~Thoughts for Thinking People~
BEING THE BEST YOU CAN BE
Self-improvement should be a lifelong endeavor. Unfortunately, most people do not grow - mentally - much beyond the 13-year-old stage. What they learn by this age is sufficient to get them by in life, so that's where they remain.
But life is a funny thing that way. There is no such thing as status quo or a neutral gear. Either advance, or fall behind. This applies to everything from business, to relationships, society, employment, self worth, and physical and mental health. Use it (and grow it), or lose it.
It's not the easy road. But what worthwhile in life is?
Your body and mind are designed for growth. You can always learn a new physical skill. Strength, coordination and speed can all be increased. It takes work, but it can be done. The body thrives on such signals telling it that it is alive, needed, and must improve itself because of the demands placed upon it. This is a key to keeping youth and health.
It is believed that even with our most concerted efforts we use only a small fraction of our brain. It is obviously designed with incredible capabilities. But if we don't use it, it gets all stupid, mushy and bigoted ("I know this or that is so because that's whatmy parents believed when I was 13").
Here is some brain weight lifting to do beginning today to start growing some impressive brain muscles. Learn a new word every day. Words are the framework upon which thought is built. Keep the tiny erector set you had at 13 and that will be the level of your intellect and your ability to make something of life.
Never read a word you don't know without jotting it down to look up and master later. Keep a notebook of such words and keep reviewing them to incorporate them into your mental and verbal vocabulary. Read the dictionary. Yes, go through it one word at a time. You'll be amazed at what your brain already holds. Try to learn every word in it. Why not? It can be done and you can do it. It doesn't have to be done overnight. Make it a lifelong project. Do one page a week, for example.
Education is wasted on the young. Adults have enough life experience to understand where the information we were supposed to learn in school fits in. So get a high school chemistry book and master it. Or restudy an English, biology, government, history or algebra text. You'll find this to be entirely unlike when in high school. Your ability to understand the material (we do grow a little by osmosis through the years in spite of our best efforts to the contrary) and the fun of really mastering it will surprise you.
Read lots of non-fiction. Buy educational tapes. Join organizations that are doing something worthwhile. Associate with smart people and let it rub off. Self teach yourself something like building a home, fixing the plumbing, preparing your own taxes, learning a sport, cooking nutritionally, sewing, painting, etc. Be slow to pay another to do something you could learn to do. Look at it this way; they are a carbon-based life form just like you. If they can do it, you can.
Watch educational TV. Find sites on the Internet to engage others in intelligent discussion on topics that interest you. Express your view in writing to politicians or anyone else who is rubbing your smarts the wrong way. Win others with the force of your knowledge and reason. Above all, be ready to admit you are in error. Welcome and embrace the discovery of your fault. No one is perfect and it is only by discovering your imperfections you can one day be perfect like me.
Additionally, do not overlook the physical needs of the brain. For one, it is an oxygen glutton. Get plenty of fresh air and exercise to help deliver this essential brain fuel. Sleep and nap for rejuvenation. Eat right. Follow the Optimal Health Program. Supplements especially beneficial are the essential fatty acids in the Foundation Formulas and the Nutrient Support Formula, Neuridone. The docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in these supplements has even been shown (Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, Birch et al. 42:174-181) to significantly enhance cognitive and motor subscales of mental development in children. Modern adults and children are deficient in these critical omega-3 fatty acids (see my book, Lipid Nutrition: Understanding Fats and Oils in Health and Disease) and supplementation should not be overlooked.
Well, that's enough to get you started, thinking people. Begin today to grow and never give up. Don't let age or any other excuse stand in your way. Be the best you can be.
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