The other day I was cleaning out my closet, in preparation for an upcoming move, and I happened across an old book that I hadn’t read for a while. Perhaps it’s because I’m basically a very lazy person, and am always looking for an excuse to take a break during anything that resembles any kind of physical labor, I decided to take a look through the book, as I remember having several “Aha!” moments when I first read it.
I had a friend once tell me she went to a lecture of a prominent mental health professional a few months ago, and he mentioned that there are some leading theories that suggest that the more you have those “Aha!” moments, the less likely you will suffer from any decrease in brain function that is normally associated with aging. Those “Aha!” moments can be tricky to come by, they often times come when you aren’t expecting them.
You’ll be watching some TV show about something, and it will remind you of something that happened a couple days earlier, something that you now see in a different light, or a new understanding. That new understanding, that feeling of making a neural connection that wasn’t there before, is where that “Aha!” feeling comes from, or so I’ve heard.
It’s like when you’ve driven to your favorite restaurant across town, and you have to go through all kinds of huge intersections where you are always stuck waiting, then one day by accident you find some small back road that is almost devoid of lights or stop signs, giving you a straight shot. There’s a new connection between you and your favorite food.
Sometimes those “Aha!” moments can be cultivated, like when you are learning a new language, and you take a break and watch a TV or movie that’s in your target language. What used to sound like gibberish, now is peppered with words that you can sort of understand, and instead of guessing what they are talking based on their body language and facial expressions, you can now sort of verify with the words here and there that you understand.
Or when you’re reading some long novel with many different characters and a fairly convoluted plot, then when you get close to the end the loose ends start to tie themselves up in nice understandable chunks of reckoning.
“Aha! So that’s what he meant!”
“Aha! So that’s why he hid the ice cream!”
“Aha! So that’s why she rejected his proposal! I get it now!”
And so on.
When you get a particularly dense string of “Aha!” moments then your brain is really juiced. Which is maybe why I decided to sit down and have a look through that book.
The book, in case you’re wondering, is The Einstein Factor, By Win Wenger. You can check it out on Amazon, or there’s plenty of info at his website.
But the book is chalk full of exercises to give your brain a thorough workout, and several of them have been clinically proven to actually raise your I.Q. One of the most famous is called “Image Streaming.” I tried this for the first time at a seminar I went to on Photoreading.
Image Streaming is when you close your eyes, and just describe the imagery that is in your head, whatever it is. No matte what you are doing, the brain is constantly feeding you images. The unconscious never stops. It’s best to do this with a friend, or at least to describe the image stream into a tape recorder. Otherwise you’re likely to fall asleep.
For every hour of image streaming, you’ll raise your I.Q. one point. Now if you try this, it can seem near impossible to keep this up for five minutes, let alone an hour. But just like any other practice, the more you do it, the easier it gets. And if you only did it ten minutes a day, six days a week. That would be one I.Q. point increase per week. If you took two weeks off every year, you’d increase your I.Q. fifty points a year by only doing this simple exercise ten minutes a day.
There’s plenty of other simple exercises you can do in that cool book. One of them is called “Borrowed Genius.” In this particular exercise (or hallucination, as that seems to be a more appropriate term) you think about a problem.
You imagine somebody that you are pretty sure could solve your problem. You get your friend or your tape recorder ready, and close your eyes. You start to describe your problem in as much detail as possible, and while you are doing so you slowly walk up behind the person you imagine could easily solve your problem.
Then you come up behind them, and quickly switch heads. Yep, you read that right, you switch heads with them. (See why this is best called a hallucination?) And as soon as you plot their head down on your shoulders, you immediately start jabbering away at your best guess to the solution to your problem. The reason you need a friend, or in this case a tape recorder might be better, is that you’ll get several great ideas, several of those “Aha!” moments, but since your jabbering away with some other persons head, when you switch back to your own head you might forget what you just said.
Another trick is called “Over The Wall.” Same concept, instead of walking up behind somebody and stealing their head (or borrowing it) you imagine that there is this big wall, and just on the other side is the solution to your problem. You walk up to the wall slowly, describing your problem in as much detail as possible, and leap up to the top of the wall, and immediately, and as fast as you can, and in as much detail as you can, describe what you see on the other side.
Again, make sure you have a trusted friend (who can take notes really fast) or a tape recorder, or your voice recorder on your computer.
I highly recommend the book, “The Einstein Factor,” or at the very least have a look at Win Wenger’s website. There’s tons of great info there on how to explode your genius and creativity.
Or, if you are interested in using NLP to explode your potential, click on the link below to get started: