Seven Incredibly Simple Yet Astoundingly Powerful Words

by | Mar 26, 2012 | Archives, SPSP

Here are seven incredibly simple, yet astoundingly powerful words that can help you become a more successful writer, publisher, investor or business person….

We hope that these powerful words will help you retire from the rat race at any age.

There is a better way…


to learn without…


being thrown into the deep end! These seven words are good for your W-E-L-F-A-R-E!

Our world is in a process of continual change… some good… some perhaps not so good.   We all need to be able to adapt to change and one way is to maintain good brain plasticity.


Expand Thyself


Frequency Modulation Baroque or 60 cycle music

Act and Try Things



#1: W – Drink water!  Staying hydrated and drinking enough water increases memory, as well. It has been said that drinking one eight-ounce glass of water 30 minutes before taking a test can increase a test score by one letter grade.

Water plays an extremely important role in in many parts of the brain that draw energy from water. Nerve transmission is heavily dependent upon water.

Small waterways, or micro-streams run along nerves and float the neurotransmitters along microtubules to the nerve endings.

Nerve transmission is compromised by dehydration and and brain function strongly diminished.  This is one reason why the mind seems foggy when a person is hung over.  Excessive alcohol causes dehydration.

#2: E – Expand thyself.  Know thyself and expand on how you learn.  Determine what type of learner you are. The website says:  “Approximately 20 to 30% of the school-aged population remembers what is heard.  40%  recalls well visually the things that are seen or read.  Many must write or use their fingers in some manipulative way to help them remember basic facts.  Other people cannot internalize information or skills unless they use them in real-life activities such as actually writing a letter to learn the correct format.”

Obtaining information presented in a variety of ways is important because we each have our own learning style, a particular way in which our mind receives and processes information.

Our learning styles are part of our personal characteristics, and this directs the way we most effectively learn, change, and grow throughout our lives.

Visual learners absorb the most of information that is written out.

An auditory learner picks up data best when it is spoken.

Tactile/kinesthetic learners learn best by touching, feeling, and moving. They like to be active and involved and play games, and they enjoy doing activities with their hands. (They may become distracted by activity around them.)

I have seen varying statistics which show that anywhere from 40 to 65%  of the population are visual learners, 30 to 40% are auditory learners, and 5 to 20% are tactile learners.

Use your best approach to learning but expand. Be a multi sensory learner.  Some educators say “We learn… 10 percent of what we read, 20 percent of what we hear, 30 percent of what we see, 50 percent of what we see and hear, 70 percent of what we discuss with others, 80 percent of what we experience, and 95 percent of what we teach to someone.”

Try alternatives to reading.  If you read a book, read some of it out loud, discuss it with others in person or on an online forum.   Implement what you read in day-to-day activity. Teach concepts that you read  to someone else. Listen to what you read.

Absorbing information and processing information are distinct cognitive steps: one must first obtain (absorb) information before one can do something with it (process it). Similar to baking a cake, the baker must put all of the ingredients into the bowl before he or she can mix them together.

Supplement what you read because memory retention is based on pressure.

We remember what has really made an imprint. Emotion also enhances memory. We learn a lot when we teach others. This often creates pressure not to appear foolish.  We are on the spot!

Create Pressure.  Discuss what you learn with others.  Experience the material in real-time action. Teach others.

Learning Principles are more Important than Learning Styles

People not only learn at different rates, but also in different ways. Some students want their teacher or lecturers to write everything on the board. Others prefer to listen. Some like to sit in small groups and discuss a question; others like to listen to a lecture, translating it into pictures or doodles in their notebook. Such individual learning preferences are known as learning styles.

Learning styles are generally divided into the three categories of visual, auditory and tactile/kinesthetic learners, who prefer a hands-on approach. Understand which is your main ability but use all of them.

There is great deal of scientific study but also controversy about this.  The one area that has agreement is the fact that  if you use all senses to learn… your data absorption skyrockets.



See details on Ecuador Lilies for Easter here.

#3: L- Laugh. Add fun, meaning to children’s learning by Jenni Sebora says:  We all probably have heard that learning should be fun, but there is real validity in building fun into the learning process.

Learning is directly proportional to the amount of fun you are having. There is scientific reasoning that indicates the need to have fun.

When we laugh and have fun, the left side of our brain is sparked as well as the right side, and when both the left and right side of our brain are sparked, more memory is created and learning is increased.

Motor activities such as a cross crawl exercise prior to absorbing information also gets the left and the right side of the brain fired, which again, increases memory.

#4: F- Use frequency modulation by listening to Baroque or 60 cyle music.  FM (Frequency Modulation) integrates our brain waves.  Using all our brainwaves more effectively enhances our ability to learn and think. The importance of integrating brain waves are explained in an article in Scientific American entitled “What is the Function of the Brainwaves?” by  Ned Herrmann an educator who has developed models of brain activity and integrated them into teaching and management training. Before founding the Ned Herrmann Group in 1980, he headed management education at General Electric, where he developed many of his ideas. Here is his explanation.

It is well known that the brain is an electrochemical organ; researchers have speculated that a fully functioning brain can generate as much as 10 watts of electrical power. Other more conservative investigators calculate that if all 10 billion interconnected nerve cells discharged at one time that a single electrode placed on the human scalp would record something like five millionths to 50 millionths of a volt. If you had enough scalps hooked up you might be able to light a flashlight bulb.

Even though this electrical power is very limited, it does occur in very specific ways that are characteristic of the human brain. Electrical activity emanating from the brain is displayed in the form of brainwaves. There are four categories of these brainwaves, ranging from the most activity to the least activity. When the brain is aroused and actively engaged in mental activities, it generates beta waves. These beta waves are of relatively low amplitude, and are the fastest of the four different brainwaves. The frequency of beta waves ranges from 15 to 40 cycles a second. Beta waves are characteristics of a strongly engaged mind. A person in active conversation would be in beta. A debater would be in high beta. A person making a speech, or a teacher, or a talk show host would all be in beta when they are engaged in their work.

The next brainwave category in order of frequency is alpha. Where beta represented arousal, alpha represents non-arousal. Alpha brainwaves are slower, and higher in amplitude. Their frequency ranges from 9 to 14 cycles per second. A person who has completed a task and sits down to rest is often in an alpha state. A person who takes time out to reflect or meditate is usually in an alpha state. A person who takes a break from a conference and walks in the garden is often in an alpha state.

The next state, theta brainwaves, are typically of even greater amplitude and slower frequency. This frequency range is normally between 5 and 8 cycles a second. A person who has taken time off from a task and begins to daydream is often in a theta brainwave state. A person who is driving on a freeway, and discovers that they can’t recall the last five miles, is often in a theta state–induced by the process of freeway driving. The repetitious nature of that form of driving compared to a country road would differentiate a theta state and a beta state in order to perform the driving task safely.

Individuals who do a lot of freeway driving often get good ideas during those periods when they are in theta. Individuals who run outdoors often are in the state of mental relaxation that is slower than alpha and when in theta, they are prone to a flow of ideas. This can also occur in the shower or tub or even while shaving or brushing your hair. It is a state where tasks become so automatic that you can mentally disengage from them. The ideation that can take place during the theta state is often free flow and occurs without censorship or guilt. It is typically a very positive mental state.

The final brainwave state is delta. Here the brainwaves are of the greatest amplitude and slowest frequency. They typically center around a range of 1.5 to 4 cycles per second. They never go down to zero because that would mean that you were brain dead. But, deep dreamless sleep would take you down to the lowest frequency. Typically, 2 to 3 cycles a second.

When we go to bed and read for a few minutes before attempting sleep, we are likely to be in low beta. When we put the book down, turn off the lights and close our eyes, our brainwaves will descend from beta, to alpha, to theta and finally, when we fall asleep, to delta.

It is a well known fact that humans dream in 90 minute cycles. When the delta brainwave frequencies increase into the frequency of theta brainwaves, active dreaming takes place and often becomes more experiential to the person.

Typically, when this occurs there is rapid eye movement, which is characteristic of active dreaming. This is called REM, and is a well known phenomenon.

When an individual awakes from a deep sleep in preparation for getting up, their brainwave frequencies will increase through the different specific stages of brainwave activity. That is, they will increase from delta to theta and then to alpha and finally, when the alarm goes off, into beta. If that individual hits the snooze alarm button they will drop in frequency to a non-aroused state, or even into theta, or sometimes fall back to sleep in delta. During this awakening cycle it is possible for individuals to stay in the theta state for an extended period of say, five to 15 minutes–which would allow them to have a free flow of ideas about yesterday’s events or to contemplate the activities of the forthcoming day. This time can be an extremely productive and can be a period of very meaningful and creative mental activity.

In summary, there are four brainwave states that range from the high amplitude, low frequency delta to the low amplitude, high frequency beta. These brainwave states range from deep dreamless sleep to high arousal. The same four brainwave states are common to the human species. Men, women and children of all ages experience the same characteristic brainwaves. They are consistent across cultures and country boundaries.

Research has shown that although one brainwave state may predominate at any given time, depending on the activity level of the individual, the remaining three brain states are present in the mix of brainwaves at all times. In other words, while somebody is an aroused state and exhibiting a beta brainwave pattern, there also exists in that person’s brain a component of alpha, theta and delta, even though these may be present only at the trace level.

It has been my personal experience that knowledge of brainwave states enhances a person’s ability to make use of the specialized characteristics of those states: these include being mentally productive across a wide range of activities, such as being intensely focused, relaxed, creative and in restful sleep.  Scientific American  December 22, 1997.

See how to use frequency modulation to learn Spanish in three days.

#5:  A – Act and Try Things. There are many methods you can use to keep something in memory.  Remember that you are most likely to remember something if it has value to you.

When we use all senses and when we take in information in a variety of ways – hearing, seeing, and doing can give us more ability to absorb data.

When students learn how they learn best, they engage in metacognition. Metacognition involves knowing how one learns and what results one achieves from different learning processes. It involves self-regulation of cognitive activities by monitoring them and making appropriate adjustments.

Metacognition helps attain complete learning cycles.

A complete learning cycle includes having a new experience, reflecting from the experiencing, concluding from the experience, and doing something with the experience, such as planning the next steps or applying the experience to solve a problem.

Using newly learned knowledge locks in the knowing.

At our Super Thinking courses, we review parts of a 2011 article by Jeremy Hsu entitled “CIA Seeks Anyone, Anyone Who Can Speak 2 Languages”.

Four important points in the article are shown in excerpts below (I have placed the four points in bold and and my comments parenthesis):  WASHINGTON, D.C. — Many Americans don’t learn a second or a third language from birth, let alone a language that the CIA or U.S. Foreign Service might want. The situation has forced U.S. government agencies to learn how to cultivate the most talented second-language speakers from among college students with little to no other-language expertise.

“In U.S. education, we don’t develop early bilinguals,” said Catherine Doughty, a language expert at the University of Maryland. “We’re dealing with monolinguals or people who have only studied foreign language, so that they don’t really have any proficiency.”

Doughty spoke as part of a panel on Feb. 19 during the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) conference in Washington, D.C. She and other speakers described the typical U.S. second-language program as being a series of disjointed classes where students often repeated what they had learned before.

“Imagine math [programs] where the middle school says, ‘We don’t have any idea about what you studied,’ so you learn it again. It’s the same with high school,” said Robert O. Slater, director of the U.S. National Security Education Program.

(COMMENT: This is why traditional Spanish does not work.)

One nation under English

American schools currently don’t graduate enough people fluent in French and Spanish and other Romance languages, let alone languages such as Chinese, Korean and Japanese.

Finding the best

Government agencies aren’t alone in trying to recruit multilingual speakers; U.S. corporations covet such skills for doing business in the era of globalization.

(COMMENT: This is one reason why the ability to speak Spanish adds value to you as a person on the market place).

Doughty and her colleagues used tests to train up cognitive processes related to language learning, such as the ability to hold information in the brain while using it for learning. They then confirmed that the training’s effects left a lasting impression in the brains of candidates even after several months.

Changes in the brain

Osterhout’s lab has used electrodes placed on the scalp to measure the electrical activity created by the signals of brain cells. That allows the researchers to see differences in the brain patterns among language learners and fluent speakers – and to find some surprising results.

Another surprise came from studies of Spanish-speaking immigrants, because neither age nor language proficiency seemed to predict how quickly the immigrants picked up English. Instead, the fastest learners showed both the greatest motivation to learn and a willingness to use English at every opportunity despite being bad at it (at first).

(COMMENT: This is why it’s important to try things and why our Super Thinking courses works so well.  The course gets you speaking and thinking Spanish immediately and continually).

Learning to speak the lingo

Osterhout ( Lee Osterhout, a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Washington in Seattle) hopes to tease out the importance of motivation in language learning in future research. But he also wants to get a better sense of what separates the proficient language speakers from the truly fluent ones.

“From knowing nothing to a little bit, [there are] huge changes in the brain,” Osterhout pointed out.”[From] knowing a little to knowing a lot, [it is] much more subtle.”

(COMMENT:  This is another reason why Super Thinking works because it focuses on making the huge change and ignores the small stuff.  From this introduction the perfection and subtle changes can grow).

#6:  R – Repetition & the Power of Sound.  Sound offers us a powerful means of communication. Our sense of hearing enables us to experience the world around us through sound. Because our sense of hearing allows us to gather, process, and interpret sounds continuously and without conscious effort, we may take this special sense of communication for granted.  We should not. Hearing has great power for learning.

Human communication is multisensory, involving visual, tactile, and sound cues but hearing is one of the most important senses for absorbing data.  The range of human hearing, from just audible to painful, is over 100-trillion-fold!

Tiny specialized cells in the inner ear, known as hair cells, are responsible for converting the vibrational waves of sound into electrical signals that can be interpreted by the brain!

Contemporary hearing research is guided by lessons learned from sensory research, namely that specialized nerve cells respond to different forms of energy—mechanical, chemical, or electromagnetic—and convert this energy into electro-chemical impulses that can be processed by the brain. The brain then works as the central processor of sensory impulses. It perceives and interprets them using a “computational” approach that involves several regions of the brain interacting all at once. This notion is different from the long-held view that the brain processes information one step at a time in a single brain region. Over the past decade, scientists have begun to understand the intricate mechanisms that enable the ear to convert the mechanical vibrations of sound to electrical energy, thereby allowing the brain to process and interpret these signals.

7: E – Exercise. Exercise helps learning.   Excerpts from the scholarly study entitled “Exercise Enhances Learning and Hippocampal Neurogenesis in Aged Mice” by Henriette van Praag, Tiffany Shubert, Chunmei Zhao, and Fred H. Gage explains one reason why.

Aging causes changes in the hippocampus that may lead to cognitive decline in older adults. In young animals, exercise increases hippocampal neurogenesis and improves learning. We investigated whether voluntary wheel running would benefit mice that were sedentary until 19 months of age. Specifically, young and aged mice were housed with or without a running wheel and injected with bromodeoxyuridine or retrovirus to label newborn cells. After 1 month, learning was tested in the Morris water maze. Aged runners showed faster acquisition and better retention of the maze than age-matched controls. The decline in neurogenesis in aged mice was reversed to 50% of young control levels by running. Moreover, fine morphology of new neurons did not differ between young and aged runners, indicating that the initial maturation of newborn neurons was not affected by aging. Thus, voluntary exercise ameliorates some of the deleterious morphological and behavioral consequences of aging.

A trusted.MD blog article entitled “Exercise improves learning” by Vreni Gurd says: Maybe our kids should start each school day with at least 20 minutes of aerobic exercise – it improves concentration, comprehension and learning.

This week CBC news (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) put out a very interesting story about City Park High School in Saskatoon, that put treadmills and exercise bikes into a math classroom, and before doing any math, the kids strapped on their heart-rate monitors and did 20 minutes of moderate intensity cardiovascular exercise. This is an alternative school for those with learning difficulties, and over half the students have ADHD. They couldn’t sit still, many had behavioural problems, and they couldn’t learn. Well, the cardio equipment went in the classroom in February, and by June, pretty much all the kids had jumped a full grade in reading, writing and math. After doing the exercise the kids were suddenly able to sit still and focus on what they were learning, and they were able to understand what they were being taught. The exercise altered their brain chemistry enough to make learning possible, AND it greatly improved their behaviour.

Use the power of repetition and sound.  Hearing is an important part of remaining mentally young.

The ageless principle of repetition is of great importance because learning cannot occur without repetition.

Repetition is important in the “wiring” of a person’s brain, i.e. the forming of connections or synapses between the brain cells. Without repetition, key synapses don’t form. And if such connections, once formed, are used too seldom to be strengthened and reinforced, the brain, figuring they’re dead weight, eventually “prunes” them away.

Scientific research has shown that the brain never stops changing and adjusting to its environment.   This ability is important for acquiring new knowledge and for compensating for deficiencies that result from age or injury.

The ability of the brain to “reprogram” itself is called brain plasticity.  Special brain exercises, or training techniques, exploit brain plasticity to help people cope with specific language and reading problems.

Brain plasticity is the #1 weapon in our armory to fight falling behind change.  Change is everywhere and it is accelerating.  It is important to everyone’s welfare to remember and use the 7 Steps that Enhance Brain Plasticity represented by W-E-L-F-A-R-E.


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Links for further study on learning.

Laughter helps learning

CIA Seeks Anyone, Anyone Who Can Speak 2 Languages

Exercise Enhances Learning and Hippocampal Neurogenesis

Exercise improves learning