How to Increase IQ
Brain Exercises

Benefits of Meditation
Mental Math

Riddles and Puzzles
Lateral Thinking

Three Mind Exercises

The following exercises require you to not just exercise the brain with well-defined tasks, but to think. Our use of the concepts "brain" and "mind" is sloppy much of the time, and many aspects of each overlap quite a bit anyhow. A brain supports a mind, for example, but both can be said to do what we call thinking. Still, there is a distinction, and that's why the following are called "mind exercises" as opposed to "brain exercises." They are meant to get the mind working.

Remake Important Documents

Doing this one will get you asking why things are the way they are, and how they could be different in some way. Start with any important historical, religious or political document and rewrite all or part of it. Make it how you would like to see it, or just try out some new ideas. Do your own version of the ten commandments, and you'll have to consider which moral rules should be most important, and why there are certain ones included in that existing list.

You can work with political documents ranging from the Communist Manifesto to the preamble of your own political party platform. My own reworking of the Constitution of the United States authorizes congress to pass only single-issue bills, which would eliminate much of the expensive nonsense they add. Another article makes it clear that democracy is not the ruling principle, but that government exists only to protect individual rights, and voting is only used to determine who will carry out that purpose on behalf of all who live within a country.

Watch Movies with Unusual Ideas

If you want to think more creatively, exposing yourself to new ideas can help a lot. This can be accomplished through movies that are unusual and make you think. "Pi" with Sean Gullette, for example, is a good start. You might also watch "The Rapture" with Mimi Rogers, or "Fight Club" with Brad Pitt (a bit violent, but interesting). Watching great movies isn't necessary; just watch ones that approach things from a different perspective and have uncommon ideas.

Analyze Cliches

Start with a simple list of common platitudes and sayings that are either lies or exaggerations of some point. Challenge them to see where they are wrong, but then also look for the "nugget of truth" in each and see if there is actually some new insight there. Consider the statement "anything is possible," for example. It's grossly overused and plainly unsupportable by any logic or evidence. On the other hand there is a reason it exists. It points out our deep ignorance of just what is possible, and our tendency to underestimate what can be done or what can happen in a given circumstance--something worth exploring.

Some others to tear apart:

It was meant to happen.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

What we think is what we get.

Any of these three mental exercises should get you thinking in new ways and give your mind a great workout. You might even come upon a few good ideas as well.

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