Friday, March 9, 2007

Radiant thinking and mind maps

Learning & Innovation – March 10, 2007
By Moje Ramos-Aquino, FPM

Continuing with learning from our Mt. Pulag Trek, I look back and saw incomparable work of natural art. Most trees such as the mango trees all around us are so full of leaves and fruits, you could only see the leaves and the trunk. The trees at Mt. Pulag are mostly skeletal, but nonetheless beautiful. They are not all leaves and fruits and flowers. You could easily see the outline of the whole tree and identify individual moss-covered branch and twig against the backdrop of clear blue sky. Each tree is a natural wonder of the world.

This brings me to think about mind maps. Think about your mind and how it works. Picture in your mind a robust bare tree and imagine the natural architecture of the millions of brain cells connected to one another as part of the "neuronal embraces" throughout your brain.

When you think of brain mapping, you think of Tony Buzan, one of the world's experts on the brain, thinking and learning skills and the one who invented mind mapping.

In their The Mind Map Book, Tony and Barry Buzan write: "What happens in your brain when you taste a ripe pear, smell flowers, listen to music, watch a stream, touch a loved one, or simply reminisce?

"Each bit of information entering your brain—every sensation, memory or thought (incorporating every word, number, code, food, fragrance, line, colour, image, beat, note and texture) can be represented as a central sphere from which radiate tens, hundreds, thousands, millions of hooks.

"Each hook represents an association, and each association has its own infinite array of links and connections. The number of associations you have already 'used' may be thought of as your memory, your database, or your library. Within your mindis a data-processing system that dwarfs the combined analytical capacities and storage facilities of the world's most advanced computers.

"As a result of using this many-hooked, multi-ordinate, information-processing and storage system, your brain already contains maps of information that would have the world's great cartographers gasping in disbelief, could they see them.

"A quick calculation will reveal that your already existing database of items of information, and the associations radiating from them, consists of multiple quadrillions of data associations.

"Some people use this vast database as an excuse to stop learning, explaining that their brains are nearly 'full up', and that for this reason they are not going to learn anything new because they need to save the precious, remaining space for the 'really important stuff'. But there is no cause for concern because that even if your brain were fed 10 items of data (each item being a simple word or image) every second for 100 years, it would still have used less than one-tenth of its storage capacity.

"This astounding storage capacity is made possible by the almost unbelievable sophistication of the intricate pathways that constitute our metabolic processes. Your brain has the ability to make patterns using the data it already possesses.

"From this gigantic information processing ability and learning capacity derives the concept of radiant thinking of which mind map is a manifestation."

Wow! And double wow because we will be privileged to learn more about these concepts from the master himself when Tony Buzan comes here to lead and facilitate a two-day workshop on March 26-27 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, aptly titled "Unleash the genius of creativity and innovation for a competitive edge." For details, call Ms. Serely Alcaraz at 887-7428 or email

ASTD 2007. Join the Learning & Innovation Team at the 2007 American Society for Training & Development Conference & Exposition at the Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, GA, USA, this June 3-6. There will be some two hundred concurrent sessions on career planning and talent management; facilitating organizational change; leadership and management development; learning as a business strategy; measurement, evaluation and ROI; performance improvement; and personal and professional development from which you could make your own agenda and conference sked.

For hefty discount on conference fee, please feel free to use Delegation Code 20070256 and email for affordable travel package.

(Please visit Moje at or email

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