Showing posts tagged thinking

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:


The Right Brain vs Left Brain Test
The Right Brain vs Left Brain test … do you see the dancer turning clockwise or anti-clockwise? 
If clockwise, then you use more of the right side of the brain and vice versa.Most of us would see the dancer turning counter-clockwise though you can try to focus and change the direction; see if you can do it.
LEFT BRAIN FUNCTIONSuses logicdetail orientedfacts rulewords and languagepresent and pastmath and sciencecan comprehendknowingacknowledgesorder/pattern perceptionknows object namereality basedforms strategiespracticalsafe
RIGHT BRAIN FUNCTIONSuses feeling"big picture" orientedimagination rulessymbols and images

present and futurephilosophy & religioncan “get it” (i.e. meaning)believesappreciatesspatial perceptionknows object functionfantasy basedpresents possibilitiesimpetuousrisk taking

(via The Daily Telegraph)

The Right Brain vs Left Brain Test

The Right Brain vs Left Brain test … do you see the dancer turning clockwise or anti-clockwise?

If clockwise, then you use more of the right side of the brain and vice versa.

Most of us would see the dancer turning counter-clockwise though you can try to focus and change the direction; see if you can do it.

uses logic
detail oriented
facts rule
words and language
present and past
math and science
can comprehend
order/pattern perception
knows object name
reality based
forms strategies

uses feeling
"big picture" oriented
imagination rules
symbols and images

present and future
philosophy & religion
can “get it” (i.e. meaning)
spatial perception
knows object function
fantasy based
presents possibilities
risk taking
(via The Daily Telegraph)

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)