mental Haute Couture

 Both very decent and servicable for their carry-all (and I mean carry ALL!) function. I like them both. But both of them also annoy me for opposite reasons. When I use the floppy bag, it can take me 10 minutes to find my keys. I KNOW they are in there....somewhere. They just sink to the bottom, which seems like an endless pit when I need what I'm searching for, and scootch around as I rummage in increasing frustration. Grrrr!

And then there's  the Gucci wanna-be bag which provides the structure and internal zippered pocket, allowing me to find my well-placed keys in a snap. However, it just won't stretch beyond a certain point to accommodate all I want to stuff in it...then the clasp won't snap, the top flaps around, and that then blows my classy-haute couture image....  Hrumph!  What's a girl to do?!  

Well, be more selective about what I carry in my purse on a daily basis, and work with the structure....what a concept! To me, the floppy purse reminds me of total lack of mental structure while the stiff bag reminds me of dogmatic intransigence. Let's find a happy medium- structured flexibility! Yeah, I like that.  

Next post I will introduce some  thinking tools that you can practice and use immediately to exercise your mental muscle.