As I was moving from one exercise to the other with my fitness trainer Brian last week we were dialoging about different ways to keep the brain stimulated. He mentioned the idea of “cross training” your brain and I loved it immediately.
Too often we gravitate towards the same activities we always do. We can even convince ourselves that we are very clever because we can accomplish a higher level of Sudoku in minutes, or can finish that crossword without any help. After having done hundreds of them, what do you expect? Of course you can. It’s called practice. The challenge comes when we enter into a new playing field and pick up a game, language or skill that we haven’t done before.
The thought of learning something new can very quickly activate one’s saboteur. So follows the defeating dialogue; “I’m too tired”, “I’ll never figure it out”, “I’m too old to learn”, “I don’t have time” and so on. Don’t let your ego get in the way of your desire, or attempt, at learning a new skill.
Feed your brain with fresh activities. It will love you for it. Anything from chess or bridge to taking up watercolor painting can fire up different mental muscles. Just like your body responds to new exercises, a few days of pain but eventually gain, so too will your brain.
When was the last time you challenged your mind? What would you like to sample from the buffet of teasers to cross train your brain?
Caird Urquhart is Founder and President of Newroad Coaching, a boutique coaching firm providing one-on-one personal and business coaching services and also author of 30 Ways To Better Days: How to Rally After You’ve Been Dumped. Find Newroad Coaching on their blog and on Twitter and YouTube.