The Power of Digital Thought

January 8, 2013
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How Visualization Leads to Enhanced Self Knowledge
and Better Results


Plato refers to thinking as the talking of the soul with itself. Yet one of the problems we have with these “conversations” is their transient nature. Our great ideas and strong moments in life can be fleeting and overlooked in our daily routines, deadlines and tasks. This can leave us in a bit of a rut: always busy with life but never rising above the fray to actualize key values and long-term goals.

Well fellow Brain users, I suggest we all take 2013 to be even more mindful and let our best thoughts and vision shine through in our digital Brains. Capturing your thinking in TheBrain enables you to achieve a level of self-awareness that isn’t possible otherwise. Though using your Brain for self-reflection can happen naturally, you can also create key Thoughts that enable better understanding of your life and help you reach your goals.

Strong Moments

In last month’s Big Thinker Event, Omer Aziz, Director of Human Resources for RIM, showed us a dazzling example of how one’s digital Brain can enable self-growth and improved performance. One of the most interesting and less obvious areas he had mapped in his Brain was his “strong moments” section. I asked him to elaborate on what a strong moment is and how he captures them. Here’s what he said:

omer01A strong moment is anything that gives you an emotional high or a jolt of energy”. About 2 or 3 times a week, I send myself an email and list the strong moments that happened that day (or the day before, I don’t go much further back than that, as I want to keep them fresh).

I end each moment with a comma and semi-colon. Then, when I’m at my computer and have TheBrain open, I copy all into a Thought window and because of the comma and semi-colon they instantly become separate Thoughts (I make the parent Thought the date of the email).

I then activate them all and give them Thought Type of ‘strong moment’. Once they’re in my Brain, I can do a few things, I can quickly link them to the projects they came from or people who were involved with moment.

That way, next time I’m preparing for a project meeting and click on the project Thought, strong moments with dates appear which puts me in a positive frame of mind as I prepare. I do the same if I’m preparing for a meeting with a person.

Every month or so, I review the whole list of strong moments and look for patterns around why they were strong for me.


Watch the Omer Aziz Webinar Here

These strong moments can be anything from a meeting with an old acquaintance to a well-handled business call. When you review these Thoughts you can learn what is most fulfilling in your work projects or where to focus more of your time and energy to excel.

Going from Thinking to Doing

thought01David Allen, bestselling author and creator of Getting Things Done® talks about how you can develop a positive shift in your energy just by identifying what you need to do… i.e. when you are stressed out think about the relief you feel just by creating a list. In GTD Times he referred to this as “The value of getting things out of your psyche and into a more objective format”.  So in addition to your strong moments, capturing all your commitments and tasks in your Brain will help you gain control on everything that you have going on. This can be quite enlightening. In fact, you might find that you have too much on your plate. So you might need to delegate or decline certain commitments.

You can use Thought Types and Tags in TheBrain to visually prioritize your responsibilities. Use bright colors to represent and visualize the more important projects or commitments.


Thought Types for “Green Lighted Projects” and your “Action Items” convey a visual priority when juggling multiple projects.

Omer also does this in his Brain with his “strong week” where he captures everything that he wants to accomplish and sets out to do for the week.

Adding your New Resolutions to Your Brain

If we apply the idea of creating a place for focused thought to action you can see why adding your 2013 resolutions in your Brain is a no-brainer.  Creating resolutions in our Brains helps make them tangible and actionable and at the same time helps us to think deeper to understand ourselves through our visual thoughts.

We all need a place for ourselves, a place to work, a place to rest, but most importantly a place to think. You can make that place for thinking and translating your goals into action in your Brain. It’s easier than you might think. All you have to do is get started with a conscious effort by translating your goals and desires into something concrete that you can build upon. Here you can think about your objectives and be continually reinforced with your own ideas. By returning to this area of your digital Brain habitually, you train yourself and focus your own mental energy on the things that are truly important to you. These simple, subtle actions can lead to small changes that add up over time and can be the difference between achieving your goals and just dreaming about them.

Happy New Year and Happy Digital Thinking!

Watch our 6 minute video on how to add your 2013 New Year Resolutions into your Brain.

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Filed under: All Entries | Posted on January 8th, 2013 by Shelley Hayduk

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