Our extraordinary uniqueness has many benefits. For example, in any brainstorming or problem-solving situation, the greater the diversity of ideas the better. Each individual thus becomes an extremely valuable part of the process.
In the wider social context, so-called 'delinquent', 'abnormal' or 'eccentric' behaviour may often now be perceived in a new light as 'appropriate divergence from the norm, leading to increased creativity'. In this way many apparent social problems may actually turn out to be solutions.
The results of these exercises also highlight the dangers involved in viewing people as groups rather than individuals. Appreciating our uniqueness can help in resolving misunderstandings and conflicts, both personal and social.
Association exercises reveal the unlimited power of every human brain, both those of'gifted' people and those previously considered to be 'average'. These exercises can therefore liberate billions of people from their self-imposed mental limitations. By simply performing the 'happiness' exercise described in this chapter, anyone can experience an instant explosion in mental power. fTake the example of an eight-year-old boy in a deprived area of London who was considered to be virtually a moron, both by his teacher and by himself. After he had completed the 'happiness' exercise I asked him whether he could find further associations for any of the ten words he had written down. He paused for a moment, wrote down two, then looked up with the beginnings of a gleam in his eyes and asked, 'Can I keep going?'
When I said, 'Yes,' he started tentatively, like someone going into the sea for the first time. Then, with an increasing beat, almost like a drum roll, words and associations started to pour from him. His entire physical posture was transformed into one of eagerness, energy and happiness, as he filled the page, literally shouting, 'I'm smart! I'm smart!' He was right. His education was lacking.
Understanding the radiant nature of reality gives us an insight, not only into the nature of understanding but also the nature of misunderstanding, and consequently helps us to avoid many of the emotional and logical traps that bedevil our attempts to communicate.
In the context of this book, brainstorming is the first step towards the Mind Map. These exercises can strengthen and tone your associative abilities in readiness for the full development of Radiant Thinking.
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The pace and intensity of our lives, both at work and at home, leave several of us feeling like a person riding a frantically galloping horse. Our day-to-day incessant busyness too much to do and not enough time; the pressure to produce and check off items on our to-do list by each day’s end seems to decide the direction and quality of our existence for us.