Thursday, October 20, 2005

Tony Buzan is nicknamed Mr Memory. He has been teaching the subject for decades. If you pay attention to his explanations, you may be the next "clever chap" in your office. Now wouldn't that be great?

By Tony Buzan
Thorsons, HarperCollins Publishers

ANY book by mind master Tony Buzan is always a treat. Buzan has written
six other books on mind mapping.
As most of us know, everyone can think but the only catch is not many
think rightly or have right thoughts. Thinking is almost involuntary so
in the process of thought, there are methods of teaching a person to
channel his thought, a form of energy, in the right direction.
When thinking is done right, it gradually forms a network of ideas. And
when this thought process is nurtured correctly, the finished product is
called mind mapping.
Mind mapping guru Tony Buzan has been experimenting with the thought
process since 1964 when he graduated from the University of British
Columbia with double honours in psychology, mathematics and English.
Buzan has given a lot of thought to mental literacy, a phrase that he
coined. His first book Make the Most of Your Mind shot him to fame. He
loves to promote the mnemonic system that was developed more than 300
years ago. It is a system using digits and letters of the alphabets to
store limitless information in the mind.
Hence, The Ultimate Book of Mind Maps can be rightly labelled as an
all-in-one manual for those who want to change their lives, improve their
creativity and gain a super memory.
There are six easy chapters in this book. It begins with the
fundamentals of understanding the human mind. After you have learnt to
take the seven steps to creating a mind map, you will move on to knowing
more about the brain and unleashing its potential.
If it sounds very much like nuclear physics to you right now, then stop
and take a deep breath. By the way, that's good, too. A well-oxygenated
brain functions better and has clearer thoughts.
Buzan is so logical that it is embarrassing for the rest of us mortals.
But three chapters down the line, the fog clears up and the reader begins
to see in his "mind's eye" that there is actually a success formula of
understanding the nature of learning. It is found in TEFCAS. It stands
for Trial, Event, Feedback, Check, Adjust, Success.
Tefcas is an acronym that spells out the basic steps the human brain
takes to define an experience. Metaphorically, it is the flashlight which
the brain uses to light up areas that it knows nothing about. Basically,
it is a learning tool.
The book teaches its reader to link Tefcas and mind mapping to solve
problematic situations in a logical and reasonable manner. For example,
looking at a situation objectively and with the application of
intelligence come up with the most logical solution, allowing for a small
margin of error. It is something which Vulcan Dr Spock of Star Trek would
want to do.
Since intelligent thinking is a precious commodity in many professional
fields these days, this book's information is of immense importance to
those whose promotion relies heavily on their creativity.
First and foremost, the human brain operates "explosively and
radiantly". In other words, we are not like computers that engage in
linear or sequential thinking. The human brain is likened to be the most
powerful computer on earth and it can replace its own cells.
Here are the facts: the human brain has a million neurons or nerve
cells. Each of these cells is more powerful than any standard personal
computer. The number of internal map thoughts that a human brain is
capable of generating is almost incalculable. But if you really want to
know, it's one followed by 10.5 million kilometres of typewritten zeros.
If that is not mind-blowing enough for you, with each passing day, your
brain evolves with the on-going thought process. Thus, your brain today
won't be the same as it will be tomorrow. Every brain cell is constantly
making connections, and on and on it goes until you die.
This is a wonderful book. If you think you are inferior to others in
more ways than one, think again. Buzan shows you how to do mental
workouts to strengthen that "lame brain" of yours. He also teaches you to
achieve physical fitness so that your body will support the mind.
It's amazing that what has wrongly been perceived as a complex matter
has been distilled into simple and easy steps in intelligent thinking.
The human brain is thus a living organism that is capable of infinite
Hence, those documentaries you see on television about extraordinary
people performing amazing feats are merely brain-engineered acts carried
out by the human body. You too can do all those things and more, with
proper training and thinking, of course.
Like most human skills, mind mapping can only produce spectacular
results if you practise, practise and practise. There is hard work
involved but the rewards are mind-boggling. Think about it.

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