Thursday, December 4, 2008

12 Mental Exercizes

I was doing my normal surfing and came across this article written by Gretchen Rubin. She cited an author by the name of Dorothea Brande which includes 12 mental exercizes. I looked over the exercizes and thought - hey I can do these! I like keeping my mind sharp and love changing things up. So, I've decided to try them for a while and see what happens. Here is a quote from the story along with the exercizes:

"Here are Dorothea Brande's twelve mental exercises. Note: she wrote these in 1936, so you need to adapt of few of them.

1. Spend an hour each day without saying anything except in answer to direct questions, in the midst of the usual group, without creating the impression that you're sulking or ill. Be as ordinary as possible. But do not volunteer remarks or try to draw out information.

2. Think for 30 minutes a day about one subject exclusively. Start with five minutes.

3. Write a letter without using the words I, me, mine, my.

4. Talk for 15 minutes a day without using I, me, my, mine.

5. Write a letter in a "successful" or placid tone. No misstatements, no lying. Look for aspects or activities that can be honestly reported that way.

6. Pause on the threshold of any crowded room and size it up.

7. Keep a new acquaintance talking about himself or herself without allowing him to become conscious of it. Turn back any courteous reciprocal questions in a way that your auditor doesn't feel rebuffed.

8. Talk exclusively about yourself and your interests without complaining, boasting, or boring your companions.

9. Cut "I mean" or "As a matter of fact" or any other verbal mannerism out of your conversation.

10. Plan two hours of a day and stick to the plan.

11. Set yourself twelve tasks at random: e.g., go twenty miles from home using ordinary conveyance; go 12 hours without food; go eat a meal in the unlikelist place you can find; say nothing all day except in answer to questions; stay up all night and work.

12. From time to time, give yourself a day when you answer "yes" to any reasonable request.

If you'd like to read a more lengthy explanation of the twelve disciplines, or about Brande's explanation for these exercises, go here and search for Chapter 11 - Twelve Disciplines."

I encourage everyone to try this, either at home or not.


  1. That was rather interesting. I think I will break it down and do it in steps.

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  3. Stopping through by way of classy closet and I'm glad I did. I loved this post and I love your blog!

    I've tried writing, er typing, something without using the word I before and decided it was impossible. I'm gonna try the others though.

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