Although they can be entertaining, the following are more
than just tricks. They are techniques for tapping into the power
of your mind, and so have some practical uses. A good example
of this is what I like to call the "pupil trick," which
is actually a series of tricks or techniques you can use once
you gain conscious control of your pupil size and learn to watch
more carefully how other people's pupils react to various thoughts.
I have written about that on the following page: http://www.increasebrainpower.com/eye-tricks.html
When I was in school, I didn't "show my work" in
math class. In my thinking, 97 x 16 became 100 x 16 (1,600) minus
3 x 16 (48). It was easier that way, and it became almost automatic.
In fact, I would just write down 1,552 even though I couldn't
explain very well how I arrived at the answer. My teachers called
that a problem, but many years later such math shortcuts were
sold in seminars and books. You might want to learn a few of
your own. You can impress your friends with your ability to do
math problems in your head. I have a page on mental math shortcuts
Motivational Mind Tricks
To get motivated, talk about your plans. This is a simple,
yet powerful mind trick. By the time I tell my wife about the
newsletter I'm going to write, I'm out of my slump and back at
the keyboard. You can quickly change your state of mind, but
not by willing it to change. You have to use techniques like
The more excited you are about your plans, the more this will
work. If you don;t have any exciting plans at the moment, talk
about whatever you are passionate about. It might be better to
avoid topics that make you angry, but anything that gets your
emotions engaged will essentially wake up your brain. Then you
can get back to work on the task at hand while that mental energy
is in your system.
What about motivating others? Take what works for you and
find a way to apply it to another. For example, to get a friend
out of a bad mood, you might get him to start talking. Specifically,
you would want to get your friend to explain something to you
about which he is passionate or excited. The process literally
will change the chemicals in his brain and so change his state
of mind. When you find the topics that work best for each of
your friends or family members, try to remember them for future
Here's one more trick to motivate others. If you can't get
them to talk, ask relevant questions about something they have
an interest in. Just mentioning a new Star Trek movie
to a friend who likes that series may not get him to talk or
bring him out of his slump. But if you ask him whether he thinks
Spock or Captain Kirk is more necessary to the Enterprise, and
then ask why, he is likely to do more than just answer in a word
Suppose you want to remember a list of the following things:
Soap, milk, honey, fork, and flowers. Start a vivid story in
your imagination, adding items to it as you go: At the sink,
reach for the SOAP, and find the soap dish full of MILK. Wash
your hands with that, and then comb HONEY into your hair with
a FORK. Finally, pick up a bouquet of FLOWERS and smile at the
mirror. Repeat each item while mentally reviewing your "movie"
and you'll remember all five things, even the next day.
Here's an example of how well these memory techniques can
work. This is Keith Barry on the Ellen Degeneres Show...
I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty
uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan
mnid. Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't
mttaer inwaht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt
tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae.
The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit
a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey
lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? yaeh
and I awlyas thought slpeling was ipmorantt.
A newsletter subscriber sent me that one. If you're not sure
just how gramatically twisted it is, try copying it and putting
through a spell-checker.
Speed Reading Tricks
Try reading just the first and last sentences of paragraphs
in a magazine article or even on this page. That's where most
useful information usually is, like in the last sentence of this
paragraph: Mind power comes from use, not from desire, so why
not try these mental tricks?