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Christmas exercise in Cognitive Fitness

If you have participated in any of my coaching or mentoring, you will know how much I emphasis the ‘framework for success’ that I have shared in the past.

It is rewarding to find others now talk about the themes within the framework and not least how to really build strength and depth in the way your mind works to help you.

The attached classic article from the preeminent Harvard Business Review makes for validation of our discussions, but also gives you some additional pointers to remind you how to keep your focus on implementing the suggestions we have covered previously. The simple steps outlined, and critically the numerous benefits they will bring to your personal effectiveness at work, can only be motivators to read, assimilate and act upon the suggestions


Step 1: Understand how experience makes the brain grow.

Step 2: Work hard at play

Step 3: Search for patterns

Step 4: Seek novelty and innovation.

I hope you have the time to read the article. Perhaps, just perhaps, as the Christmas season approaches and moments of calm present themselves when you can sit, relax and read, file this article for some in depth reflection and thoughts about how you might achieve all the steps outlined prior to the new and busy year ahead in 2014. Let’s face it, a bit of ‘cognitive fitness training’ is not a bad thing! I know you will find it helpful with your personal development.

We would do well to look back, reflect and act upon the words of others far wiser that us.

The following extract was shared with me by Wanjiku Nyachae a thoughtful and refelective colleague;

The great source of both the misery and disorders of human life, seems to arise from over-rating the difference between one permanent situation and another. Avarice over-rates the difference between poverty and riches: ambition, that between a private and a public station: vain-glory, that between obscurity and extensive reputation.

The person under the influence of any of those extravagant passions, is not only miserable in his actual situation, but is often disposed to disturb the peace of society, in order to arrive at that which he so foolishly admires.

The slightest observation, however, might satisfy him, that, in all the ordinary situations of human life, a well-disposed mind may be equally calm, equally cheerful, and equally contented.

Some of those situations may, no doubt, deserve to be preferred to others: but none of them can deserve to be pursued with that passionate ardour which drives us to violate the rules either of prudence or of justice; or to corrupt the future tranquillity of our minds, either by shame from the remembrance of our own folly, or by remorse from the horror of our own injustice.

— Adam Smith (The Theory of Moral Sentiments)

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