You know how old your body is... but how old is your brain?
The answer may not be what you think. At least according to Nintendo and their smash hit new game 'Dr Kawashima's Brain Training: How Old Is Your Brain?'
Ever since discovering Tetris in the early 90s and being unable to stop playing it for days on end, I've avoided video games and consoles like the plague.
Because they're extremely enjoyable, highly addictive... and can easily end up stealing huge chunks of your precious time.
PlayStation, GameCube, XBox… for years I've resisted them all.
But on Saturday afternoon I succumbed, my defences finally crumbled and I found myself in EB Games in Melbourne.
Like a vegetarian in a kebab shop, I knew I shouldn't be there.
But it was all too late… and I was soon handing over my cash and walking out with a shiny new Nintendo DS Lite console, plus a copy of Dr Kawashima's Brain Training game.
All in the interests of research of course.
Because I was intrigued.
Who was older - me or my brain?
And is it really possible to turn back the mental clock and sharpen your mental faculties - simply by playing a Nintendo game for a few minutes each day?
If you're unfamiliar with the Brain Training phenomenon (over 5 million copies sold to date), the game involves tackling a range of fiendishly addictive mental challenges as quickly and as accurately as you can.
The friendly but ever so slightly sinister computer-generated head of Dr Kawashima (Japanese neuroscientist and inventor of the game) guides you through the process, dispensing tips, uttering encouragement and keeping track of your results.
These are then analysed and compared to the performances of a control group of people of different ages.
The result is your brain age.
The idea is that with a small amount of daily practice you can increase your brain power, speed up your thinking skills and as a result lower your brain age.
And it works.
After a few days of practice I've got mine down to 28. Not bad for a 37 year old. But there's still room for improvement - the ultimate aim of the game is to get down to a lithe and agile brain age of 20.
It's a simple concept, the game is a lot of fun and Nintendo has clearly come up with a winning formula.
But that's only part of the reason for the popularity of the game.
What Nintendo has really succeeded in doing is recognising and exploiting an emerging trend… the growing popular awareness of the importance of mental fitness.
If the alarming forecasts being made by health authorities prove accurate, many industrialised countries are facing a looming dementia epidemic over the coming decades.
While there is no known cure at present, numerous studies have indicated positive benefits from training your brain and keeping your mind active, particularly as you get older.
But there's also another reason why some pundits are forecasting that brain fitness and brain power training could become the next big thing…
Better brains = better business
Or to put it more crudely…
Increased brain power = increased earning power
Because today we are all faced with more information than we can possibly handle. So a key business issue for many of us is how to manage this information explosion, and still recall the things we are expected to know.
And this is where investing in your brain can pay dividends.
By developing your ability to read faster, to recall the facts and information key to your business success and to have the confidence and flexibility to learn new skills quickly and easily, you can save yourself heaps of time and boost your business success.
So start training your brain today! Increase your brain power.
Do that crossword… complete that sudoku puzzle (eventually)… get a copy of Brain Training, do the daily exercises and find out if your brain is older than you are!
Better still, come and join us at a Gloo workshop and spend 1 day to discover how to tap into more of your hidden talents.
(Yes I know I'm biased, but if you want to rapidly pick up valuable new skills you just can't beat face-to-face training).
Whatever your motivation and whatever you do, do something.
And remember, you can boost your memory and improve your mental fitness… however old your brain is!
The Final Word: Take a little time to turn back the mental clock. Invest some regular time to train your brain. You'll be glad you did.
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