22 February 2006

Wanna get smarter?

Another gem from Kathy Sierra: Working in an interesting environment stimulates neurogenesis.

After reading Kathy's post, I rearranged all the tchotchkes in my work cubicle. It was time for my monthly purge of useless paper files anyway, so I allowed myself a little housekeeping tizzy, pulled old toys out of drawers, rearranged the pictures of my kids, and so on. Now that I think of it, I did basically the same thing last week when I completely renovated the file structure on my laptop--clean up, dejunk, renovate your head. As I've mentioned before, I use little things like my screensaver to keep my brain stocked with images and ideas.

This is the same idea as an experienced runner changing routes every so often, to put more emphasis on speed, or distance, or hills. Jack LaLanne has said that he changes up his whole workout every two weeks. Given the discussion in Sierra's post, this might help to account not only for LaLanne's physical vigor, but also his mental sharpness so far into his advanced age.

What do you do to keep your mind sharp?

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