Sunday, 5 April 2009

Mind Mapping for Morons (in the bath)

I've been reading - or trying to read - Tony Buzan's book 'The Mind Map Book:Radiant Thinking'.

I once saw Tony Buzan on a tv programme, working with some children who had been labelled as thick and unteachable (though of course they said it in a more politically correct way than that). He was fantastic with them and worked wonders, as they always do in these sorts of programmes, and I remember at the time I tried to read one of his books on mind mapping. I say tried, because I didn't get much further than the first chapter, scanned the rest of the book and then put it back on my shelf, where it still sits and fills the gap between the 'Meditation for beginners' cassettes (unused) and the extra strength ibuprofen (frequently used).

This book, however, isn't quite so daunting. It's more like Mind Mapping for morons (I should probably say beginners, but Morons goes better with the alliteration).

Anyway, I was reading this 'Mind Map' book in the bath this evening. I like the idea of reading books in the bath but it rarely happens because paperbacks just wont sit properly in the bath rack and I'm yet to work out how to hold the book, and turn pages without making the pages wet, or without flipping the entire book into the bath. What happens when you want to wash your hair? Or shave your legs? How do you manage to keep the book and bath separate entities during tricky multi-tasking like this? Or perhaps I have missed there some secret to this that no-one has let me in on?

Fortunately this other mind mapping book is a hardback, so it fell open easily at the pages, and stayed open -at least for the first 4 chapters - without the need to hold it or get the pages soggy. All of which meant I could submerge and wash hair, and carry on reading very time I surfaced. Quite handy really and a totally new bath-book-reading experience.

Anyway, I'd got to an interesting bit about radiant thinking and was puzzling about why my brain seems so constantly fuzzy, busy, cluttered, scatty, distracted; full of stuff, but unable to recall the information I actually need when I need it. As I was pondering this I tried to settle the book into the bath rack and realised that the rack was full of other stuff preventing me from doing so. So I lifted the book and started removing the stuff...a dog brush, a playmobil bed (just the plastic bed top), a toothpaste lid encrusted with dried pink toothpaste, two toothbrushes, a nit comb, a flannel with a large hole in the middle, a plastic half-litre coke bottle, a large blue jug, a hockey ball, a piece of unidentifiable black plastic, a face paint stick, and a nail brush.

It was then that my little light bulb lit up. I thought to myself: this bath rack is symbolic of my brain. No wonder I struggle to function at any more than a fraction of my true ability. I am cluttered up with the mental equivalent of dog brushes, playmobil, dried toothpaste and hocky balls!

Will mind mapping free me and enable me to chuck the whole lot of bath rack extras on the bathroom floor? I suppose I'd better stop blogging and go and read the next chapter to find out...

[am just editing this to say that I forgot 2 of the items that I found on the bath rack: a lego Star Wars stormtrooper and a guitar pick. Why do I need to add these items? Well, just in case anyone was feeling competitive and was about to write a comment saying that they had more on their bath rack than I do. These things are important, you know.]

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