Learning Technologies Newsletter

ISSUE 35 - April 2008 - by Phil Chambers



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

This month's main article is on how to set and achieve your goals, plus we have a round up of our current news, the regular Mind Map tip and quote of the month.

News in Brief

I have recently returned from Poland where I was overseeing fair play at the first National Polish Memory Championships. It was a good competition which saw the reigning champion from the 2007 regional competition, Tomasz Krasi?ski, win the title. He had strong opposition from Joanna Magalska (2nd place) and Paulina Kozub (3rd). His prize includes entry to the UK Open Championships in August. There were 13 competitors in total covering a wide age range.

Memory Championship room

If you live near to London, England. You may be interested in a Public Open Course that I will be running on 10th – 11th May. It will be a small group so it is a good opportunity to get plenty of individual coaching.Full details of content and booking information can be found here.

Sunday 4th May sees the third Cambridge Memory Championships at Trinity College. This is organized by British number one, Ben Pridmore. If you are available on Sunday, why not come down and watch or help out with marking. Full details here.

Mind Mapping Tip of the Month

Leave a blank space in the middle of your Mind Map if you get ‘stuck’ for a central image. The brain is very good at filling in gaps. You will find that at you start drawing branches and filling in details your subconscious will come up with an appropriate centre.

For more tips see '101 Top Tips for Better Mind Maps'


May's Quote of the Month

"You can have everything in life you want,
if you will just help other people get what they want"

•  Zig Ziglar (American motivational speaker and author)

Achieving Your Goals

We all have a huge number of opportunities open to us but don’t necessarily spot these because our unique a ‘map of the world’ that filters reality. We have an internal framework of how we believe the world is and what we perceive is dictated by how it slots into that framework. Everything goes into the sub-conscious and this decides what to tell the conscious mind depending on what we believe is important.By changing our map we can change our picture of reality.

The mind is a scenario-making system that ignores opportunities it is presented with if it hasn’t stored a scenario to match the moment. The more scenarios you create the more of reality you can perceive. Ask ‘what if’ questions!

The brain has a circuit called the Reticular Activating System that draws things to our attention. If we prime it with what we want it will seek out all the relevant resources to help us. This is often called The Law of Attraction.

When you define a clear vision of your goals and commit to them then things tend to fall into place. You make your own luck. So you need to decide, in the words of the Spice Girls, ‘what you want, what you really, really want’. You can define this by following the acronym S.P.I.C.E.

Conventional wisdom tells you to set Attainable Realistic goals that are by definition limited and mediocre. You set your sights low in case you fail. The high achievers in life set massive unrealistic goals. But they achieve them by breaking them down into smaller chunks. “How to you eat an Elephant?” - “One bite at a time”.

Focus on what you want, not the things that you need to avoid. The brain doesn’t distinguish between positives and negatives. Whatever you do, don’t think of a “pink elephant wearing a tutu”. You cannot, not think of something. So instead saying, “I must stop eating chocolate” (which immediately focuses your mind on chocolate) say, “I am developing a healthy diet”.

Make sure that your goals are things that you can influence. So a goal to win the lottery is a bad goal because you have no influence of which balls will come out of the lottery machine. Think about the things that you personally can influence yourself right now or think about what resources you need to have an influence. Who’s help do you need to influence things?

Think about the circumstances under which you will achieve your goal. On what date will you achieve your goal, where and how?

How will you know when you’ve achieved your goal. What will you see, hear, smell, taste and touch? Visualize the outcome – Make it real.

Finally be careful what you wish for! Is you goal in harmony with your life. Many people spend so much energy climbing the ladder they don’t check that it is up against the right building. Is your goal ecologically sound? A good way to test of this is to ask yourself the question, “If I could have this now would I?”

In the words of a Chinese proverb, “May you achieve all your goals but one”. (So you always have something to aim for)

That's all for this month. Please contact me if you have any comments or questions

Best Wishes