Mind Mapping The World

Mind Mapping The World

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What’s the book about?

Business people are always looking for new and interesting ways to be better at what they do. The book describes a system of planning and note-taking that is a powerful graphic technique to unlock the potential of the brain. It harnesses the full range of cortical skills – word, image, number, logic, rhythm, colour and spatial awareness – in a single, powerful manner. This gives you the freedom to roam the expanses of your brain.

How did you develop the mind map technique?

As a student, I was reading through my lecture notes and underlining key words. I realised I was picking out only about 10% of the information. The rest was practically useless to me. By trying to learn everything, I was wasting most of my time. I developed a paper-and-pen representation of each subject with key points branching out from a central idea sub-divided and colour-coded to show logical associations, and illustrated with images to “fix” them in my memory. I distilled pages of notes onto a single sheet – and I could remember everything that was relevant. The mind map was born.

Can anyone be a genius?

Everyone has the capacity for genius. By using mind maps to learn, memorise, plan, think and create, this mind-expanding technique has the capacity to change lives once it’s learnt. People can be successful using only 10% of the cognitive potential of their brains. Mind mapping is capable of unleashing the power of the other 90% and tapping into latent genius. When people look back on how they were operating before they learned to mind map, they say it’s as if they were working in the dark using the wrong tools.

How does a mind map work?

Mind maps work because they are expressed in the language of the brain, as a sort of “explosion” of thoughts, ideas and emotions. Captured on paper using the rules of mind mapping, the explosion becomes a snapshot of the brain’s thinking. However, the information and ideas that have been generated are contained, ordered and logical.

This is the framework and the fundamental architecture of thought. Each node in the mind map contains a potential explosion of its own, so that one branch with a key word will trigger many others.
The first rule is the use of a central key idea and its associated image. Flowing lines from the centre contain key words – each line has a single key word and the lines are thicker near the central image, becoming thinner as they radiate out. The mind map must be kept clear by the use of hierarchy, numerical order and outlines.

Crucially, a mind map must also have colour, symbols and images. Humans think in images. If I say the word “apple”, what comes to mind? Not the word itself, but a picture of an apple. The brain associates ideas with images and colours and remembers concepts better when these elements are incorporated.

Monique Verduyn
Monique Verduyn is a freelance writer. She has more than 12 years’ experience in writing for the corporate, SME, IT and entertainment sectors, and has interviewed many of South Africa’s most prominent business leaders and thinkers. Find her on Google+.