Saturday, November 19, 2011

Maximise the Power of Your Brain - Tony Buzan

Do you need to come up with brilliant ideas? Or find inspired solutions to any problem? Tony Buzan is the world leading author and the top lecturer of brain and learning.  He has changed the lives of over 250 million people with his revolutionary system of MindMap.

So, What is a Mind Map? A MindMap is a thinking tool that reflects externally what goes inside your head. The MindMap was like a Swiss army knife to the brain: Anything I wanted to do in terms of thinking, contemplation, cognition, remembering and creating. The MindMap was the ideal tool for that. MindMap is straight forward and fun.We start in the center of a blank page, we connect branches to the central image and connect second and third level branches to the first and second, and so on.

The brain is radiant, it thinks centrally and explodes out in all directions.Branches are curved and taped rather than straight lined.  They are organic and free flowing as opposed to structured and uniformed. The branches of a MindMap are the reflection of the way brain thinks, so when you think of anything, if you think of a chair, you have your picture and then you have your associations of that.  The brain thinks by imagination and association.

The reason why traditional note taking in lists and lines doesn’t work actually is counterproductive; is because it doesn’t have these associations. If you don’t have associations, you don’t have connection, if you don’t have connection, you don’t have memory and you don’t have thinking.In a MindMap the branches are always curved, curvilinear.  The reason why: Nature is curvilinear. And if all the branches are straight, it is literally rigid, similar and therefore…  BORING. The brain will very quickly get unhappy with a whole bunch of rigid straight lines.  It gets absorbed and intrigued by the beauty of curvilinear.We add one word to each branch.

One of the important points in structuring a MindMap is to have one word per branch, why?   Because if you have one word, that one word, with all its associations is free.  If you put them together, you’re making it more rigid, and very simply, for example, if you’re mind mapping, and you wanted to put Tony Buzan.  If you put Tony Buzan, you stuck them together with glue.  But, if you put Buzan and then Tony, you’ve got the freedom to radiate out my father, my mother, my brother, the history of the name, etc. So, the single word per line gives you much more freedom, much more creativity, much more clarity.

Ideally, the length of the word should be the length of the branch, for the very simple reason that if this word here is then placed next to this word here, and the branch and the word of the same line in the meeting point, is very close, so the two words are, in space, close. They’re connected. If you get one word, little word here on a long branch and then a little word over here in a long branch, the words are disconnected.

We don’t use colors in notes traditionally because we’re told not to in school.  All the research says exactly the opposite should be sold.  We love color!   And studies in London University show that people who use color and image in their imagination, when they’re learning and trying to remember inevitably, do better than those who don’t.We use images throughout.  Throughout the MindMap there should be key words and key images, and if an image is easy for you to do, you know, instead of, instead of people, you can quickly just draw three little stick figures. The image is a picture; the picture is worth a thousand words. Another important point about the use of images, the use of associations is that all the great geniuses did that.

So, if you start to use associations, you start to use images externally; you’ll join the Pantheon of the great geniuses like Leonardo Da Vinci, Leonardo did it! Darwin did it! Beethoven did it!  Every genius used image and associations and the MindMap is the process by which you can do that. It’s a genius tool!

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