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The Daily ParadoxCreativity

The Daily Paradox: Discovering how to appreciate yourself

Would you like to try an experiment? It’s quite simple but requires a little concentration, so better to do it when you won’t be easily distracted.  Its purpose is to find out if you can make something better out of something good that you already have. It has another purpose, too, but we’ll come to that later.

Think of any event you have thoroughly enjoyed in, say, the last year. Nothing magic about the timescale but don’t make it too far back. It might be a party, a meal with friends, a visit to somewhere you have not been before, a weekend holiday, a wedding. Make it something active that you actually took part in, if you can.

Now go over the memory very slowly. Pause to remind yourself of every step of the event. If you can’t quite remember a particular point, think about it and fill it in. Be a little creative if you want to – after all this is a story, not a legal submission. When you come across a very special moment in the story, savour it. Roll it around in your mind. Remember how much you enjoyed it. Relive it in as much detail as you can.

Write it down or record it.  Don’t worry about it being perfect, just get it remembered. You can tidy it up later. Before you do that, re-read it. Slowly. Enjoy it. Change it if you want to.  Who knows, later on you may enter it in a competition, if you feel like doing so.

Whatever else you do, make it your story, something you can claim and treasure. A story you can read from time to time, just to enjoy. A story you can read to the young to show them what the world was like then. A yarn you can repeat to the old to bring a glitter to their eyes and make them remember their own special times. Make the words ‘delicious’ so that you can ‘taste’ them. That’s what a good writer does.

When your story makes you emotional – laughing, crying, sensing, feeling, pondering – you have a gem on your hands. If you want to, illustrate it – maybe even publish it?

How do you feel about your story? Did you enjoy creating it? Will you do another one?

I said there was another reason for doing this. As we get older our memories start to deteriorate. That doesn’t mean we have dementia, although dementia can follow these early signs. There is no scientific proof of what I am suggesting but I think most mind experts would agree that the exercise will likely help you to retain your memory for longer than you might otherwise do so.

After all, it is merely mental exercise and just as the body needs its regular workout so too does the mind. We introduce people to this idea to help them develop their creativity. I have noticed that people who follow the suggestion seem to sustain their long-term memories better. Surprisingly, I have noticed that they also seem to have sharper short-term memories.

None of that is scientifically proven at present.

Common sense suggests that it might help. If you try it, enjoy it and sense an improvement in your remembering the short-term things we all forget, you might consider doing it again. No harm in getting brighter as you get older, is there?

Keep trying.  Practice makes perfect.

Good morning
John Bittleston

Please let us know if you think it works at [email protected].

1 May 2024