Showing posts tagged memory

How Teaching Our Children to Worry Less Can Lead to a Happier Life

I was watching a golf tournament recently where golfer Lee Trevino was putting on the eighteenth green to win the tournament.  He missed the relatively short putt and eventually lost in a playoff game.  The announcer said the pressure must have gotten to him. He probably wouldn’t sleep for a few nights worrying about the missed putt because he did not win the 1.4 million dollar first prize and had to settle for “only” 800,000 dollars. He said it best when asked if he worried while on the golf course.  He said, “Pressure is playing a hole for five dollars when you only have two dollars in your pocket.”  People worry all the time and it is unnecessary and unproductive.

My seventh grade son worried for the last month if he was going to ruin his straight A average by getting a B in social studies.  He worried for hours on end and when report cards came he ended up with straight A’s.  He is only in seventh grade.  I tried to tell him just do your best and I will always be proud of you, but sometimes that does not resonate because other kids are so worried about their grades and he feels their pressure.

Academic success is very important, more so in this day and age than ever before, but everything has to be put into perspective.  I remember shaking during a test because I was so nervous and I would not be able to recall material that I knew and would do worse on test because of nerves.  I would love to relive my high school and college years spending time enjoying my youth instead of spending countless hours freaking out about the consequences of making a couple of mistakes on exams.  I teach kids and adults how to be prepared for tests and how to make your mind more powerful and work more efficiently and reach your full potential, without putting pressure on themselves.

A few years ago I spent the day speaking to students at one of the top high schools in the Chicago area.  During lunch, I was talking to the head of the math department and was telling her how impressed I was with the high school and asked her if the administration had any major issues.  She said, “Our biggest problem is how to stop student suicides. These kids are under so much pressure to succeed.”  This really saddened me because kids need to believe that if they do the best they can in this world, they will be okay.

My friend sent his three children to another top performing area high school and he told me that on parent/student orientation day the auditorium was filled with parents and excited but nervous incoming freshmen.  The principal said that before he said anything to the students he wanted to talk to the parents first.  He asked, “How many of you think you have a happy life?”  Almost all of the parents raised their hands.  Then the principal asked, “How many of you went to an Ivy League college?”  Everyone put their hand down.  He then said, “You see, you don’t have to go to an Ivy League college to have a happy life. Please don’t make your kids believe they have to be in the top 1 percent to be happy or successful.”

After all of the observations in life that I have made about the negative effects of worrying constantly is that it leads to everything but good. In life, there are a ton of factors that cause everyone to worry, and that’s normal. It’s  something that everyone has to deal with at one point or another, but something to stride for would be to take all of the worries that life has given to you and not let it dominate life’s pleasures. So take a moment, put the family, friends and everything else into perspective and put them as priorities to think and care about, while taking the worries and keeping them to a minimum. We only live once on this Earth, and worries should not consume any part of the privilege of living.

By Mike Byster:


Make Learning FUN: Empower the Mind and Increase Focus

Most people probably have no idea how powerful the mind really is.  I speak to people of all ages and ability levels on how to train your mind to work MORE efficiently and become MORE powerful than you thought possible.  People want to empower their minds for different reasons.  Children want to improve in school and get better grades.  Businessmen and women want to know how they can be more productive at work and at home.  Seniors want to know how they can keep their mind sharp as they begin to age.  But, no matter what the reason for strengthening your mind, the results will be best if you learn in a fun way or environment.

The child that cannot memorize his multiplication tables can remember hundreds of sports statistics if they are a sports fan.  The college student that freezes and forgets all the material for the test he or she crammed for the night before can memorize dozens of songs involving thousands of words if they love music.  The stockbroker who cannot recall the names of the three people he just met at a business meeting knows the symbol and closing price of every stock his customers own.  When something is fun for you or you have a passion for it, you can recall ALL the information you know about it instantaneously.

Almost everybody had a favorite teacher that positively impacted their life.  The overwhelming majority of those teachers taught their material in a fun and interesting way.  The same material that is taught in a monotonous manner does not stick in the learners mind.  When ABC’s 20/20 challenged me to take a 6th grade classroom of their choosing and greatly improve their focus and memory over a short period of time, they were amazed by the results.  When they asked how I did it, I said that everything I taught them was fun and cool and the kids never felt they were learning, they felt like they were playing a game.  When I developed Brainetics, if we tested something and found out that it was not fun for the people learning it, we immediately got rid of it.

Ask anyone to go home and read a dictionary to improve their spelling and vocabulary and you would have few volunteers.  But, millions of people have fun doing crossword puzzles or playing “Words With Friends” without being asked.  The majority of people are way too busy to waste their time trying to do something that is drudgery. 

The mind is incredibly powerful.  It has the capability to remember TEN billion encyclopedia pages over the course of a lifetime.  That is THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND pages a day, every day for ninety years.   There are very few things the mind cannot accomplish.  But, if things are taught in a boring manner, the person usually does not have the patience or focus to take the time to learn.  If something is taught in a cool and exciting way, the mind will absorb it like a sponge, because it is not a task, it is FUN!

(Post by Mike Byster)


Learning for a Lifetime: Developing the Brain for Success and Prosperity

We all have at our disposal one of the most powerful tools known to man but most of us do not know how to utilize that power.  I am talking about the human brain.  The brain has the capabilities of remembering ten billion encyclopedia pages of information.  That is 300,000 pages a day, every day for over 90 years.

Our brain is the key to getting the best grades in school, getting into a good college, getting a job and promotions within that job, having emotional and financial security, and keeping us young as we begin to age.  Yet, the brain never comes close to reaching its potential, the reason why is we never learn how to empower it.

It’s Not WHAT You Learn, It’s HOW You Learn

If you figure the typical school year is about 180 days and the average American child is in school for 13 years from kindergarten through high school and the average school day is 6 hours long, children are in school for over 14,000 hours.  What if we took twenty minutes out of each school day and taught kids how to master four very important learning skills: focus, mind organization, memory, and creative thinking, teaching and enhancing a different skill each day.  By the times students graduated high school they would have had almost two hundred hours each of learning how to focus, how to organize their thoughts, learn how to memorize information for tests, and how to think outside the box.  But, we do not do that because our education system is structured solely on what to learn, but they never teach HOW to learn.  And even though people exercise and eat healthier as they get older to keep their body fit, many people stop learning once they get out of school and never develop these vitally important skills. In my upcoming book “Genius” I encourage everyone to be lifelong learners so you can accomplish all your goals and give yourself the best chance to succeed.

Empowering the Mind

A few years back, ABC News saw videos of kids I taught how to empower their minds and wanted to do a segment about the Brainetics method on 20/20.  They challenged me to take a classroom of 6th grade children from a school of their choosing and see what I can teach them to accomplish if I work with them for a short period of time.  They aired the story twice in prime time and I received tens of thousands of emails, from parents wondering why their kids are not taught this, teachers and administrators inviting me to come and help their students, adults and seniors wanting to learn for themselves.   But, in that deluge of emails, not one came from the department of education, or from a senator or congressman who undoubtedly had improvements in education as part of their platform when they were campaigning.

People are wondering when the next Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey or Mark Zuckerberg will come along.  If we begin to teach young minds how to learn along with what to learn, we will not have to wait too long before the pool of people that are changing the world becomes much more populated.