Most Mind Maps are Brain Maps

When I was introduced to Mind Mapping about ten years ago, I discovered a tool that increased my creativity and productivity by leaps and bounds.

Like many people, I just started using what I thought was mind mapping software without even looking at the manual. A course I attended with Andrew Wilcox on Mind Jet’s Mind Manager opened my eyes incredibly.

Mind Mapping had so many applications. Not only could it be used to sort your To Do lists but there are a plethora of business applications like taking meeting minutes, project planning, Six Sigma and even writing a whole book or building a web site.

While this course opened my eyes it was only when I trained with Tony Buzan and became an iMindmap Licensed Instructor that my mind was opened. I learned about the power of freely associative Mind Mapping and how to really use them in the creative process. I discovered how they get the left and right brain working on the same task in harmony – I learned the power of Whole Brain Thinking.

I also learned the power of a good map using just pencil and paper and how to use them to great effect in my creative writing courses and one to one mentoring with authors.

I started then to research the psychology of Mind Mapping and how they trigger our neurology and get stored in it. Along the way though working with my clients removing creative blocks, I discovered something remarkable.

As amazing as Mind Maps are, nearly all the software tools and training programmes out there seem to promote the mapping of the brain only. That is, they help map the conscious mind processes in the outer cortex of our two brain hemispheres.

They take no account of the other active mind centres in our body like the gut and heart minds, now recognised by some more open minded neuroscientists as active centres of consciousness. No account either was made for the collective mind ’outside’ our bodies.

“Most so-called Mind Maps are merely ‘Brain Maps’!! They miss huge amounts of data from the whole gamut of our sensory inputs.”

Living Timefully

Start Living Timefully to find more resources and templates for Whole Mind Mapping and loads of other mind transforming tools

Making Time for Excuses

Old Father TimeWe give Old Father Time a bit of a hard time. We blame him constantly.

“There are not enough hours in the day.”

“Where did the time go?”

“I would write that book if only I had the time.”

“Time just gets away from me.”

This really unfair on him. He gives us continuity. He allows us to have memories of the past and to dream about the future. He stops everything from happening all at once, which would be ever so confusing for us.

It is humankind, not him, who have enslaved themselves to time. If you wear a watch, you are entrapping yourself ‘in time’. Watch that clock and again, you bond yourself to time. Even our calendar imprisons us in unnatural time. Months of varying lengths are a man-made construct. September, October, November and December should, by rights, be the seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth months of the year. We have the egos of Julius (July) and Augustus (August) Caesar to thank for that anomaly.

Incidentally, we have a perfectly good clock which orbits the Earth 13 times very year with the cosmic precision. When you live your life by 13 Moon Time, I can testify personally you stop pushing water uphill.

Time is not external and imposed upon us. It is generated by our consciousness. If we want to change our interaction with it, all we have to do is change how and what we think. For example, if you fret over past events or worry about the future, you have taken your focus away from what you are working on right now. You will ‘lose’ and waste time.

Old Father Time has become a bit of a punch bag who never complains. He just keeps marching along silently, probably smiling at our naivety at the way we have allowed ourselves to be entrapped by time.

Just imagine though if we could expand time such that we could get everything we wanted done and more. We would have no excuses and nobody to blame. All of a sudden we would be completely accountable for our actions and deeds. This would have massive implications. Time wasters would have nowhere to hide and those that are productive would get even more done.

In just 35 short years, Mozart composed over 600 works, many praised as masterpieces. Bearing in mind he started around the age of 5, that’s 30 or so compositions a year. Now he had no Internet, TV or computer games to consume his time, but that is pretty amazing output by any standards.

It’s said, if you want something done, give it to a busy person. Why this works is that busy people, like Mozart are not frittering time away on other things, they are focussed on getting things done.

For many people, having an external clock superimposed upon them is the most brilliant excuse. The reality is this however. We can all choose to to run our consciousness at a different rate and to get more done in less time. When we do this in a team or group, time dilation effects multiply.

If you sit in your left brain, with your ‘inner devil’ focussed on detail, you get nothing done. When you live a right brained existence with your head in the clouds, nothing gets done either. However, when both brain hemispheres work in harmony, our efficiency increases by 400% or so.

What’s even more amazing about achieving such efficiency gains is that the techniques required are largely free. They involve breathing and learning to get in the zone by entering the meditative state with our eyes open. These techniques also have health benefits by reducing stress and even lowering blood pressure. It’s thought that every minute spent in the meditative state adds at least a minute to our life spans.

So just imagine what you might do and what you might achieve if you no longer had the excuse that there was not enough time. There’s no time like the present to find out.

Living Timefully is a revolutionary time management programme that shows you how to change your experience of time by changing the way you think.
Start Living Timefully today

Cross Crawling

Cross crawling is actually something we kind of do naturally when we go for a walk. This is why the simple act of a good brisk walk is such a great way to get inspiration – apart from anything else, it gets you breathing!!

This exercise is in two parts which can be done separately, or combined if you feel particularly energetic. It seems appropriate linguistically to call them steps.

Step 1: Walking
If you are able, go for a 10 to 20 minute walk each day, either before you start a creative activity or, especially, if you hit a creative block.

For at least five minutes of the walk, swing your arms from side to side in front of your body. Depending on your physical ability – and where you are doing it – this movement can be as small or large as you feel comfortable with.

Step 2: Cross crawling
You can do this exercise in the comfort of your own home and it important that you do it slowly and you only go as far as is comfortable.
1. Stand with your arms to the side and let the tension fall from your body. Feel the floor with your feet.
2. Now bend your right leg at the knee and swing your left arm in front of you across your navel and, if you can, touch your left elbow to your right knee.
3. Let your right leg fall gently and your left arm return and now bend your left leg at the knee and touch your right elbow to the left knee. Again make sure your left arm crosses your navel.
5. Try to repeat the exercise 10 to 20 times for each side.

If you find it difficult or you seem to get your sides mixed up like tapping your head and rubbing your stomach, don’t worry. This just means your left and right hemispheres really need this exercise. Either really slow the movements down or try it lying down. It will come in time.

I first did this exercise over 10 years ago and after the exercise I briefly started mirror writing. This is often a trait seen in those categorised with dyslexia. If it happens to you, take it as a sign that new pathways are opening up in your brain.

Less Strenuous Versions

Note if you are physically infirm or unwell and either of these exercises is either impossible or likely to cause you harm, instead of getting your elbow and knee to touch, you can just tap your opposite knee with your hand as shown here. This has much the same effect.

What is most bizarre though, if you not able even to do this reduced movement version, you can actually get some benefit by closing your eyes and imagining you are carrying them out – as observed and supervised below by a professionally qualified ‘cross-crawler’ who takes me on ‘training sessions’ daily – although I labour under the illusion that it is me who walks him.

Such is the power of the mind.

If you would you like to learn more about these techniques, make sure you get a copy of Tom’s new book to find out where ideas really come from and how you can make sure yours actually happen …

The Art and Science of Light Bulb Moments

Related blogs:

Getting in the Zone

Whole Brain Thinking

The Inspirational Breath

Mapping your Mind

Food for Thought

Which side are you on?

How to Have A Great Week : part #001

So it’s the end of another week and, for me, another week of blogging as part of the Ultimate Blog Challenge.

Next week I am starting a mini-series on Whole Brain Thinking and I will end the month with a mini-series on the Flavours of our Thoughts and the concept of Thought Loops that tie us in knots.

Big, big thanks to Michele Scism and Michelle Shaeffer for coming up with the idea – it’s been so much fun and has made some fabulous connections, several of which will be turning into business in the coming weeks.

As a respite from what has been a wonderfully busy month, weekends give us time to rest, gather our thoughts and plan the coming week.

Accordingly, this is the first in two short blogs on How to Have a Great Week.

How to Have a Great Week – Part 001

Before rushing into next week in the same way you handled the last, it’s time to make some notes of what just transpired.

1. Write down three things that didn’t go as well as you hoped

2. Write down three things you didn’t get done that you hoped to

3. Write down three habits or situations you found yourself in that you hope don’t get repeated next week

– then do nothing until tomorrow’s post which will show you how to make next week go amazingly well

Optionally, you may like to listen to this guided visualisation to make your internal chatter go quiet so that the inspirations for next week can percolate in …

iPad or iPhone? Listen here …