We all have heard that some time or another that we don't use the full potential of the brain. You might have heard some quote or another somewhere along the line, that goes something like this:
"You know, you only use 10% of your brain at any one time"
It is often said as if it is some fault of the brain, and it is this thinking that I reckon has caused people like Tony Buzan to write the sort of books that he writes. It is also this thinking that causes people to buy them.
Tony Buzan was well known back in the nineteen-eighties and nineties for his books on using the brain best to help us learn.
He is probably best know for his mind maps. The mind map has now become a common learning tool in business and education.
This book sets out to discover and use the untapped potential of the brain, he calls the para-brain.
The book covers the areas for development and ties them in neatly with his techniques, or methods. There is a thorough introduction, which follows with an education regarding the brain: its structure, its pathways, the right and left side. the upper and lower brain... The next part of the book explains the concept of memory and recall. Moving on to listening, which very wisely looks at hearing ability, and concentration. Using and caring for your eyes. This includes the relationships to vision and health, emotions, senses and memory. Speed reading and effective reading is of course a substantial part of learning. some would argue that 'concentrated reading' is required for any learning process - but that depends on what you are learning and the long or short term use you might have for the knowledge. Hand in hand with reading comes note taking and fast writing.
If you are to take Buzan as gospel creativity also plays a huge part in harnessing the para-brain, simply because it gets the grey matter working, not in the nice orderly linear fashion you have been used to, but through more oblique strategies.
Buzan gives a good deal of time to numeracy. Something which many of us think we are good at, but actually struggle with. There are some intriguing ways of looking at numbers, which get the brain thinking differently - they give clarity.
The book nears its end with a logic at logic and analysis. as humans we are blessed with the ability to think in the grey areas, this can though lead to a neglect in the logical aspect of thought and Buzan approaches this in his unique way.
What is the point of knowing all these techniques if you can't put them to good use?@ The end of the book makes suggestions and settings for group and family study.
It would be too easy to dismiss what Buzan has been saying about the brain, thought memory and so on as hot air. It might be difficult to prove that what he is saying is right, but there is no doubt his techniques, especially with regard to remembering, work!
I would be surprised if anyone who has done any serious studying has not heard of Tony Buzan, he is a bit 'old-hat' now in terms of 'popular psychology', however I don't think there is anyone current who has picked up his hat,
Tony Buzan is a must for anyone studying, whether it is academic study, business, or just the will to be smarter.
Available from the usual ebid.net, Amazon and ebay