Lifestyle

Genevieve Vieira
3 minute read
7 Mar 2014
12:20 pm

The power of a fitter mind

Genevieve Vieira

The mind is a powerful tool. Everybody, no matter their IQ level, has the ability to achieve anything they set their mind to. It's the way we were created to operate; to continuously achieve and move forward.

Image: Supplied.

The problem is, we become lazy and allow our minds to follow suit. Technology has created exciting opportunities but it also allows us to take shortcuts. Too often we’ll take the easy way out just because it’s there.

Take phone numbers. When someone gives us their number, we’ll automatically write it down or save it on a smartphone. We’ve convinced ourselves that remembering a 10-digit number will be too challenging, so we write it down and allow the mind to get away with being idle.

A person’s state of mind plays an important role in shaping their reality, feeding subconscious thoughts that can either inspire or hinder performance. Often, our emotions are a serious impediment to getting things done.

This is one of the first things you learn from The Powerbrain Memory Course, taught by multi award-winning sports broadcaster and memory expert Michael Abrahamson. Change your attitude, change your life, he says. Allow your mind to work for you and you can achieve wonders.

These things are often easier said than done, of course. But Abrahamson doesn’t just motivate – he’s a living proof of what he says. He’ll demonstrate the technique and its success rate and then prompt students to remember long lists of items or to recall personal details about their fellow learners.

If you’ve ever seen one of Abrahamson’s mentalist shows, you’ll know that he can memorise an entire shuffled pack of cards in less than 15 seconds. That’s almost four cards a second.

Spend some time with the man and you’ll realise it isn’t a magic trick or sleight of hand, but honest application of the mind. Attending his course might not teach you to memorise a deck of cards in 15 seconds, but with time and commitment, and by using the proper techniques, you’ll learn to accomplish incredible tasks with your mind.

It’s like visiting the gym every week, Abrahamson says. You gain muscle strength and increase your fitness and flexibility. Lying on the couch isn’t so effective. The same is true for thinking. The more you cultivate the mind, the sharper you become and the easier it is to navigate through life.

Having qualified as an actuary at the Institute of Actuaries in London, Abrahamson also has a honours degree in statistics. He has been teaching the subject for over 20 years. He uses this experience to empower students of all ages. By equipping them with effective tools for studying, he enables them to learn new information more effectively and keep it available in their minds.

In fact, his method applies to more than just remembering things. It involves attitude, diet, sleep, vitamins, posture and even breathing correctly. For instance, conscious breathing can have soothing effects on our emotions – which, as we saw earlier, can be destructive in our quest for forward-looking thinking.

Everyone has the same brain capacity but not everyone uses it. Many of us fall captive to negative thinking that ultimately shapes the way we do specific tasks.

Abrahamson points out that in any split second the mind can only focus on one thing at a time.He rejects the currently popular notion of multi-tasking.

“Jumping from one activity to the next only slows us down in the long run.” Instead, we need to reprogramme our brains to enhance our mental functioning.

Abrahamson, who obtains his personal inspiration from American life coach and motivational speaker Tony Robbins, lives by the rule: There are no problems in life, only opportunities; and every opportunity is a chance to succeed.