Sample text for Brain fitness : anti-aging strategies for achieving super mind power / Robert M. Goldman with Ronald Klatz and Lisa Berger.

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Counter Introduction: Dr. Bob's Super Mind Power

We all want to be smarter and more alert, to require less sleep and better handle the stresses and strains that life throws our way.  I have always been fascinated with how powerful the mind can make us feel and how far the inner self can be pushed.  The mind is so closely linked to the body that you really can think yourself fat, thin, sick, healthy, poor, rich, a loser, or a winner.

Having competed for many years on the world level as a strength athlete, and having studied the martial arts since my teens, I have long experienced the Super Powers of the Mind.  When I set world records, I did not accomplish that goal with body or muscle power but with the power of my mind.  When I performed karate board or brick breaks, it was my mind and inner chi that allowed my hand to pass so easily through those barriers.  The more I challenged my body and mind, the more respect I gained for this intricately tuned synergy the Greeks spoke of centuries ago.  The mind-body link is a reality, and I wanted to learn every technique of how to meld the two, and so increase my brainpower, memory, concentration, focus, imagination, and creativity.  That was the impetus for writing this book, putting together a "user's manual" for building Super Mind Power.

As a young child, I marveled at my grandmother Rose.  She came to this country at age twelve not knowing the language and with no money or family support, but she had the mental power and fortitude to raise and protect eight children.  It was the force of her mind and personality that forged the bond among scores of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and even great-great-grandchildren.  At the end of her life, at ninety-five, she still possessed wit, concentration, and humor.  Her selective hearing could filter out useless gossip and pick out important conversations twenty-five yards away.  She was my first exposure to someone who had a natural Super Mind Power.

When I was a teenager, I marveled at the astounding concentration of martial arts masters.  Though slight of build, they could exert enormous power and literally propel much larger, heavier opponents across the room with a single stroke.  It was not their physical strength but Super Mind Power that enabled them to complete these feats.  One of my early teachers was a Chinese gung fu master who, though he weighed only 130 pounds soaking wet, could move like lightning, with such force and concentration that he was almost a blur.  When I was training for the Olympic wrestling team, his concentration and mind-body kinesthetic sense were so developed that he was able, in a matter of hours, to learn all the freestyle Olympic wrestling maneuvers I knew.

When I was competing in the 1970s, I and every athlete I knew looked up to Olympic gold medal winner Dan Gable as the ultimate mind power athlete.  His drive was so intense, and his concentration and skills were so developed, that he was virtually unbeatable.  And he used these same skills for years as he became the winningest collegiate wrestling coach in American history.  It was Dan's super brainpower that allowed him to mold himself into the ultimate physical machine and to teach those skills to others.

Since age four, I have studied art.  I began with gifted children's classes at the Pratt Institute in New York, and as an adult, went on to establish my own museum of fine art, the Institute Museum of Chicago.  Art is the true mirror into the hearts and minds of people in the past, and what makes art so fascinating is that it provides a window into the soul of the creator.  As I have learned about art, I have realized that there are many different types of intelligences and mental skills.  For instance, there is the ability of a Leonardo or a Michelangelo to visualize complex three-dimensional images.  I recall as a child forcing myself to create three-dimensional characters to train my imagination and creative skills.  I did this almost daily for entertainment.  In hindsight, I know that this childhood game helped me to enhance my powers of visualization and concentration.  But how do we unlock the creative instincts that are within each of us? Here again, Super Mind Power is the tool, and its secrets have been used by masters for centuries.  Now you, too, can develop your own Super Mind Power program.

The most important organ we possess is the brain.  It is our conscious mind and all the memories, power, and sensations that make us human.  Our remarkable brainpower elevates us from other species and makes each of us very special.  And, like our muscles, which can be made stronger with focused, consistent effort, our brains, too, have this plastic quality and can be molded.

Beginning with our earliest life experiences, our brains begin to process and store amazing quantities of data, which allow us to perform tasks that, while very human, exceed anything that can be done on the most powerful computer.  But how do we tap into this enormous data bank of potential? Thomas Edison said it best: "Genius is one per cent inspiration and ninety-nine per cent perspiration." Our ability to focus with determined effort can raise each of us above the crowd.

Exceptional Super Mind Power

In the late 1980s, I founded the National Academy of Sports Medicine, which today is the premier personal fitness trainer certification organization.  As I have watched the organization grow, I have been fascinated by what trainers of the stars do for clients in terms of mental training and exercises.  I have taken my experiences with these trainers and detailed their lessons in this book so that you, too, can learn about these special mind programs.  Read about what trainer to the stars Jake Steinfeld did to get Harrison Ford, Steven Spielberg, Priscilla Presley, and Bette Midler ready for career challenges, and techniques employed by Michael Jordan's trainer gave him for an injury-free body and mind find history-making career.

What mental powers make people rich, successful, or powerful? It is their drive, ambition, concentration, and determination that bring them to the pinnacle of their careers.  Consider basketball phenom Michael Jordan.  What separates him from other players? He is not taller, stronger, younger, or even faster.  No.  But he does have the Super Mind Power that enables him to fly above his opponents.  He has the unbending will to win and focus, and that makes him the best.  Is techno whiz Bill Gates the smartest nerd in town? Not necessarily.  But his Super Mind Power has made him so focused that he has crushed all competition and all obstacles in his way.  In the coming chapters, you will read about how these people and others have developed their Super Mind Powers.

Arnold Schwarzenegger was just another block of muscle when he came onto the movie scene.  But with his Super Mind Power--his staggering drive and determination--he was able to turn himself from the greatest bodybuilder of all time into one of the most powerful individuals in the movie industry.  I have seen his mind power at work.  Having served with him on the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, I witnessed his remarkable memory for names and faces.  He could work a room like no other person, not only greeting every individual by name but also recounting minute details of past encounters and personal habits.  You will be reading about some of his other super mind skills.

Super Mind Power is not only how much we remember but what we remember.  For instance, it is the extraordinary empathy of Oprah Winfrey, and her ability to connect with individuals and with the masses.  It is the ability to tap into our creative selves as, for example, Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro, and Meryl Streep do when they transform themselves into characters.  This feat takes not only intense dedication but tedious hard work and arduous repetition.  Their mind power includes the ability to suspend their egos to adapt to the mood, manner, and very essence of fictional characters.

Another example of Super Mind Power is the brilliant and fluid stream of comic genius within Robin Williams, Whoopi Goldberg, and Billy Crystal.  They have trained their minds, memory, and creative talents to be able to improvise, but it has taken years of mind power training to make this ability look simple and effortless.  Tiger Woods may well be on his way to becoming the greatest golfer in history because of his Super Mind Power--his ability to focus, concentrate, and hone his talent with constant practice.

The idea of Super Mind Power has enthralled us since childhood.  This is the appeal of superheroes, from Superman to Batman to an array of other comic book heroes.  And for each superhero, there has been a supervillain--a brilliant Lex Luthor or Darth Vader who has tantalized us with his possible mental powers.  It has always been the Super Mind Power of the characters, more than their physical power, that has captured our imaginations.  Today, the popularity of shows like Star Trek, movies like E.T., and alien creatures like those in Independence Day attests to our fascination with intelligence and the power of mind over matter.  Similarly, the universal appeal of vampires, black magic, crystals, and ghosts speaks to our interest in the power of the mind to control others or read thoughts.  We love the idea that our minds can move mountains, so to speak.

Each of us wants to learn our own secret brain-enhancing techniques.  For some, this is what drives religious devotion.  Intense faith has enabled people to walk again, regain hearing and vision, and make chronic pain disappear.  Hindus and monks undergo great trials of pain and deprivation, armed only with their mental powers.  The powers of the mind have given them strength and made "miracles" happen.

The goal of this book is to help you learn the Super Mind Power techniques of the superstars, the supersuccessful, the superpowerful.  It will give you ideas for ways to change your life by turbocharging your mind and brain to increase your memory, concentration, focus, determination, discipline, imagination, creativity, and energy, while decreasing your fatigue, stress, and need to sleep.  Learn which supernutrients can power up your mind and which new super brain medications are out there to pump up your thinking power.  Learn how a supernap can quick-charge your mind and how special antistress techniques can rejuvenate your cerebral core.  And learn about the latest advances in preventing Alzheimer's and other mental diseases.

Advances in science and medicine are all around us.  Computer capabilities are doubling every eighteen months, and medical knowledge is doubling every three and a half years.  In just twenty years, we will know much more than we do now about how to live longer and better.  In 1799, the average life span was 25 years--as it had been for centuries before.  But today we age very differently.

By 1899, just a century ago, the average life span had reached 48 years.  Now it is almost 80 years, and scientists are predicting that average life spans will reach 120 to 150 years by the year 2049.  When the first United States census was taken in 1790, half the population was under age sixteen.  In 1990, less than one-quarter of the population was under sixteen.  It is predicted by the U.S.  Census Bureau that by the year 2025, the country will have two sixty-five-year-olds for every teenager.  The percentage of Americans over age sixty-five has risen 300 percent in the last century; those aged sixty-five to seventy-four up 800 percent; those seventy-five to eighty-four up 1,300 percent; and the number of those over eighty-five has increased by 2,500 percent!

We are all definitely living longer, but how do we keep our minds young? How do we preserve and protect our experiences and wisdom? What are we going to do with the growing number of years in our lives? You want to have the mental mind power to participate in all that's ahead.

We are living in an exciting time of history.  The advent of the new science of antiaging medicine means that aging is not inevitable, and you need not lose your memory, concentration, focus, and happiness as you age.  Along with Dr.  Ronald Klatz, I am one of the original twelve physicians who created the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, the world's first medical society of physicians and scientists dedicated to combating the degenerative disease of aging.  Since its inception in 1993, it has grown to over 5,400 members in more than forty-four nations.  It is showing the world that we can change the way our bodies and minds age if we use the secrets of Super Mind Power.

With the mind-boggling advances in gene therapy, nanotechnology, genetic engineering, organ regeneration, and drug development, we are going to live longer and healthier, and we need a Super Mind to help us take advantage of these added years.

The greatest tragedy for anyone is loss of memories, for these are our most valuable possessions.  They are the core of our personal identity, and there is a lot you can do to protect yourself from "mind robbers," and losing these irreplaceable valuables.

In this book there are self-tests, brain booster information charts, and numerous quizzes to help you gauge where your mind power is now and what you might do to enhance your performance.  There is also information about the new and exciting brain medications now under development, which may soon be available so that everyone can boost their brainpower.

The programs and techniques in Brain Fitness are your protective barrier against the greatest team of thieves of all time--age and deterioration--which are out to steal your greatest possession, your mind.  Learn the secrets of Super Mind Power!

Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Cognition Age factors, Memory Age factors, Sleep Age factors, Stress management, Aging, Aging Prevention