Learning Technologies Newsletter

ISSUE 19 - January 2007 - by Phil Chambers

TIME TO READ: 5 minutes (Average Reader), less than a minute (Speed Reader) - Word Count: 1,129. To learn more about Speed Reading Contact us.

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Welcome to the Janaury issue of the Learning Technologies Newsletter, Please continue to forward it to friends and colleagues who you think would find it useful.

This month, as well as our regular quote of the month and Mind Mapping tip, we look goal setting and resolutions and have news on a new Hollywood film about memory sports.

Mind Map® Tip of the Month

Try varying your lines to reflect the meaning of the word placed on them. For example a 'wavy' line for water, a jagged line for breaks, etc.

January's Quote of the Month

"In times of change the learners inherit the earth,
while the learned find themselves brilliantly equipped
to deal with a world that no longer exists"

Eric Hoffer
(July 25, 1902 - May 21, 1983) American social writer


For many more quotes click here.

A New Year - A New Direction?

I hope you had a good Christmas and didn't overindulge too much! The New Year is a time to look back on what you accomplished in the past twelve months, plan for the coming year and make resolutions.

We can't directly help you to diet or give up smoking. However, if your New Year's resolutions include any sort of studying, learning or improvement in dealing with large amounts of information then you can get off to a flying start by attending a course I'll be running in London, England on 6th and 7th January. Over the course of the weekend you'll learn strategies to improve your memory, organise information and thoughts with Mind Mapping, develop Speed Reading skills and study effectively.

You must act quickly - click here and download a booking form - this must be faxed back to me on 01547 529 616 before 12 noon on Thursday 4th January (if I receive the form by this time and there are still places on the course you can pay by cheque or cash on the Saturday morning). Alternatively you can book by credit card (this must also be by the same deadline of 12 noon on 4th ). At present we have three places available.

Whilst on the subject of New Year's Resolutions here are my top 5 tips to make sure you stick to them...

•  Visualise what the outcome will be like - Perhaps make a dream book

If you can use your imagination to see, smell, taste, touch, hear and feel what it will be like to achieve your goal it will be much more compelling and you'll be better motivated to achieve it. What is the reason for pursuing this goal? What will it do for you?

If you find it hard to visualise your goal you can make a dream book of inspiring images. Find pictures of whatever you are aiming for in magazines or on the web. For example, if you want to own an Aston Martin, cut out a picture of your dream car and paste it into and album that you can look in when you need motivation. An alternative is to have a wall in your work area devoted to pictures of your motivators. My colleague Elaine has a picture on her office wall of the Jumeirah beach hotel in Dubai where she wants to visit for a special holiday.

•  Set big goals but break them down into little steps.

Define exactly what steps you will need to take to reach your goal. It is often easier to imagine having achieved it (as in tip one) and then think backwards to how you did it. Each step should be attainable. Remember a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step - see our quotes page.

Make sure you can measure accomplishing these steps. What evidence will you have that you are getting closer to your ultimate goal?

•  State the goal in positive terms.

If your goal is to give up something or change a bad habit such as stopping smoking it is easy to fall into the trap of stating your goal as "I want to stop smoking" - The problem with this is that the focus of attention is on the thing you want to avoid. What we focus on expands so framing the problem in this way is doomed to failure. It is far better to focus on what is desired. So for example "I am becoming healthier" could be an alternative.

•  Make sure you have ownership and influence over your goals.

Your goals have to be things that you have influence over and are able to change. For example, you might want to win the lottery but no matter how much you want this you cannot influence the balls! Rather than saying "I want people to laugh at my jokes" (which puts the responsibility on someone else) switch this so that you take ownership and say "I want to make my material funnier".

•  Focus on one thing at a time.

Make sure your goals are simple and focused. Trying to achieve several different things at once can leave you confused and achieving none. For example "Health and Fitness" are related but are two different goals. You can be fit without necessarily being healthy and vice versa.

(Thanks to Lex McKee from whom some of this material is adapted - See "The Accelerated Trainer" published by Gower)

Memory in the Movies

According to industry sources, Penguin Press, a division of Penguin Group (USA), beat out five other publishers with a $1.2 million bid to become the publisher of Moonwalking with Einstein: A Journey into Memory and Mind by Joshua Foer."

Joshua is a freelance journalist who became fascinated by the idea of memory as a sport. Rather than just reporting on the subject he learned the mnemonic systems that competitors use, entered the USA Memory Championships and won! He has since gone on to take 13th place in the 2006 World Championships and is currently ranked 50th in the World. His book tells the story of his experiences.

Paramount Pictures has acquired screen rights to the book and look set to make a major blockbuster!

For the full story click here.

That's all for this month. If you have any comments or suggestions please feel free to contact me.

Remember that if you want to attend my course in January you need to act now! That link again: http://www.learning-tech.co.uk/Open.html