How to Train Your Brain

Jeff Henderson is the pastor of Gwinnett Church, a multi-site campus of North Point Ministries based in Alpharetta, Georgia. Before serving at Gwinnett Church, Jeff was the lead pastor of North Point’s Buckhead Church, and prior to that spent seventeen years in marketing and advertising, most of which was with Chick-fil-A. You can read more from Jeff on The Gwinnett Church Blog or follow him on Twitter. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

Has anyone ever taught you “how” to think? It might seem like an odd question but think about it for a moment. (No pun intended.)

Light Bulbs Sketched on Chalkboard - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/aluxum, Image #14314309

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/aluxum

We all think. We’ve all heard about the power of our thoughts. And we’ve all heard about positive thinking.

But have we ever been taught how? Have we ever been taught how to maximize this incredible God-given ability to think?

Several years ago, I was challenged by a friend with this truth: “Every problem has a solution. You must train your brain to find it. Your brain is like a muscle. The more you train it to think and look for ideas and solutions, the more you will find.”

The key is training. The key is understanding how to think and look for solutions.

It’s the secret to innovation. There is no innovation with innovative thinking.

That said, I want to share one way to train your brain to find and capture thoughts that will lead to more solutions and ideas.

The Ten-Minute Storm

This simple exercise has helped me tremendously in thinking and finding ideas and solutions. I call it the Ten-Minute Storm.

Here’s an example of how I used it: I was working on a message for a sermon series about finding God’s plans for our lives. I needed to create a memorable, catchy bottom line that I hoped people would remember. I had the content written, but not the bottom line.

I wanted people to be able to repeat what my sermon was about on Sunday if they were asked about it at the water-cooler on Monday. If you’ve ever given a talk, you know how hard this is. And that was my problem. So I turned to the ten-minute storm to help.

Here’s how it works.

You’ll need a piece of paper and a pen. (Sorry, no computer. It works best when you write by hand.)

You’ll also need a watch or clock to time the ten minutes.

At a precise beginning point, start writing anything that comes to your mind about the idea, problem, message, etc. Even if you can’t think of anything to write, simply write out “I can’t think of anything to write.” Keep going for ten minutes.

Don’t stop. I repeat. Don’t stop. Keep writing.

At the conclusion of the ten-minute brainstorm, stop and look at what you’ve written. Find patterns. Circle what stands out. See if you can find a connection.

Let’s go back to my sermon series as an example. Here are some phrases and words I wrote while trying to find the bottom line of my talk:

God created you. God’s thumbprints are on you. God has a plan for you. How do you find God’s plan for your life? God’s will. Do you know how you are wired? Do you know how you are created? God’s thumbprints are clues. God’s thumbprints connect with God’s plans. Clues. Thumbprints. Plans. You.

I wrote down phrases and words like that for ten minutes. Once the time was up, I stopped and began to circle the phrases that stood out. Suddenly, I saw the bottom line of my message:

God’s thumbprints on you are clues about His plans for you.

I gave that talk last fall. It’s been so fun hearing people come up to me and repeat that bottom line over and over again.

My point is this: Every problem has a solution. You just have to train your brain to look for them.

Question: How about you? How have you trained your brain to look for ideas and solutions? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • http://www.leahadams.org Leah Adams

    The ten minute storm…what a great idea. I’ll definitely try that. When I am trying to come up with a tagline, a message, etc and am drawing a blank, I find that praying and asking God to show me what He already knows works every time. It may take more than 10 minutes, but it works. If I am writing His Words, then He already has them all planned out and all I have to do is ask Him to give them to me.

    • http://www.gwinnettchurch.org Jeff Henderson

      Leah,
      You are absolutely right! He is definitely the best source!

  • http://joeandancy.com Joe Abraham

    Pastor Jeff, I really like your “ten-minute storm” idea! I found an almost same principle about writing a book. Rather than wasting time thinking about writing, it’s better to start writing something even if it doesn’t make sense in the beginning. But as we continue writing, we get into the flow and then the real stuff begins to appear. I found this working well for me.

    • http://www.bretmavrich.com Bret Mavrich

      You’d like Annie Dillard’s “The Writing Life.” She talks about how writers need to throw away those precious first pages that began the project that too often were only a piece of the process, not the masterpiece.

      • http://joeandancy.com Joe Abraham

        Thanks Bret. I’ll try to get a copy of that book. Yes, we need to let go of the ‘piece’ for the sake of the ‘masterpiece’!

    • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

      Getting started, or re-started, is often the hardest part…to get past putting the first words down on paper.  I am learning this same principle.  I will sometimes get stuck because I am looking for the perfect/right words to use.  I do find that the first words are almost never the final words.  So, the point is just to start.

      I need to remember this more often – thanks.

      • http://joeandancy.com Joe Abraham

        That’s true. The key is to START.

        Subject: [mhyatt] Re: How to Train Your Brain

    • Joe Lalonde

      Joe, that’s true. To write, you need to start writing. It doesn’t matter what, just starting gets it done.

  • Kimjose34

    Great I will try this, Thank you

  • Clark Miller

    Michael, You’ve whetted my appetite….or at least got me curious. I’d like to hear “the rest of the story”. While I like the idea of the 10-minute storm and think it’s a great idea, I want to hear more about “God’s thumbprints on me as clues abou His plans for me”.  Anywhere we can hear or read that thought developed as you preached the rest of the sermon? 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I’ll have to let Jeff answer that. This is his guest post. Thanks.

    • http://www.gwinnettchurch.org Jeff Henderson

      Clark,
      Thanks!  You can get the sermon here: http://store.northpoint.org/messages/cd-series/game-plan.html and it is Part 3. Let me know what you think!

      • mfquinn66

        I agree with Clark.  While I “get” that his post is about training your brain to find solutions, I LOVE the quote “God’s thumbrints on you are clues about his plan for you”.

      • http://7Sistershomeschool.com Kym

         Thanks so much, Jeff.  I found myself wondering the same thing.

        My son is approaching his senior year of high school and is praying for God to show him His plans.  I’m going to share these with him!

        • http://www.gwinnettchurch.org Jeff Henderson

          Kym, I think your son would also really enjoy “Do Hard Things” by Alex and Brett Harris. The two of you going through “The Playbook” may help inspire some great conversations between the two of you: http://www.northpointministries.org/gameplan

      • Joe Lalonde

        Jeff, thanks for sharing the link to the sermon. I look forward to listening to it.

  • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris Jeub

    Great article, Jeff. We have a lot in common. I lead a ministry called Training Minds Ministry, where we host camps and create curriculum for students to prepare for debate competition. No kidding, this is a “ministry.” Check out what we’ve got going at http://www.trainingminds.org.

    I’ve often said too many ministries are adamant on WHAT to think, as opposed to HOW to think. It’s an exciting journey to train those brain muscles with exercises like the one you explained. Thanks for sharing this!

    • http://www.gwinnettchurch.org Jeff Henderson

      That’s great Chris! God bless your ministry!

    • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

      Thanks for shring your site Chris!

  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    Great idea, Jeff. I’ve used a similar technique called free-writing, when I have trouble with writer’s block. You just start writing about anything that comes to mind for five minutes. It does help to write by hand, but I have also had success when using a word processor. It’s funny how our sub-conscious mind will come up with answers when given the chance to run free.

    • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

      “It’s funny how our sub-conscious mind will come up with answers when given the chance to run free. ” – I have experienced this John. So true!

      • http://brevis.me Robert Ewoldt

        I’ve found this, too, Uma.

  • Jennifer@SurprisingJoy

    I’m going to apply this to parenting solutions. Thanks for sharing!

    • http://www.bretmavrich.com Bret Mavrich

      We’ll call it , “Chore Storm.” lol

      • http://LookingForPurpose.com Dylan Dodson

        I like it!

        • http://www.bretmavrich.com Bret Mavrich

          Dylan, so true. Nothing is as useless as that. That’s a sickening feeling
          when you realize you’ve gotten the two confused, and it’s only compounded
          when you’ve lead others into it. Blech.

        • http://www.bretmavrich.com Bret Mavrich

          Dylan, thanks!

          I checked out your site. Very cool. I’m going to add you to my RSS!

  • http://darensirbough.tumblr.com Daren Sirbough

    I love this post. What is right before me is trying to learn Piano patterns in jazz songs and trying to play well is really hard. Using this method to find the solution to thinking about other methods to attack the song have helped me.

    In regards to solutions to ideas though I have used this method to come up with a way to outreach in my community. I am wanting lots of people to hear the gospel and to be drawn to my church and to get their lives right with God. This process has helped me break down what is achievable right now and what the ultimate dream for the future is.

    • http://www.gwinnettchurch.org Jeff Henderson

      Daren,
      I think you’re on to something there. God bless you and your church.

  • http://www.bretmavrich.com Bret Mavrich

    STAY YOUR INNER LUMBERJACK
    I’ve trained myself to ask different questions. Instead of asking “What is the Problem” I now ask, “Why is the problem?” Sometimes when you look at the “why” of a situation, you find that something is broken at a more fundamental level, or that the problem at hand can be solved in a surprising and unconventional way. Too often we’re just like lumberjacks asking which tree needs to be felled next when we should be finding the tallest tree to climb to get a better view.

    • http://twitter.com/RookieWriter David Barry DeLozier

      Great point. One of my favorite Peter Drucker quotes: “”It is the confusion between effectiveness and efficiency that stands between doing the right things and doing things right.  There is surely nothing so useless as doing with great efficiency what should not be done at all.” 

    • http://www.gwinnettchurch.org Jeff Henderson

      Ohhh, that’s good. Why is the problem? Love that. The Writing Life is awesome too.

      • http://www.bretmavrich.com Bret Mavrich

        Thanks Jeff, for a great and thoughtful post.

    • Joe Lalonde

      Bret, great way to look at problems. Too often we look at the what and not the why.

      • http://www.bretmavrich.com Bret Mavrich

        Thanks, Joe. I think asking “Why is the problem” works not only for our professional world, but also our relationships, too. My wife and I have sometimes fallen into having the same, scripted, disagreement over and over, both of us sure of “what” the problem is. But when we begin to ask “Why,” then we start to make headway.

  • http://profiles.google.com/happypostalvan Raymond Schwedhelm

    Programs are stored in each person’s heart. Our brain is the processor. The depths of our hearts are rich in creative resources. Out of the them flow the issues of life. In a ten-minute storm, search the heart for it reveals

    • http://www.gwinnettchurch.org Jeff Henderson

      Raymond,
      Programs and processors. Great analogy.

    • Joe Lalonde

      Being an IT guy, I like the analogy Raymond.

  • http://profiles.google.com/happypostalvan Raymond Schwedhelm

    Programs are stored in each person’s heart. Our brain is the processor. The depths of our hearts are rich in creative resources. Out of the them flow the issues of life. In a ten-minute storm, quietly search the heart (not the brain) for it reveals a treasure trove of material: the good, the bad, and the ugly.

  • http://twitter.com/JaneMaduegbuna Jane Maduegbuna

    Thanks so much for all these life-transforming write-ups which you share with us. God bless you & all urs… 

  • Tom Flynn

    Michael – Nice piece.  Running off of the ‘pen and paper only’ principle, it also would be a good idea to find a quiet (technology-free) locale to do your ten-minute ‘storming,’ I’d assume.  I do my best thinking with pen & paper and also with the iPod/cellphone/email set to off.

    Thanks – Tom Flynn

    • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

      Hey Tom, good point…  It is important to find the place (environment) and the technique that best works for you.

  • http://www.dunamischarlotte.org Abdullah Birdsong

    Great post Jeff and Michael! I can definitely see the potential benefits of the ten-minute storm. The process offers focus and allows for the discovery of compatible ideas. For creative types like me, I would on occasion, tweak the exercise to include using small sketches instead of words and phrases.

    Kudos!

    Abdullah Birdsong, Lead Pastor
    Dunamis Church
    http://www.dunamischarlotte.org

    • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

      small sketches! I sould be trying that style.

  • Tracy Hoots Hoexter

    Great post! It reminds me of the scene in Apollo 13 where Mission Control in Houston is charged with finding a way to get a “square peg into a round hole” in order to save the astronauts. Creativity  requires discipline and persistence.

    • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

      That is a great scene in the movie – the challenge to let go of how everything is “supposed” to work and think outside of the normal solutions and responses (the box).

  • Anonymous

    Great stuff, Jeff.  I’m always inspired by your intentionality and discipline.

    • http://www.gwinnettchurch.org Jeff Henderson

      Thanks Jenni.  I’m definitely inspired by you too!

  • http://www.facebook.com/efedave David Ogbogbo

    If you ain’t thinking then you are already licking 
    http://www.adzbar.ourtoolbar.com/

  • http://twitter.com/RookieWriter David Barry DeLozier

    Great post.  I love this technique.  I took some copywriting/advertising classes in college where we did something similar.  I find myself making a vocabulary list, not even complete sentences.  The key is to “go with the flow,” isn’t it?  Perfectionism is my enemy, my nagging voice that whispers, “Wait! Get it right.” I just need to get on with it.  Right will come eventually.   Love the quote (I think I heard it recently in Midnight in Paris and then in MH’s interview with Ian Cron) that there is, “no such thing as a great writer, only great re-writers.”  

  • http://www.facebook.com/efedave David Ogbogbo

    this great but i think for more than 10 minutes and 
    even stroll with God talking to me every now and then.
    http://www.adzbar.ourtoolbar.com/

  • http://www.danieldecker.net Daniel Decker

    Excellent. Fit’s right in line with a book idea I am working on. Will have to connect with Jeff and share his “Ten-Minute Storm” idea within it.

    • http://www.gwinnettchurch.org Jeff Henderson

      Sounds great Daniel!

  • Eric Lampe

    We have become a nation of co-dependents who let others do our thinking for us. We have come to imagine that we have no personal responsibility for our thoughts and actions. We have allowed those who lead us and those who inform us to rob us of hope because we no longer “take every thought captive” ourselves. There is no problem that is insoluble. Thanks for reminding us that we DO need to retrain our brains. 

    • Joe Lalonde

      So true Eric. Do you have any suggestions on how we could start changing our nation’s co-dependance?

  • http://LookingForPurpose.com Dylan Dodson

    The ten minute storm sounds like a great idea. Just making yourself write something even when you have nothing to say is always surprisingly helpful

  • Kate

    Thanks for the wonderful refresher. We used to call it “Brainstorming”….when I was teaching elementary school. I tried teaching this technique to my class. It’s a difficult leap, even for second graders, to overcome the tendency to “argue” with yourself or others about the merit of the thought that pops into your head. Once you practice though, it’s easier. We raised our children to “brainstorm” and now I’m  listening to my grandchildren process solutions…they haven’t started writing them down yet…

  • Linda Jo Jenkins

    Love your idea! This will be handy in the years to come—thanks
    for sharing.  I am working on a book series called “It’s All
    About” and the first book is “It’s All About …  Love.”
    Months ago, I had a dream (literally, when I was asleep) I was standing on a
    platform speaking to a room full of people. I was sharing some personal
    experiences in my life and suddenly my bottom line came to me as I was
    speaking.  I remember standing there repeating the tag line and
    incorporating it into my talk. I was frantically looking for pen and paper while
    I was talking so that I can to write it down, knowing I needed to remember it
    for my book. When I woke, I immediately ran to my office and wrote it down incorporating
    it into a new chapter. Bottom-line… Situation + God = solution. Whatever
    situation you find yourself in when you bring God into it, he will always
    provide a solution.

  • http://jasonfountain.blogspot.com Jason Fountain

    Nice post, Jeff. I think the key to finding solutions is being intentional. I like the concept of the 10-minute storm, but I think the real power is in doing SOMETHING. Too often we just sit back and expect an answer to come to us. Anthony Robbins always says that “questions are the answer” meaning, if we ask the right question, we find the right solution.

    Finding solutions always requires intentionality. I recently wrote about this concept with a post titled, “Five Minutes to Creating Momentum” (http://bit.ly/k8ZeiK). Life really is about taking intentional steps. Thanks for the great idea, Jeff!

    • http://www.gwinnettchurch.org Jeff Henderson

      You’re right! Asking great questions gets you to the great answers!

  • Anonymous

    Can’t wait to try this, Jeff.  Thanks.

  • Audrey4j

    I agree with Leah, and the principles involved in the ten minute storm. I’m getting ready to publish an Ebook, R U Bullied, which will go around the world. I tell readers to learn how to praise, worship, recite scripture, at the same time they’re going about their daily lives. I’ve found the technique to be effective in my own life. I’d love to print this post in RUB? but it’s too late. I’m already writing book#2, Battle Strategies, and it would fit there. http://www.audreyhebbert.com

  • http://www.sundijo.com Sundi Jo Graham

     God’s thumbprints on me are clues about His plans for me. Needed to hear that today. Thanks so much for the inspiration. 

  • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com @kylereed

    hmmm, honestly I have not spent much time training my brain. 

    What I have noticed though is in the down times is when I get my ideas. Like taking a break for a walk. When I am driving, in the shower, or other down times when I have some time to be quiet and relax. that is when the ideas seem to come.

    I was working on a project the other day and needed a name. I racked my brain for hours trying to think of a name and finally gave up for the day. Later I was just looking at some logos for companies to gain some inspiration and literally seeing those triggered some thoughts that led to the name that led to the foundations of the idea. It was like the name and ideas were laying there right under the surface. Stepping back to just think about something else released that pressure and allowed me to think and discover. 

    Thanks for sharing your process with us Jeff

  • http://refreshmentrefuge.blogspot.com Gina Burgess

    I am a certified Quality Facilitator and this works so well we used it constantly to find solutions to interoffice problems. It was amazing what things people would say. What helped was the thinking time during the facilitator writing time and how each person built on what another teammate said. Sometimes, we’d find a solution without having to use any other tools.

    Another helpful tool we used was the Force Field Analysis which is nothing more than the Pro/Con listing of all the ideas–is it helpful to the solution or a hindrance?  Then we’d list all the positive force ideas on one side and the negative force ideas on the other side in order of priority. Using “fish bone matrix” we’d list all the factors affecting each supporting force (time management, cost effectiveness, etc.) as well as all the factors affecting each resisting force (cost, man hours, etc.). We would usually have a solution after 2-3 meetings with the added value of employee buy-in to the solution because they had worked together to find it.

  • https://me.yahoo.com/a/9buxN0dljZPFNI91f4I0LrlBJcWR5YcV#04f58 Sean Boisen

    For a different view of open-ended brainstorming (a little broader than this very focused example), see “How Aha! Really Happens” (http://www.strategy-business.com/article/10405?pg=all: free registration required) by William Duggan. His key point is that the “Aha moment” really depends on combining things you’ve already learned, just in a new way. So building that background knowledge is an critical part of the creative process.

    http://twitter.com/#!/seanboisen

  • http://brevis.me Robert Ewoldt

    Jeff, thanks for the good suggestions!

  • http://www.patrickruggeri.com Patrick Ruggeri

    What a great way to train our brains to think!  I suffer with the dreaded brain block on many occasions.  When I am composing a new blog post, I have realized that placing undue amounts of pressure on myself to finish a thought or make a point has a negative impact on what I am attempting to accomplish.  I have yet to use it, but this 10 minute storm technique seems like a way to take some of the pressure off.  Thanks!!  P.S.  “God’s thumbprints on you are clues about His plans for you.”  Great thought!  Definitely what I needed to hear today!  Thanks Pastor Jeff.

    • http://www.gwinnettchurch.org Jeff Henderson

      So glad it helped Patrick!

  • Donna Lowe

    Awesomeness.  I’ve long believed that there is a solution to every problem.  I’m often alone in that theory. 

    I’ve have also struggled to find the perfect power punch-line to complete my talks.  I’m definitely going to try this. 

    Thanks.

    Donna Lowe

  • http://safeharbornewlife.wordpress.com Jim Smith

    I have three things that I do to help train my brain.  I play my guitar, exposing and challenging myself to learn how to emmulate different music genres.  I’m also seriously trying to learn Spanish.  And finally I make a real eefort trying to remember peoples names.

    The latter exercise has proved to be a very helpful social tool.  As a pastor it makes such a big difference to remember the name of someone I’ved recently met.  When I see them on another occassion and can address them or their family members by name, I can immediately feel a despoit of
    “impression” and sometimes acceptance and even trust.

    I’m going to incorporate the 10 minute storm to myregiment of brain exercises. 

    Great insight, very helpful. 

    • http://www.gwinnettchurch.org Jeff Henderson

      Thanks Jim and I so agree on remember people’s names. “Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”by Dale Carnegie is one of my favorites!

      • Joe Lalonde

        Jeff, that’s very true. I try to remember and use others names when talking and doing business with them. It’s always surprising the difference it makes.

    • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

      music is a great means to train our brain. I agree Jim!

  • Bob Concoby

    What you were looking for was an HP – a homiletical point.  This is a key element of Dr. Dennis Prutow’s book, “So, Pastor, What’s Your Point”.  People remember the one sentence HP from his sermons like there’s no tomorrow.  Months later, they still recite his HPs.  His sermon preparation procedure gets you to a single HP and memorable sermons like no other.  Check it out at sopastorwhatsyourpoint.com
    I use his system exclusively.  It makes sermon preparation much easier, and much more exciting for me as I see the Scriptures unfold before my eyes.  I cut my sermon preparation time in half, and end up with better sermons.  Note: This is an unpaid endorsement… I owe him so much for teaching me this that I can’t help evangelizing his system.

    • Joe Lalonde

      Bob, thanks for expounding on Jeff’s post. I never knew that there was an actual term for this.

  • http://soulstops.com Soulstops

    I connected with your final point about how God’s thumbprints are clues about His plan for you.  I’m learning to listen to those desires He has placed in my heart, such as my love of writing and reading.  Thanks for sharing!

  • Yemi

    it’s a fantastic idea. I do a similar brainstorm but don’t time myself. I’ll certainly incorporate the 10 minute rule into my brainstorm now

  • http://beckfarfromhome.blogspot.com/ Beck Gambill

    I’m curious in training our brain and looking for solutions to problems what role do you feel the Holy Spirit plays in the process?

    Thanks for sharing this challenge, I’m going to try it. I’ve been needing more focus on the book I’m writing and a sharper definition for my blog.

    • http://www.gwinnettchurch.org Jeff Henderson

      Great question Beck!
      Pray. Work hard. Listen. Read the Scriprures.  Repeat.  :-)

  • Dianaflegal

    Really like that bottom line- Bumper sticker esq :-)

  • http://www.leadershipHats.com Kevin Wax

    I can’t wait to try the 10 minute storm! What a great concept. I’m wondering how much better this will be if I can shield myself from interruptions and background phones ringing and music playing.

  • Jeanne

    I so appreciated this post today, Jeff. I look forward to using it as I work through issues that come up in my writing. I get “stuck” on certain aspects of my story, and I think that this “method” will be effective in helping me move bey0nd that place. Thanks so much for sharing it!

  • Deborah

    I never had a clear thought that was my own until I was an adult.
    I didn’t think I was a very good thinker.
    God has taught me that THOSE thoughts were lies.
    Now, now I have found the ON button.
    Your 10 Minute Storm will definitely help corral some of those thoughts!
    Thank you for this post.

    • Joe Lalonde

      Deborah, glad to hear that you’re overcoming those lies. I think a lot of us get attacked with that specific lie.

  • Eric

    Interesting thought here. I will definitely try it. It puts feet to the idea of brain storming.

  • Helen

    This is so helpful. I think the  “no computer” rule is what is needed for me too… thanks

  • Cindie

    I haven’t trained my brain the way that you descibe…I like it and will plan on using it to help me with my writing for my blog….thanks always for your helpful advice.

  • http://twitter.com/benberson Ben Berson

    thanks for sharing this valuable tip! I found a similar thought in Mind your Head by Tony Buzan too.

  • latha

    This a really good idea. I believe our brains always work more efficiently when given deadlines
    latha pillai

  • Pingback: this went thru my mind «()

  • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

    I do sudoku or solve some brain teasers/ puzzles to keep my mind active. Thansk for your idea Jeff! I will trying that while I brainstorm for some solution.

  • Joe Lalonde

    Jeff, great post! I, too, feel that very few have been taught to train our brains. We’ve been taught memorization but not much else.

  • http://twitter.com/MusicPowerStrat MusicPoweredStrategy

    Jeff, Thanks for the tip.  Will definitely give it a shot.

    Do you happen to have a blog post or video of the sermon you reference?  Would love to watch or read it.  Would love ideas on finding God’s plan for my life.

    Thanks again,
    Greg

  • http://www.itsallabouthome.com Jo Rae

    My brain works entirely the opposite. :-) Usually the title or memorable tag line comes first, especially when reading scripture. I have a background in marketing and sales, but I believe the titles, tag lines, etc. are given to me by God. Something in the scripture speaks to me and I see it in a different way. For example in the scripture where Jesus says, “Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. ” Luke 22:31-32, the title that came to me was “Satan’s Baking.” It’s the title that gives me the idea for the piece. 

    Your blog is informative and a joy to read! Thanks –
      

  • Cynthia Leighton

    Love that bottom line! Fabulous. Thanks!

  • http://peterpaluska.com Peter Paluska

    Brilliant! Reminds me of Earl Nightingale’s method. Thank you, Michael!

    Peter

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=500218954 Alyssa Avant

    Love it.  And it is so true that there is something about pencil in hand and pencil to paper that works so well.  It’s unlike anything else. 

  • Abdullah Birdsong

    Excellent and thought provoking. I envision employing this technique for a variety of situations. For creative types like me, I would investigate adapting the storm. Instead of using words, maybe use small sketches.

    Kudos,
    Abdullah Birdsong
    Lead Pastor
    Dunamis Church
    http://Www.dunamischarlotte.org

    • http://www.gwinnettchurch.org Jeff Henderson

      Great idea Abdullah!

  • turner_bethany

    It definitely seems like the creative juices still work much better with pen and paper. Love the brainstorming idea. Can’t wait to put it into practice in the work environment instead of just the college classroom now. 

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  • Melissa – Mel’s World

    Love this idea Jeff…thanks so much for sharing…it’s great seeing how much God is stretching and growing you from when I met you almost 8 years ago at a conference…incredible! Will absolutely be doing this ten minute storm!

  • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

    Excellent exercise. I just got back from a short-term mission trip with our church group. My main responsibilities, the things I did best, were devotions plus preach in a morning service and an evening service (two different churches near Amman, Jordan). Most of my travel time was brainstorming in preparation for the next speaking opportunity. By the way, Maxwell’s “Everyone Communicates Few Connect” provided exceptional, practical advice for connecting on all three levels–individually, small group, and large audience. Thank you for sending it my way. I finished reading it the day before boarding the plane for Tel Aviv.

  • http://twitter.com/Schaeferland Steve Schaefer

    The brain is wired to be a puzzle solver…thanks for the great tip to exercise our potential.

  • Carol

    This is great! Would also love to hear your series on finding God’splan for our lives. Any chance?

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  • Ritadiks

    really nice, i  have done it in very few occasions but never figured out what i was actually doing could be useful thanks for this new learning

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  • Ale

    =)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))) it is really work dear, i mean wow! tq and it is really good to c ppl think about brain.

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  • Jessica

    meh.

  • needmathhelp

    does this work for finding solutions for math problems?

  • http://dmarkwheeler.com/mini-vision-board4tyb-workshop/ Dave

    I like your Train Your Brain ideas and have even developed a workshop around “How your mind works”.  My workshop focuses on first designing a short, concise vision (since training doesn’t do much good without an idea of what you are “training for”) and then understanding the tools we all have to improve our thinking (and our motivation).  I enjoyed reading your blog !
    Thanks,
    d.Mark “Dave” Wheelerwww.Fatisallinyourhead.com (my new book on Training your Brain for weight control)

  • Mark Leach

    I would love to exercise my brain. The brain storm is an excellent idea to learn creative thought and problem solving. Thanks for the post!