By Steven Aitchison, Creator of
Mind Alchemy: Unlock the Power of Your Mind
This weeks Sunday Siesta has been postponed as I have been working all weekend on this article. It's my longest article ever at over 4500 words but I think it was worth the time and the effort.
I have been resisting doing this post for a while now. However, it kept niggling away at the back of my mind and I kept getting more and more ideas to add to it so here it is.
I was originally inspired to do this by Dragos Roua who wrote a great post 100 Ways to Live a Better Life and who was inspired by Mike King in this great post 100 Ways To Be A Better Leader who was inspired by Armen Shirvanian: 100 Ways to Show Boldness who was inspired by the maniac who started it all Luciano Passuello and his post Tackling Any Issue With A List Of 100.
So here I am with 100 Ways to Develop Your Mind
1. Do the Thing You Fear the Most. If there's one thing that will change your thoughts quicker than anything else, it's facing your fears.
2. Stand up For Yourself. A lot of people have difficulty in standing up for themselves. The first time you do it can be very empowering and your thoughts about yourself will change forever.
3. Stop Talking. It's great to be silent for just a little while. Our thoughts turn inward and we begin to appreciate ourselves just a little more.
4. Strengthen Your Strengths. Sometimes we focus too much on trying to strengthen our weaknesses when we should be concentrating on strengthening our strengths.
5. Take A Walk Around an Art Gallery. You might not appreciate art or participate in it but it's great to see the thoughts of others on canvas. It can give us a tiny glimpse of what goes on in other people's minds.
6. Blindfold Yourself for a Day. Walk in the shoes of a blind person for 1 full day, it will forever change the way you think about life.
7. Stand on a Chair for 5 Minutes Per Day. Building self discipline is a great way to take control of your mind and your thoughts. If you just get up and stand on a sturdy chair your mind will be wondering what the hells going on and try and force you to get off the chair. Disciplining your mind is a great way to start changing your life.
8. Dance When There's Nobody There. It's a strange sensation to dance on your own, although when I have done this I look like a dog having a seizure, nonetheless it's a great way to let go of your inhibitions.
9. Give Money to Someone Unexpectedly. Whether it be on the internet, or in the street, just give a larger than normal donation to someone. This again is liberating and your thoughts about money will change for a few moments (that's all it takes to start the process of changing your life.)
10. Strengthen Your Thoughts About Yourself. Reinforce your thoughts about your good points. If you are good at talking to people, tell yourself this often. If you are good at maths, tell yourself often. This has the benefit of reinforcing and strengthening your self image.
11. Take A Risk Life. would be boring without ever having taken a risk in your life. Do something that you didn't want to do because you thought you wouldn't be any good at it. This totally smashes the boundaries of your comfort zone and your life could change forever.
12. Talk To A Stranger. Again this is breaking our comfort zones, but just saying hi to stranger in the street or good morning can have an enormous impact on your day and the person you said hi to.
13. Walk Around The House Naked. I can almost feel the shock at this. I don't mean when you've got guests in, I mean when everybody is out. Lock the door and totally liberate yourself and your thinking of what's right and what's wrong. I wouldn't advise doing it all the time, but from time to time, it's a great feeling.
14. Read A Book By An Author You Most Avoid. Reading books by authors we avoid gives us a chance to take control of our minds and lets us see another side to our thinking. We've got to ask why we avoid them in the first place, is it something within us that we are avoiding?
15. Write An Article About Yourself. Imagine a newspaper has asked you to write an article of 1000 words or less about yourself and your life and they want to know what motivates you in life, now write the article. This helps put your life into some perspective and gets you thinking about your childhood and growing up.
16. Stop Contact With Your Down People. If you have people in your life who constantly drag you down, or are negative all the time, drop them. Honestly drop them from your life, you are not serving them and they are not serving you and they are dragging your thoughts down.
17. Believe In Yourself. A lot of people believe their life has been pre-destined and there's nothing we can do to change it – absolute rubbish. YOU are the only person who controls the universe, yes I did mean universe. Your universe is different from mine so you control your own universe, think about that and start acting upon it.
18. Meditate Every Day. Another powerful thing that has the power to change your life and your thinking for good. Retreating into your mind for a few minutes every day will do you a power of good.
19. Ask For A Discount. When you buy anything from a shop that is over $100, ask for a discount. Tell the salesman you'd like a 10% discount on the item. Most people are so afraid of doing this but it's a great way to empower yourself and let go of another inhibition, what's the worst that can happen?
20. Risk Embarrassment. Imagine if you had seen the person of your dreams on a bus, or at the store and you didn't do anything about it how much would you kick yourself. If this happens to you, do something about it, don't keep it hidden. Just say to them you thought you would come over and say how attractive they looked and felt you had to tell them. You never know what will happen and how much your life could be changed. Obviously don't turn into a weirdo and do it with every good looking person on the street.
21. Work Toward, What You Think, Is An Impossible Goal. If you work toward a goal without expectation you don't care about the outcome as much. When you don't care about the outcome, you don't have as much expectation.
22. Practice Gratitude. We all know what we don't have in our lives because we spend a lot of time wishing we had them, but are we really thankful for what we have? Spend time every single day being thankful for the good things we do have in our lives.
23. Do Something Nice And Don't Tell Anyone About. It We tell others about our acts of kindness to let them know how nice we are and to seek approval. If you keep your act of kindness to yourself without ever telling anyone the feeling of positive energy lasts much longer.
24. Share Your Skills. Everybody has a skill of some kind. When you share it you not only have the power to help others, but you enhance your own skill by owning it.
25. Don't Talk Just Listen. Enhance your listening skills by not talking when someone is speaking to you. Resist the urge to speak your views when someone is talking to you, just listen to them and ask them more open ended questions at the appropriate times. This has two benefits: a) You can really listen if you are not formulating the stories in your own head when someone is talking b) you will make the other person feel great as you are actively listening to them.
26. Write Your Future Life Story. Start from the age you are just now and start writing your future life story as you'd like it to be. Be as outrageous as you want and just write about your ideal life and how you interact with it. Words on paper are powerful and can help shape your goals.
27. Give Someone A Gift For No Reason. We always assume someone buys us a gift for a reason whether it be a birthday, christmas or special occasion. Buy someone a gift just because you know they would like it.
28. Pass On Your Good Books. If you've read a book and it changed your thinking or life in some way, pass it on to someone else who might benefit.
29. Spend More Time With Your Kids. Your kids will grow up very quickly, spend as much time as you can with them.
30. Forgive Behavior. The way we behave doesn't necessarily reflect our true thoughts. Remember this when someone acts out of character and behaves in a way you don't approve of.
31. Allow Yourself To Be A Lazy Git. We are so used to filling our time with useful things to do and being productive we have forgotten the art of laziness. Being lazy is good every ONCE IN A WHILE and it allows our mind to slow down and relax.
32. What Is Your Best Quality. Today Every morning for 10 seconds just state, out loud if you can, what your best quality is. Try and change it every day. This reinforces your strengths and weakens your perceived weaknesses.
33. Write A Comment. If you visit a blog you like, leave a comment and join in the community of people. Or, if there is not much of a community, be part of starting it.
34. Tell Your Friends And Colleagues How Good They Are. If a friend or colleague does something good, tell them how good they are at that particular task. This reinforces someone else strengths or strengthens their weaknesses and makes them feel good about themselves.
35. Make A Video Of Yourself And Post It To Youtube. Why on earth would you do this? Just because you can!
36. List All Your Worries. Make a list of every single worry you have at the moment. You will notice that you don't have as many worries as you thought. Worrying consumes our thinking and we think our whole life is one big worry. When you get it down on paper it's extremely surprising that you don't have as many as you'd thought.
37. Work On Each Worry In Turn. Now that you have all your worries listed. Go through them and start acting on them in turn. If you find worries you cannot act upon it means there is nothing you can do to change the outcome of that worry, so forget it, why waste mind energy on something you cannot control at all?
38. Read About Successful People. If you want to change your thoughts and change your life read about people who have already done it and use them as guides.
39. Tweet Your Moods. If you use twitter why not tweet your moods daily and see if there is some kind of pattern after a few months.
40. Stop Watching Soaps. Soap operas actually have the power to alter your state of mind. People get so caught up in the emotions of the soap that they experience what the actors and actresses are doing.
41. Have A News Break. What would happen if you never read a newspaper for a week? nothing at all, your life wouldn't change, you wouldn't run out of things to talk about, you would still be as up on the world as everyone else. Newspapers sell because of their doom and gloom, read it and you are buying into it.
42. Do Something Spontaneous. Jump on a bus without looking at the destination, book a holiday, take time off work, take your partner away, buy your kids a gift; do anything and make sure it's out of character, (expand that boundary).
43. Write To An Author. Authors are people just like you and I and they love getting feedback about their work. If a book touched you in some way or changed you, take time to write to the author and thank them. Don't look for a reply, just thank them.
44. Follow your instincts. We don't trust ourselves nearly enough as we should. Follow your instincts more and pay attention to the signals your body is picking up and see where it takes you. You might find that your conscious brain gets in the way of your body signals a lot of the time.
45. If You Find Some Money Give It To Charity. If you find money in the street don't pocket it, give it to someone who is homeless or better yet buy them a meal with it. If it's a suitcase full of money, that's obviously a different story.
46. Your Thoughts Really Do Have Power. When you realize this, it will change your thinking in so many ways. I can't tell you that it's true you have to experience it for yourself.
47. Always Admit It When You Have Made A Mistake. Don't blame others or hide behind someone else. Hold your hands up and admit you made a mistake, no matter what the consequences are. You will be much more respected this way. However, don't take the blame for others.
48. Do Something Every Day To Improve Your Mind. Learn a new word, do an anagram puzzle, sudoku your mind, read a book, read a stimulating blog post, anything that will help your mind just a little. Just a little turns into something huge.
49. Change Your Thinking Style. If something is not working out, try and change your thinking style and come at it from another angle. This is true of everything in life.
50. What Do You Really Want To Do In Life. You will find most people cannot answer this question simply because they are plodding along with life. When you know what you really want to do with your life then your life takes another path.
51. Pass On Your Knowledge. Knowledge is for sharing, let others know what you know if it's appropriate.
52. Ask For What You Want In Life. If you don't ask you won't get. Asking for your wants puts it out there. I mean literally ask and metaphorically ask. When you want a big house or a mansion, ask out loud and send it out there. When you want the smaller things in life, ask for them from people who can give you them. Always pay it forward.
53. When Someone Does You A Good Turn Pay It Forward. If you receive a compliment, thank the person and look for an opportunity to give someone else a compliment. If you receive a gift, give a gift to someone else at an opportune time.
54. Always Have A Good Breakfast. We underestimate the power of food to keep our brains healthy and our minds alive with energy. If you don't eat that much, make sure you have a good breakfast to set you up for the day.
55. What Would People Say About You If You Died. This is not a morbid thought, but I often think about what people would say about me at my funeral. The thing is the ones who might say something bad, I can't really not invite because I'll be dead. However, the important people are ones I would care about most and I would like to develop my life's values based on what people would say about me at my funeral; he was a caring man, he was a family man, he always told the truth no matter how hard it might seem, he had integrity etc.
56. Sing Your Heart Out. I love to sing, I'm hopeless at it, but I love it. We have a radio station over in the UK that plays music from the 60s, 70s and 80s and I sing at the top of my voice as there is always something on that's good. My sons are not very pleased about it though.
57. Love The One You're With. Always let your partner know how much you love them by telling them and showing them. This way your mind is focused on them for at least part of the day.
58. Pacing Whilst Studying. This has helped me a lot over the years. I paced my way through university. My theory is that the body and mind is being stimulated with the exercise you are doing whilst walking, this makes the blood flow. Blood flow to the brain help you to study and remember.
59. Make New friends. Whether it be online or offline. Keeping yourself busy socially is stimulating for the mind and lets you see the world from others peoples perspective.
60. Make Love Regularly. Releasing the feel good chemicals, endorphins, into your bloodstream is a great way to stimulate the mind. I have to admit to feeling much more creative after making love.
61. Listen To Music. This stimulates the mind and can have tremendous benefits for your thoughts, therefore your life. I love listening to Baroque music whilst driving at night, I love rousing rock driving during the day and dance trance music at the weekend whist driving.
62. Listen To A Book Instead Of The Radio. Getting downloadable books from Amazon.com or Audible.com is a great way to spend long journeys and learn something at the same time.
63. Have A Sleep In. I am not a big fan of sleeping longer than I have to, but sometimes it's great to lie in bed for a few hours longer than normal. It helps the brain recuperate.
64. Turn Off The TV. There's nothing more brain numbing than having the TV on all day every day. Exercise your mind and read a book, or at least watch something educational.
65. Look For Evidence Of Your Beliefs. This will develop your mind and your critical thinking. If you look for evidence of your beliefs such as 'what is the evidence that sea water is blue or green', you'll discover some great information on during your research.
66. Take Micro Naps. Taking a micro nap for 10 minutes a few times a day does wonders for your brain energy.
67. Travel Often. Travel really does broaden your horizons especially if you really get into the local food and culture.
68. Tidy House Tidy Mind. There really is nothing better than clearing your house or office space to clear your mind. When the house is not tidy there is always a niggling at the back of your mind. When the house, office and workspace is totally clean and tidy it frees your mind to concentrate on work or your family at home.
69. Exercise Your Mind Not Just Your Body. We all know the benefits of exercising the body but exercising the mind by doing crosswords, maths puzzles, playing chess, reading, anagrams, sudoku etc, all help to increase the minds capacity for learning.
70. Read Philosophy. The beauty of philosophy is that there is no right and wrong. However, reading different philosophers views about the world will stimulate your mind.
71. Ditch The Credit Card. We have forgotten how to wait for the things we want in life, if we see something we like we want it now and using a credit card is too easy. Make the object of your desire more precious by saving up for it. This will discipline your mind as well as your money spending habits.
72. Watch A Motivational Video On Youtube First Thing In The Morning. This is a great way to start the day. Just type in motivational into youtube search box, sort by view count and watch a few videos.
73. Keep Up To Date With New Theories. Whatever field you are interested in keep up to date with new theories and discoveries. New theories in psychology are especially interesting albeit quite thin on the ground.
74. Take One Action Toward Your Goals Every Day. Your Self confidence, self esteem, and goals can only be reached by taking action. The more action you take the more your mind will help you to keep going.
75. Never Let Your Mind Go Out Of Fashion. Keep up to date with the latest research on health, beauty and intelligence. Only those whose thoughts keep searching will stay intelligent for life.
76. Confronting Your Stressors Whatever you are stressed about the most tackle first. The less stress you have the less your mind has to cope with. Tackle the biggest stressors first and work your way down.
77. Drink Coffee And Tea. Despite evidence to the contrary coffee and tea have been shown to help the brain. Antioxidants and/or caffeine may help fight the onset of Alzheimer's by 30-60% drinking 30 cups a day is obviously not good but 3-5 cups per day is okay.
78. Carry Yourself With Confidence. People can tell by the way you walk if you are confident or not. Walk with purpose and have a purpose to walk.
79. Make Up Your Own Mind. When reading or listening to the news, do your own research and make up your own mind. The government and large corporations, whether deliberate or not, is a propaganda machine feeding you information to manipulate your thinking.
80. Take Up Yoga. This is meant to be one of the best ways to relive stress and exercise both mind and body.
81. Change Your Hands. Practice doing this with your less dominant hand. If you are right handed start doing things with your left hand and vice versa. If you are ambidextrous, start doing it with your feet.
82. Eat Plenty Of Fish. There is an abundance on new evidence that eating fish is great for our brains and keeping them healthy.
83. Reduce Your Alcohol Intake. I had to say this, I am an addiction worker. Don't cut it out just reduce it to the recommended safe level.
84. Quit The Smoking. Yep it can be one of the hardest drugs to give up but it is worth it. I feel so much better for giving up smoking and have a lot more energy than normal and my mind can function a lot better.
85. Practice Deep Breathing. Getting plenty of oxygen to your brain is key for a healthy mind, deep breathing can help with this.
86. Get A Dog/Cat. If you live alone why not go to one of the pet rescue centres and get a dog or a cat. People who have pets are shown to be less lonely, more active, and show fewer signs of stress.
87. Break your Pattern. If you are the one who always goes shopping swap the routine with your partner. Or if you always go to a particular store, change it and go to the same store in another area. Do anything to break the patterns you have in life. This way your mind is kept more active.
88. Try New Food. We have trained our palettes over the years and have gotten used to eating certain foods day in and day out. Try new foods and train your palette to eat better foods.
89. Stimulate Your Brain By Going To A Concert. Whether it be a rock concert or am orchestral concert, getting out and hearing music live and being with people who enjoy the same music stimulates your mind and your emotions.
90. Join An Internet Group. Join an internet discussion group to further your education on topics of interest. Want to start a business? join a group and get ideas for best practice. Want to know more about tropical fish? join a group. This educates your mind, gives you ideas and lets you meet people who are interested in the same topics as you.
91. Volunteer To Help Others. Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community and help others learn the skills you have. Even if you don't think you have skills you can still help someone out in your community just by talking or doing their shopping for 1 hour per week.
92. Read The Tao Te Ching. Has to be one of the best books, in my opinion, for developing your mind.
93. Practice Patience. Waiting in queues, traffic jams, on a telephone call can be very frustrating sometimes. If you use the time to develop your mind and focus on your goals your frustration will dissipate very quickly. Use free time like this constructively instead of getting angry and putting yourself in a bad mood.
94. Practice Divergent Thinking. This is the practice of looking for multiple solutions to problems or issues that arise in your life, whether they be at home or at work. Don't judge your solutions just put them down on paper until you can't think of any other ways. get others involved in this as well.
95. Put On A New Hat. Edward De Bono wrote a book called Six Thinking Hats in which he proposed you to put on a different, mental, hat for each area of your life. For example you put on your parent hat when talking to your kids, you can also put on your child hat for playing around with your kids. mentally putting on different hats allows you to better go in and out of different roles in your life.
96. Stop trying To Multitask. Multitasking can't be done except with unconscious processes such as walking and talking. If you try to consciously multitask like make the kids lunches, have a telephone conversation and try and get the kids ready for school it can't be done nearly as effectively as doing each task separately. Multitasking stresses out minds and helps to produce bad results.
97. Write A Short Essay On The Books Your Read. Doing this will keep your mind active and helps your to read in a different way as you are analyzing books instead of just reading. this way you retain more information and in a few years time you don't embarrass yourself by saying 'yeah, that was a great book but I can't remember what it was about.'
98. Allocate Time For Worrying. If you are a recovering worrier and you need some help, allocate a certain time each day to worry about everything. Once you've done the time of worry, leave it until the next day.
99. Stop Faffing And Just Do It. Faffing is the art of doing small things to avoid completing a bigger task. I am constantly getting on at my son and saying 'Stop faffing!'. We spend too much time faffing instead on concentrating on the task at hand.
100. Read The Dictionary. Learning a new word every 2 -3 days will increase your vocabulary by 120 – 170 words per year.