the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.
Why do we need mental stimulation?
1.) Our brain needs to be stimulated in order to keep working well
Studies have shown that the more we use our brain for a wide variety of tasks which stretch it, the more likely we are to hold on to better brain-functioning, even in old age.
The more we are mentally stimulated, the more dendritic branches we create in our brain to inter-connect our brain cells, to improve functioning of our thinking and our memory. This has been found to be an effective way of delaying onset of cognitive impairment, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in the elderly.
2.) We need mental stimulation to feel happy and fulfilled
Many years ago, our ancestors would have used their brain for a range of highly stimulating activities for basic survival including:
Today, many of us no longer know how to build shelter, or survive out in the wild. It is questionable whether many city-folk could utilize good tracking skills on a hunt. Nevertheless, in our modern world, we stimulate our brains in new ways that weren’t possible for our ancestors.
If you look at dogs, experts will tell you that they require both physical and mental stimulation in order to feel happy and satisfied. Otherwise behavioural problems may arise. The same is true with cats, pet birds… and humans!
Maybe in the years when we evolved to utilize our brain we evolved a mechanism by which we feel happy when we fulfil all these mental tasks in the brain, in order to encourage survival. This isn’t to say that we should all start hunting again, but just that we should utilize similar mental functioning mechanisms needed in hunting in new ways, in order to fulfil that basic “need”, so that we feel happy and fulfilled.
3.) We need mental stimulation to keep boredom at bay
Closely linked to the need to feel happy and fulfilled is the need to keep boredom away. Mental stimulation is a good antidote to boredom.
4.) Mental stimulation helps us progress and achieve
It may be that the more you use your brain, the more likely you are to enhance brain functioning, to enhance your chances of success, achievement and progress. Mental stimulation is partly behind the progress of the human race.
You are the captain of your ship and when you safeguard your environment and what you allow to input through your eyes and ears will have a dramatic impact on your mental stimulation and success.
Blessings - Coach Milton
In a culture obsessed with measuring talent and ability, we often overlook the important role of inspiration. Inspiration awakens us to new possibilities by allowing us to transcend our ordinary experiences and limitations. Inspiration propels a person from apathy to possibility, and transforms the way we perceive our own capabilities. Inspiration may sometimes be overlooked because of its elusive nature. Its history of being treated as supernatural or divine hasn’t helped the situation. But as recent research shows, inspiration can be activated, captured, and manipulated, and it has a major effect on important life outcomes.
Inspiration has three main qualities.
Pyschologists Todd Thrash and Andrew have noted these core aspects of inspiration: evocation, transcendence, and approach motivation. First, inspiration is evoked spontaneously without intention. Inspiration is also transcendent of our more animalistic and self-serving concerns and limitations. Such transcendence often involves a moment of clarity and awareness of new possibilities. As Thrash and Elliot note, “The heights of human motivation spring from the beauty and goodness that precede us and awaken us to better possibilities.”This moment of clarity is often vivid, and can take the form of a grand vision, or a “seeing” of something one has not seen before (but that was probably always there). Finally, inspiration involves approach motivation, in which the individual strives to transmit, express, or actualize a new idea or vision. According to Thrash and Elliot, inspiration involves both being inspired bysomething and acting onthat inspiration.
Inspired people share certain characteristics.
Thrash and Elliot developed the “Inspiration Scale” which measures the frequency with which a person experiences inspiration in their daily lives. They found that inspired people were more open to new experiences, and reported more absorption in their tasks. “Openness to Experience” often came beforeinspiration, suggesting that those who are more open to inspiration are more likely to experience it. Additionally, inspired individuals weren’t more conscientious, supporting the view that inspiration is something that happens to you and is not willed. Inspired individuals also reported having a stronger drive to master their work, but were less competitive, which makes sense if you think of competition as a non-transcendent desire to outperform competitors. Inspired people were more intrinsically motivated and less extrinsically motivated, variables that also strongly impact work performance. Inspiration was least related to variables that involve agency or the enhancement of resources, again demonstrating the transcendent nature of inspiration. Therefore, what makes an object inspiring is its perceived subjective intrinsic value, and not how much it’s objectively worth or how attainable it is. Inspired people also reported higher levels of important psychological resources, including belief in their own abilities, self-esteem, and optimism. Mastery of work, absorption, creativity, perceived competence, self-esteem, and optimism were all consequences of inspiration, suggesting that inspiration facilitates these important psychological resources. Interestingly, work mastery also came before inspiration, suggesting that inspiration is not purely passive, but does favor the prepared mind.
Inspiration is not the same as positive affect.
Compared to the normal experience of everyday life, inspiration involves elevated levels of positive affect and task involvement, and lower levels of negative affect. Inspiration is not the same state as positive affect, however. Compared to being in an enthusiastic and excited state, people who enter an inspired state (by thinking of a prior moment they were inspired) reported greater levels of spirituality and meaning, and lower levels of volitional control, controllability, and self-responsibility for their inspiration. Whereas positive affect is activated when someone is making progress toward their immediate, conscious goals, inspiration is more related to an awakening to something new, better, or more important: transcendence of one’s previous concerns.
Inspiration is the springboard for creativity.
Inspired people view themselves as more creative and show actual increases in self-ratings of creativity over time. Patent-holding inventors report being inspired more frequently and intensely than non-patent holders, and the higher the frequency of inspiration, the higher the number of patents held. Being in a state of inspiration also predicts the creativity of writing samples across scientific writing, poetry, and fiction (as judged by a panel of fellow students) independent of SAT verbal scores, Openness to Experience, positive affect, specific behaviors (e.g., deleting prior sentences), and aspects of the product quality (e.g., technical merit). Inspired writers are more efficient and productive, and spend less time pausing and more time writing. The link between inspiration and creativity is consistent with the transcendent aspect of inspiration, since creativity involves seeing possibility beyond existing constraints. Importantly, inspiration and effort predict different aspects of an activity. Individuals who exerted more effort writing spent more of their time pausing, deleted more words, wrote more sentences per paragraph, and had better technical merit and use of rhyming in poems, but their work was not considered more creative.
Inspiration facilitates progress toward goals.
In a recent study conducted by Marina Milyavskaya and her colleagues, college students were asked to report three goals they intended to accomplish throughout the course of the semester. They then reported on their progress three times a month. Those who scored higher on the Inspiration Scale displayed increased goal progress, and their progress was a result of setting more inspired goals. Therefore, people who were generally more inspired in their daily lives also tended to set inspired goals, which were then more likely to be successfully attained. Importantly, the relationship between inspiration and goal progress was reciprocal: goal progress also predicted future goal inspiration. As the researchers note, “this suggests that goal progress and goal inspiration build on each other to form a cycle of greater goal inspiration and greater goal pursuit.” Finally, inspired individuals reported experiencing more purpose in life and more gratitude.
Inspiration increases well-being.
In another study, those who were exposed to Michael Jordan’s greatness experienced higher levels of positive affect, and this increase in positive affect was completely explained by their score on the Inspiration Scale. This inspiration was not transitory though, predicting positive well-being (e.g., positive affect, life satisfaction) three months later! Inspiration was more strongly related to future than to present satisfaction. The extent to which inspiration lasted was explained by self-reported levels of purpose and gratitude in life.
These findings show that inspiration matters a lot, which may cause someone to feel pressure to become inspired and helpless to do so considering the evocative and spontaneous nature of inspiration. These key scientific findings suggest that inspiration is not willed–it happens. Knowing this should free you from the pressure to makeinspiration happen.
This does not mean that inspiration is completely outside your control. Contrary to the view of inspiration as purely mythical or divine, I think inspiration is best thought of as a surprising interaction between your current knowledge and the information you receive from the world. There are things you can do to increase the likelihood of inspiration occurring. Research shows quite clearly that preparation (“work mastery”) is a key ingredient. While inspiration is not the same as effort, effort is an essential condition for inspiration, preparing the mind for an inspirational experience. Openness to Experience and positive affect are also important, as having an open mind and approach-oriented attitude will make it more likely that you will be aware of the inspiration once it arrives. Small accomplishments are also important, as they can boost inspiration, setting off a productive and creative cycle.
To become personally inspired, the best you can do is set up the optimal circumstances for inspiration. As a society, the best we can do is assist in setting up these important circumstances for everyone. An easy first step is simply recognizing the sheer potency of inspiration, and its potential impact on everything we do.
Let this inspire you today-Coach Milton
excerpts taken from Harvard Business review
I recall when I have my fights with thinking positive or being in a stat of joy. I am the biggest fan of positive thinking, because I think and know of the alternative and that is to worry, be in fear, struggle with doubt and insecurities. We all fall victim to this mindset and it can become a cancer that only grows with every opportunity. So, my philosophy is that I work and I work and I work to dilute the pollution that so easily clouds my mind and judgement.
One principle I live by is to assume positive intent , this of course comes by way of relationships, but it can be used with external circumstances that come against you not in your favor. Going to the thought that this is “happening for me , not against me!”
Getting to ground zero in your mind and emotions
Ground zero is the point in which you are clear and ready to absorb and produce the positive , happy life you envision and long for. Here are a couple of insights on how to get to ground zero:
Embrace- Embrace what ever is troubling you, this is different than accepting it as it is. This is more allowing it to flow through and and experience it. What this does is brings down the resistance barrier, relieves stress and allows you to begin to think.
Tell it — This is simple, but you need to have trusted people in your life you can tell your anxieties, doubts and fears to.
Write it- Journaling, note taking, jotting down are keys to allowing your flesh and mind to be in harmony knowing this is what is going on and expressing it in a tangible way.
I assure you when you follow this simple guideline, you will get you to ground zero and this will aid you on experiencing the joy and power of positive thinking.
I hope this blesses you today- coach Milton
I think you’ll agree with me when I say:
The power of positive thinking is remarkable.
In fact, the idea that your mind can change your world almost seems too good to be true.
I can assure you, however, that I have experienced AND witnessed the good that focusing on the positive can bring.
But before I get into that, let me ask you a question.
Can you guess what the most successful and happy people think about all day long?
The answer is quite simple…
Healthy, happy people think about what they want, and how to get it, most of the time. In this way developing a positive attitude can truly change your entire life.
When you think and talk about what you want and how to get it, you feel happier and in greater control of your life. When you think about something that makes you happy, your brain actually releases endorphins, which give you a generalized feeling of well-being.
As a result, you develop a positive attitude.
How to Think Positive
Based on many psychological tests, happy people seem to have a special quality that enables them to live a better life than the average.
Can you guess what it is?
It’s the quality of optimism!
The best news about optimism is that it is a learnable quality. That means you can learn how to think positive by taking adopting an optimistic mindset. I work to be optimistic even in the challenging of situations, because worry , doubt and fear need no fuel.
By the law of cause and effect, if you do and say what other healthy, happy people with positive attitudes do and say, you will soon feel the same way, get the same results, and enjoy the same experiences that they do.
Happy People Find Good in the World
Optimists seem to have different ways of dealing with the world that set them apart from the average.
The Power of Positive Thinking
Optimists seek the valuable lesson in every setback or reversal. Rather than getting upset and blaming someone else for what has happened, they take control over their emotions by saying,
“What can I learn from this experience?”
Resolve today to learn how to develop positive thinking and a positive attitude toward yourself, the people around you and your life.
Blessings to you,
In the daily shuffle, it can often seem like there is no time for joy! We wake up late, rush out the door to work barely getting a bite of breakfast, dash from meeting to meeting and come home too tired to do much more than watch some Netflix and flop exhausted into bed before waking up to do it all again. (And if you have kids, there are quite a few more steps in here as well!) In a life that feels like there’s no margin, how do you make space for joy?
Here is a quick way that I start the process of being In a state of joy. Use the time on the toilet not as a social media refresher, use it as a 3x3 time. Three minutes times three, gratitude, prayer, envision. If you don't get to a full three minutes don't worry, it's about the intent and making time for it in a simple way.
The first thing to remember is that what distinguishes joy is that it’s really small. Joy lives in moments. So rather feeling like you have to shoehorn another wellness practice into your already crowded morning routine, take the pressure off and remember that you don’t need a lot of extra space (or even any extra space) in your day to experience more joy.
One way that I find more joy is by focusing on the in-between moments. The practice of joyspotting, or intentionally looking for joy in your surroundings, is one way to do this. It’s a great practice for your commute or in between errands. Instead of burying my nose in my phone on my way to a meeting or to the airport, I try to gaze out the window and see what I notice.
TURN DOWNTIME INTO JOY-TIME
A little planning can help you turn odd slivers of time into joyful adventures. For example, if your working hours are flexible, why not time your commute to the sunset? If there’s a dog park in your neighborhood, can you adjust your route to swing by there so that you can see the pups play before you start your workday? I keep a list of “joy fieldtrip” destinations on my phone — stores, cafés, museums, galleries, murals, parks, etc. — along with their locations. Around you work or home are numerous things to bring you joy. Make it an effort and mark these locations. Put in your calendar time to visit once a week if possible to reflect and enjoy!
Hope this blesses you today-
There is a huge desire by humanity to not live in their dreams but to live out their dreams. Today is an opportunity to take what is being shared as a guide, to hold tangibly in your hand what you see on the inside.
Follow these Four Keys:
Create Goal Pictures
Create a photograph or picture of yourself with your goal, as if it were already completed. If one of your goals is to own a new car, take your cell phone to your local auto dealer and have a picture taken of yourself sitting behind the wheel of your dream car. If your goal is to visit Paris, find a picture or poster of the Eiffel Tower and cut out a picture of yourself and place it into the picture. There are also many digital platforms to create a vision board.
Create a Visual Picture and an Affirmation for Each Goal
I recommend that you find or create a picture of every aspect of your dream life. Create a picture or a visual representation for every goal you have — financial, career, recreation, new skills and abilities, things you want to purchase, and so on.
Write It Down
I practice a similar discipline every day. I have a list of about 10 goals I am currently working on. Every week a few days a week I will write out these goals and then close my eyes, see the completion of that goal in its perfect desired state for about 15 seconds, open my eyes and and find a way to take action towards that goal.
Use Affirmations to Support Your Visualization
An affirmation is a statement that evokes not only a picture, but the experience of already having what you want. Here’s an example of an affirmation:
I am happily vacationing 2 months out of the year in a tropical paradise, and working just four days a week owning my own business.
Repeating an affirmation several times a day keeps you focused on your goal, strengthens your motivation, and programs your subconscious by sending an order to your crew to do whatever it takes to make that goal happen.
Simple in it’s verbage, but takes courage to see past obstacles and delays. Use the process of you obtaining what you desire be the expectation journey.
I pray this blesses you- Coach Milton
You Can Literally Change Your Life By Changing Your ThinkingCan you really change your life just by thinking positive thoughts?
Is this some sort of hippie feel-good stuff that has no concept of reality?
Unfortunately, that seems to be the attitude of a lot of people. The truth, though, is this:
“The mind is everything. What you think, you become.”
– The Buddha
And it’s not just “what” you think but “how” you think!
Why are positive thoughts so powerful?The power of positive thinking has a basis in physics. Sinceeverything is energyand everything has a specific vibration– and like attracts like — the quality of your thoughts can’t help but attract situations with similar vibrations.
You may argue that the vibrations of your environment and circumstances affect your own vibration.
And that’s true — but only if you allow them to.
See, the high vibrations of love and happiness have far more power than the low vibrations of fear and negativity.
But since the human condition seems to be one of “seeing is believing,” we allow the “obvious” (the negativity) to dominate our thoughts… and attract more of the same.
What we don’t do, for the most part, is raise our vibration through positive thinking to the point where “believing is seeing”. This is the point where your thoughts override the negativity around you, and begin influencing your circumstances.
Profound stuff, we know!
Being aware of your general line of thinkingLook at the people in your life, and then look at yourself as objectively as you can.
Do you (all or most people you know, including yourself) believe your lives are at the mercy of external influences like bosses, the economy, the government, jobs, family obligations, education, financial status, etc.?
Do you operate in a state of learned helplessness, believing “what’s the use, no matter how hard I try, nothing ever changes”?
Do you live for the weekend?
Do you see life as a struggle?
Do you find yourself blaming, complaining or condemning?
Are you generally unhappy?
If you said “yes” to any of these — even on some level — you’re not alone.
That’s what many of our lives are like.
We just don’t believe that our thoughts have the power to influence our physical reality.We don’t believe in our own power.
Accept and embrace your powerful nature and use that power for good always,
Envisioning, or visualization, and the use of envisioning as a success tool, is not new. It’s been around for decades, but like many other fundamental business differentiators, it is primarily used by a small minority of entrepreneurs and business people. This is a shame, because when exercised correctly, it can help one achieve their goals not only in business, but in most other facets of their life.
One reason envisioning is not employed as often as it could be is that it’s difficult. Like most skills that can produce dramatic changes, it requires a solid base, constant maintenance, updates as necessary, and reflection to realize its success. Life and the daily distractions of our lives get in the way and planning something that may not occur for years or decades takes a back seat.
The concept of envisioningis deceivingly simple, considering the difficulty most people have in successfully implementing it. One must create a picture in their minds of what it is they want to achieve. This may be attaining a successful role in their chosen career; publishing a significant paper or book; building their dream home; starting and selling a company for $100M; or getting married and raising a family. After achieving this mental picture, one then sets out to achieve that goal, keeping in mind the picture so that when they attain the goal, they clearly realize they have achieved their specified goal and can file it away as a success, enjoy the increased confidence and beneficial feelings that rightfully come with that success, and move on to the next visualization with more confidence they can achieve their goals.
Follow these steps to successful envisioning.
How Your Beliefs Can Help You or Hurt You
In a fixed mindset students believe their basic abilities, their intelligence, their talents, are just fixed traits. They have a certain amount and that’s that, and then their goal becomes to look smart all the time and never look dumb. In a growth mindset students understand that their talents and abilities can be developed through effort, good teaching and persistence. They don’t necessarily think everyone’s the same or anyone can be Einstein, but they believe everyone can get smarter if they work at it.
— Carol Dweck, Stanford University
The benefits of a growth mindset might seem obvious, but most of us are guilty of having a fixed mindset in certain situations. That can be dangerous because a fixed mindset can often prevent important skill development and growth, which could sabotage your health and happiness down the line.
For example, if you say, “I’m not a math person” then that belief acts as an easy excuse to avoid practicing math. The fixed mindset prevents you from failing in the short–run, but in the long–run it hinders your ability to learn, grow, and develop new skills.
Meanwhile, someone with a growth mindset would be willing to try math problems even if they failed at first. They see failure and setbacks as an indication that they should continue developing their skills rather than a signal that indicates, “This is something I’m not good at.”
As a result, people who have a growth mindset are more likely to maximize their potential. They tend to learn from criticism rather than ignoring it, to overcome challenges rather than avoiding them, and to find inspiration in the success of others rather than feeling threatened or inferior.
Are Your Beliefs Holding You Back?Dweck’s research raises an important question about the connection between what you believe and what you do.
If you believe things about yourself like…
It’s pretty clear that those fixed mindsets will cause you to avoid experiences where you might feel like a failure. As a result, you don’t learn as much and it’s hard to get better.
What can you do about this? How can you change the things you believe about yourself, eliminate your fixed mindset, and actually achieve your goals?
How Your Actions Change Your BeliefsIn my experience, the only way I know to change the type of person that you believe that you are — to build a new and better identity for yourself — is to do so with small, repeated actions.
I have historically brought emotion to my motions of life. If I move in that direction and spark of creativity arises and gives me hope that I will “survive” and thrive.
Super important to not believe you need all the answers right away, just move confidently in that direction and believe the answers will come.
The two keys to unlock your success
Getting what you want out of life can depend on several factors, but these two keys can not be ignored. In fact these two keys require only your effort and everything out of your control is just that, “out of your control.”
Here are your two keys:
Gain and develop a mental picture. -
If your goals is to compete in a spartan race, envision your training regimen. Envision yourself performing during the event. Envision what you want the outcome to be. Gain or obtain a mental picture of your success. This takes effort, conscious effort. I compare this to building a brand new home, you need to dig in the soil to lay a foundation and most of this time this is where most of the work happens. Moving soil and obstacles that can hinder your process. When you have gained this mental picture and it is becoming clear what you are after, strengthen this by developing this. Develop a mental picture of what the win looks like and be able to articulate it well. Development is a constant effort over time, keeping this image in your mind daily is a win. The best athletes in the world are experts at this. If the goal is to build your company into the best place to work in your area, what does that look like? Who will be on the team? What will the culture feel like? What will competitors say about you? Develop the mental picture.
Work hard and persevere.-
As much as we may all like to believe it, achieving lofty goals takes a ton of hard work and perseverance. Having a vision is just the first step. Longterm planning benefits temporarily, but everyday action will win always. Success can be defined in many ways. But successful people have not been handed more opportunities than the rest of us. Hard work breeds opportunity. And then even more hard work is required to turn that opportunity into something great. Have vision, work hard and never be out of the fight.
I urge you use these keys today,
Milton is genuine, persistent, and sincere. There are very few things that detract Milton from his pursuit of what he believes in. His attitude is fantastic and professionalism top notch. -
International speaker, creator of Maximizing Moments with Milton and the Author of Your Purpose, Your App -How to Stop Drifting and Start Living.