Monday, 10 August 2015
Everyday you probably walk past something that is intrinsically interesting, but that you in fact barely notice. Improving the ability to observe and describe the world around you is another resource for building a better and more creative brain. You might specialize in observing a particular sort of thing that you yourself choose. The topic will vary, depending on where you live. It might be birds or barns. It might be paintings in a near by museum. It might be people you encounter, or may be the way the things are organised. Any of these might be a theme that you follow for a month or more, which is succeeded by a new one after that.
The first stage in this mental exercising is observing. Your long-term goal is to look intently and in detail, so that you observe aspects that you would not normally notice. You might begin, however, with a gestalt approach, much as the impressionist painters did when they invented impressionism in the nineteenth- century. This will exercise the emotional and intuitive components of your brain. Look at something that is of interest to you.What thoughts and feelings does that evoke in you? Think and carefully choose the right words to describe them. Then switch over to observing more analytically. You will want to break your observation down into the details that are appropriate to what you are observing. Choose the perfect words to describe the shapes, colors, and the patterns that you are seeing.While performing this part of the exercise, you are beginning the process of describing while you are observing. But to make the exercise complete you need to produce a written description. Sit down and write a paragraph in which you describe your observations in the most elegant and precise language you are able to achieve.
As you continue this exercise over weeks and months, you should work on one topic several times a week for at least one month. As you build your set of descriptions, notice how you are getting better at observing and describing. Then switch to another topic, preferably one that is quite different from the first.
You will very likely begin to notice a payoff from this exercise in your daily life. Your practice will generalize to many other things that you do. Observing carefully, in both intuitive and an analytic manner, will begin to become habitual. Your vocabulary will grow. Your writings will improve. And you will grow new synapses in your visual, language and creativity as a consequence of this mental exercise.
Wednesday, 8 July 2015
Extraordinarily creative people usually do not emerge in a random way over time. They might be driven from within an internal predilection ("nature") to express their creativity. The polymaths, Leonardo and Michelangelo were from simple origins where there was no emphasis on creativity yet their achievements in art were their legacy to the world. What forces would have helped them produce this great flowering of the human brain?
An atmosphere of intellectual freedom, ferment and excitement is a compelling factor of creativity. The spirit of renaissance - is the spirit of breaking out of old and oppressive boundaries, doing what people have not done yet; thinking new thoughts, finding new ways to express and experimenting with new techniques - leads to intellectual freedom.
The creativity needs a nurture of supportive environment to manifest itself. "Nature" can be defined as an innate or inborn gift that drives an individual to creative achievement. Once this creative nature occurs, nurturing it through a variety of environmental factors will further enhance it. Many different forces have an impact on how the brain grows and develops. One of our challenges is to understand those forces more deeply, so that we may eventually use that understanding more wisely. When the gifted are nurtured the right way, we shine brilliantly.
What we perhaps can say is that Mother Nature gives creative people - the brains that are well designed for perceiving and thinking in original ways. The creativity,henceforth, gets enhanced by cognitive and personality traits such as curiosity, openness to experience, and self-confidence. These environmental factor nurtures the creative brains to develop, modify and adapt to the political and social forces surrounding it.
The foundations of creativity
- Need an environment of support
- Individual abilities in various fields
- No sense of limits being set on their abilities
- Discovery, recognition and appreciation of their abilities by others
"CREATIVITY REMAINS UNNOTICED UNTIL SOMEONE DISCOVERS, RECOGNIZE AND BELIEVE IN THEM "
Sunday, 31 May 2015
When we say that the brain is "plastic", we don't talk about the polymers. Brain plasticity means that the brain is marvelously responsive, adaptable and eternally changing. Its adaptations and changes occur in response to the demands and pressures of the environment that it encounters. We are literally remaking our brain and accumulating a trove of experiences and memories, every minute of the day; everyday of the week; every month and every year.
One important aspect of brain plasticity is the ability to retain and store more specific memories. We talk too much of memories but where are these memories stored? The storage of experience as memories is the foundation upon which the brain builds its capacity to continually remodel itself. Memory storage is carried out on the molecular level, and the synapse is the workhouse for ensuring that memories are preserved for long periods of time. Preservation of memories over the short term occurs because existing synapses are strengthened.
Another important component of brain plasticity is the concept of critical periods. These are relatively limited windows of opportunity during which the brain can learn, change and develop. If the opportunity is not seized during the critical period, the window may close forever ( Don't worry too much as there are brain training methodologies to open up the window). The concept has many important implications for building better brains, for enhancing creativity and for education. Examining everyday human life, inadequate environmental exposure results in failure to learn something during the critical period.
One of the best ways to get a new perspective on things to enhance this plasticity is to tackle a new field that you know little or nothing about. We might own our own creativity to bridge across these new disciplines. Many people have a secret longing to do something different from the work that is their daily bread. If you have always wanted to try your hand at painting or to master a foreign language, take the time and effort to do it. Do it in depth and with a passion, for this is the only way that you will really exercise your brain. Intense curiosity also aids this plasticity. This accelerates creativity. The seeds of creativity may be planted by nature but nurture helps it germinate, flower and grow. Nature cannot be changed but nurture is under our control.
We know that brain plasticity continues throughout life, and that using the brain is good for it. Individuals can do more to exercise their brains than they currently do, creating the possibility that they can slow aging process and perhaps lessen their risks for degenerative brain diseases.
Saturday, 21 March 2015
Have you ever been advised on the lines, " Capitalize on your strengths and manage around your weaknesses"? Easy to grasp - isn't it? But is it easy to implement??? !!! Well then, what needs to be done to achieve this? Here comes the solution of applying the three revolutionary tools on strength building. The three - talents, knowledge and skills - combine to create your strengths.
- Talents are naturally recurring patterns of thought, feeling, or behavior.
- Knowledge consists of the facts and lessons learned.
- Skills are the steps of an activity.
Many people don't appreciate their talents. They think that with enough practice almost everything is learnable. They don't actively seek knowledge and skills to enhance their talents. Rather, they fall into the trap of trying to acquire as much knowledge and as many skills as they are able to, in the hope of bettering themselves in some general way, smoothing out their rough edges, and emerging suitably well rounded. To build up your strengths you must avoid this trap. Rather try to identify your talents. There can be areas of greatest potential, areas in which you have the best possible chance to cultivate a world- class strength that can help you to perform.
There are two distinct kinds of knowledge for building your strengths. They are the factual and the experimental knowledge. You need both, and fortunately, you can acquire both of them. Sometimes, factual knowledge won't guarantee excellence, but excellence is impossible without it. To put it simple, you can never excel at painting if you don't know that red and green colour , when combined, gives brown. The experimental knowledge isn't taught in classrooms or found in manuals. Rather, it is something that you must discipline yourself to pick up along the way and retain.
Skills bring structure to experimental knowledge. It means that, whatever the activity, at some point a smart person will sit back and formalize all the accumulated knowledge into a sequence of steps that, if followed, will lead to performance. Skills help you to avoid trial and error and to incorporate directly new discoveries into your performance.
The bottom line is that : Identify your most powerful talents, hone them with skills and knowledge, and you will be on your way to living a strong life.
Thursday, 29 January 2015
I am happy to discuss yet another concept which is very crucial in a learning process -Cognitivism. Well, let me explain you what this concept is all about. Cognitivism is a learning theory that focuses on how information is received, organised, stored and retrieved by the brain.
I have evolved a simple approach called ITP (Information - Transfer - Practice) to achieve cognitivism. The first element of my ITP methodolgy is information. This information needs to be meaningful. Meaning is critical to learning. We have a pre-existing knowledge. A proper meaningful information can interact with this pre-existing information for better learning and retention power. In other words, meaning is the interaction between the 'learned' and 'to be learned'.
The next step of ITP is the transfer of this meaningful information to the students. The transfer can be felicitated through the use of examples during initial learning. Instead of defining and explaining the terminology, it is always wise to give multiple examples and make the kid understand the underlying principle involved. A compare and contrast mode can also be applied for a deep knowledge.
The final element is practice. We have all heard of the proverb 'Practice makes a man perfect'. Do you know why? It's because
- it imposes meaning on concepts
- enhances better transfer
- overcomes context specificity
- helps in acquisition of expertise
Hence these three elements are critical to cognitivism and enhances the learner's mind consciously. It has a direct impact on the process that happens inside the human mind and internal mental structure. The overall goal of this ITP approach is to process any new information effectively and efficiently by the students.