Effective Execution

January 9th, 2013 | Posted by John Kapeleris in Action - (2 Comments)

Effective Execution“Success comes from transforming thoughts, ideas and opportunities into action”. John Kapeleris

Despite the emphasis on taking massive action and getting things done as the cornerstone of success, we continue to make new year’s resolutions that dissipate within a few weeks of starting the new year. Individuals and corporations find it difficult to effectively execute personal and strategic initiatives. Although we have clear goals and objectives, detailed plans and the commitment to achieve the results we want, we continue to struggle with effective implementation. Therefore, what can we do to implement effective execution in our personal and business lives?

Gilbert, Buchel and Davidson in their book “Smarter Execution: Seven Steps to Getting Results” identify seven steps to achieving effective execution:

  1. Focus first – Focus can provide clarity and at the same time magnification of the tasks we want to achieve. If we focus on the high value tasks that will make the difference in our work and personal lives, then we can easily execute our plans.
  2. Pick the best possible team (resources) – You need to have the right skills and capabilities for effective execution. If you are assembling a team of people ensure that you have the correct alignment of skills with the tasks required. If the skill set is not available internally then it should be outsourced.
  3. Set the course – You need to set a clear direction of where we want to go and develop clear execution steps that remove confusion.
  4. Play to win – The team and its members need to possess a winning spirit. Strong personal motives can drive projects and tasks to successful completion.
  5. Think it through – You need to think through the foreseeable future steps and have in place alternative courses of action. Mental rehearsal provides a clear pathway but at the same time can anticipate potential impediments that can be overcome in advance. It is important to think through the resources required, reviewing the key success factors and being prepared for any risks for the upcoming execution steps.
  6. Get all aboard – Every team member must be committed to the vision and direction of the project. Communication will be an important factor to ensure the team is informed of the progress against the agreed vision and direction. Any deviation should be evaluated, agreed and communicated to the team.
  7. Follow through – One of the critical steps in achieving effective execution is the follow through. The lack of follow through could certainly guarantee failure.

Wishing you a happy, prosperous and successful New Year 2013!

Dr John Kapeleris

 

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Entrepreneurship is defined as the process by which a new venture is created when an entrepreneur identifies a new opportunity in the market to create economic products and services. An entrepreneur is therefore someone who is willing and able to convert a new idea or invention into a successful innovation in the market. The innovation could be in the form of a product, a service, or a novel business concept or model.

The typical characteristics of an entrepreneur include:

  1. An enthusiastic person with a vision
  2. The ability to identify new opportunities
  3. Calculated risk-taking
  4. Responsible in decision-making
  5. Overwhelming urge to succeed
  6. Discipline and persistence
  7. Confident and persuasive communicators
  8. Driven by the sense of accomplishment
  9. The ability to coordinate and manage scarce resources (time, money and people)

Studies according to Arthur Cole (1959) have identified four types of entrepreneurs:

  1. The innovator
  2. The calculating inventor
  3. The over optimistic promoter
  4. The organisation builder

Entrepreneurship is a very difficult undertaking, where many new businesses fail. Only a very small percentage (approximately 1%) of people who go into business succeed. Entrepreneurial activities range from solo businesses, many now being created online, to establishing large businesses, such as mining, employing large numbers of people. Entrepreneurs can also exist within existing organisations who identify new opportunities able to grow the existing organisation or alternatively are involved in spinning out new businesses. These entrepreneurs are referred to as intrapreneurs. An innovative high performing organisation should nurture and support the development of intrapreneurs as this activity can create significant growth for the organisation, either through the internal development and commercialisation of new ideas or through the creation of subsidiary businesses. If organisations do not identify, nurture and support intrapreneurs then many will leave the organisation and create their own businesses.

Entrepreneurship has been identified by many economists, including Joseph Shumpeter, as a driving factor that creates value in the economy through the following benefits:

  • Creating new jobs
  • Expanding new markets
  • New products and services
  • Satisfying domestic consumption
  • Developing new and existing industries
  • Income generation and economic growth
  • Healthy competition creating higher quality products
  • Supporting the existence of government and their budgets

Dr John Kapeleris

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Achieving Personal Excellence

October 11th, 2012 | Posted by John Kapeleris in Success - (1 Comments)

While I was reading Brian Tracy’s book, “No Excuses!: The Power of Self-Discipline” I came across an interesting section, which in summary stated that if you want to join “The Top 20 Percent” in a given field or profession then you need to achieve personal excellence in the specific skills required for that field or profession. You need to identify the key leaders or dominant players in the given field or profession and emulate their skills and behaviours. Brian Tracy also mentions that if you want to be successful identify a successful person and find out what they do on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. You need to know what they do when they wake up in the morning, their exercise program, what they eat and drink, their daily routine, what they read and write, what they are thinking, and what they do in the evening before they go to sleep.

For example, to become a football (soccer) superstar you need to identify the skills and behaviours of the leading players and develop those skills and behaviours through learning and significant practice to achieve personal excellence in the game. If we take the example of the football star then the key skills required to achieve excellence include: fitness/endurance, ball skills (passing, receiving, dribbling, defensive, attacking, kicking, finishing), running speed, awareness and anticipation (position), decision-making, and most importantly, discipline, attitude and mindset.

The same approach applies to business and personal life. If you truly desire to be the best in your given field or profession (that is, the top 20 percent) you need to identify the skills and behaviours of the top performers, and develop and practice those skills and behaviours. For example, in my current role as General Manager, what I need to do is focus on leadership skills. As a summary from a previous blog, “A New Profile for Future Leaders“, the key skills and attributes of a future leader include:

  • Key leadership skills
  • Ability to create and articulate a vision for the future
  • Define and establish clear goals and objectives
  • Mentor and develop staff
  • Team dynamics
  • Ability to solve problems
  • Ability to generate new ideas and identify new opportunities
  • A high level of written and verbal communication skills
  • Negotiation and persuasive selling skills
  • Operational and project management skills
  • Financial management
  • Change management

Once you have identified these specific skills you then need to evaluate your level of competency for each skill by developing a Personal Skills Matrix. A skills matrix consists of a list of the required skills for your field or profession and a rating for each skill against the level of competency required.  The skills matrix will determine the gaps that exist and this will provide the basis for your personal development action plan that will encourage you to focus on the specific skills required for your development.

Dr John Kapeleris

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Mind Management

August 14th, 2012 | Posted by John Kapeleris in Mind - (2 Comments)

“It is not always easy for a man to trace the inward path by which he reaches his own conclusions; so much of the working of the mind is subconscious” Sir Edward Grey, British Foreign Secretary (1905-1916)

Our past thoughts, feelings, behaviours and actions establish certain patterns that we often repeat time after time because they seem quite natural. If these patterns are grounded in negative attitudes, fears, anxieties and doubts, then we are held back by these invisible chains that we have built for ourselves. They have the effect of limiting our beliefs, behaviours and actions, even though we don’t realise they are there. Conversely, patterns that lead us to positive attitudes, to enjoy life’s challenges and to believe in our own abilities, encourage beliefs, behaviours and actions that propel us to winning and successful outcomes in the future. For example, the self-disciplined individual focusses on the 20% of the high value activities that yield 80% of the desired outcomes.

A self-doubting person who focuses on negative thoughts and emotions will retreat in life and be influenced by external factors and people. To overcome negative thoughts you need to look fearlessly at your own emotions and face up to negative thoughts. You can then establish new and better systems of thought that will become habitual after you practice them each day for at least 20 days.

Following are some simple action steps you can take today to overcome negative thoughts and emotions:

  1. Take responsibility for your own life – You are the master of your own destiny. Take control of your own life and become proactive in designing your future.
  2. Surround yourself with positive people – There too many people around who are always negative (Black Hat thinkers). Take a moment to observe their lives, which are full of doom and gloom, and they always blame someone or something else for their situation. Seek out people who are positive, passionate, optimistic and successful. Take note that you generally become the average of the four to five people you associate with the most.
  3. Challenge your negative thoughts – Confront your negative thoughts by taking a piece of blank paper, writing down your negative thoughts, asking why you have those thoughts, and if you don’t have a valid answer tear up the sheet of paper and physically throw the negative thoughts in the bin. The physical action of capturing the negative thoughts on paper and then disposing of those thoughts can be very relieving.
  4. Change your thoughts from negative to positive – It is easy to think of everything in a positive tone. For example, instead of thinking to yourself, “Today I will make sure I do not feel negative”, turn the tone into a positive thought, “Today I will be positive and optimistic and take control of my life”.
  5. Use positive affirmations to change your state of being and your mindset – You can create a list of positive affirmations that you read daily or you can read positive quotes on your computer, mobile phone or from a list you post on the wall.
  6. Daily gratitude – Be thankful for what you have received and what you have achieved in life. List five things that you are grateful in life and read them every day when you wake up in the morning. It’s amazing what effect this activity can have on your life.
  7. Positive visualisation – Every evening before you go to sleep or early in the morning when you wake up, breathe deeply, relax your body, remove all thoughts from your mind (achieving a meditative state), and then concentrate hard on visualising your desired positive state. Picture yourself achieving the outcomes you desire in your work or personal life.

Make it a positive focus!

Dr John Kapeleris

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Productivity in our work and personal lives involves focusing on the key goals and objectives, developing a project plan, identifying the key value-adding tasks, and executing the plan by taking action. It may come as a surprise that many people struggle with this basic approach to achieving personal productivity. Many reasons can be identified for losing focus and not taking the appropriate action to achieve the desired outcomes.

The first issue lies within our minds. The human brain, although powerful and complex, if not trained appropriately can only handle a limited number of tasks at any one time (the literature generally states about seven tasks or pieces of information). As the brain becomes overwhelmed and stretched to perform, it begins to forget important items in the process. The brain does not generally think sequentially or in a linear manner. It thinks more in a random or radial manner.

The second issue involves interruptions from colleagues, unscheduled meetings, the telephone, email or the influence of external people. Interruptions should be avoided and removed from your daily work environment. This can be done by closing the office door, finding a quiet place to concentrate, checking emails at specific periods of the day (morning, midday and late afternoon), making all your calls in the morning and late afternoon, and delegating as many tasks as possible.

The last issue involves lack of clarity and focus. Focus can be achieved through concentration and structured thinking. The mind has to be reinforced that focus and action are the key drivers to achieving successful outcomes from a project. In addition, clarity can be achieved by removing the clutter and blocks that exist in our minds.

Following are the key steps that will increase your personal productivity:

  1. Use structured thinking to provide clarity and focus
  2. Focus on the key goals and objectives
  3. Develop a project plan and identify the key value-adding tasks
  4. Assign time limits on each of the tasks
  5. Take immediate action
  6. Maintain the self-discipline

We all struggle to remain productive and achieve optimal outcomes. The key to success involves focus and action.

Dr John Kapeleris

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You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result.” — Gandhi

We are fast approaching Christmas and this is always a sign that we have once again reached the end of another calendar year. I always find the end of the year to be a time of reflection and review. It is also a time to evaluate the progress of your life purpose, goals and objectives that were set at the start of the year or the longer term goals set in previous years. Your life purpose, goals and objectives should be part of your Personal Development Plan.

The end of the year also offers a fresh start for activities that we had intended to do but never got around to doing them. Although I had previously stated that any day can be the start of the rest of your life, the end of the year can be a special time because it can provide closure to outstanding action items that may no longer be relevant, but also removing limiting beliefs by leaving them behind in the current year. The dawning of a new year provides the incentive to start a fresh action list and the motivation to get things done.

Many people make New Year’s resolutions, however, they quickly discover that the resolutions fade even before the first quarter of the calendar year is reached. It is not just about making New Year’s resolutions at the dawn of the New Year, it is about making a committed effort to set written goals and objectives for the coming year and for the medium to longer term timeframe. Numerous studies have shown only three percent of the population set goals and only about one percent actually write them down.

I challenge you to make a committed effort, that is, take ACTION, to review your previous goals and objectives, and/or to set new goals and objectives for 2012. Begin by identifying the major achievements and highlights for 2011. These could include work achievements, financial objectives, family highlights, personal development, educational achievements or personal success outcomes. Achievements should also be acknowledged and celebrated to ensure mental reinforcement and capitalizing on the motivation that this can provide to your subconscious mind. I try to reward myself when I achieve a particular goal or objective. For example, I will buy a gift for myself that reminds me of the success that I have achieved, or I will organise a special holiday trip for myself and my family. In early December of 2011 I took the family to Hawaii for 17 days to celebrate a very successful 2011. In previous years I bought myself a Tag Heuer watch to remind me of a successful multi-million dollar deal I had closed in the year.

I use a visual journal with white pages to document my goals and objectives for the new calendar year. Once I complete this activity I then develop Action Plans for the major goals and objectives. Throughout the year I periodically review my goals and revise any action plans that are not progressing as expected. You should also prepare a vision board which consists of a portfolio of visual material or a collage of images that portray your vision, goals and objectives. The vision board helps to stimulate your reticular activating system in your mind to reaffirm your subconscious.

Like most people I also identify a few missed opportunities or disappointments for the year. This allows me to learn from the experience so that I can strengthen my future plans moving forward. Go ahead and document the missed opportunities and disappointments. Ask yourself, “What could I have done differently to capitalise on the missed opportunities or overcame the disappointments?”, and document potential changes and actions for the future. Don’t spend too much time regretting the missed opportunities. The rest of your life starts now, therefore focus on your future goals and plans for 2012. Some of these goals could also be carried over from 2011. Particularly goals that were over ambitious, which is common amongst high achievers.

I had also previously posted a number of blog entries that can provide further detailed information on developing your goals and objectives (see below). Furthermore, I have included a Personal Development Plan Template that may also be used as a guide.

What are your key goals, objectives and action plans for 2012?

Have a merry Christmas and I wish you every success for the New Year in 2012!

Dr John Kapeleris

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A personal development plan is an important tool that can help you achieve the life that you desire. It is amazing to find that the majority of people I meet do not have a personal development plan, yet many complain that they are not satisfied in life and that their life is meandering without progress or achievement.  A successful personal development plan can take you from where you are now to where you want to be by filling the gaps in your journey. To develop a successful personal development plan you need the following:

  • A vision
  • A positive attitude
  • Commitment
  • Self-discipline

I have used a simple three-step process in developing my personal development plan that I would like to share with you:

  1. Identify where you are now. What have been your significant achievements? What have been your disappointments? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Do you know what is holding you back in grasping new opportunities in life?
  2. Determine where you want to be. What do you need to do to get to the next level i.e. your purpose, goals and objectives in your personal and working life? What are the weaknesses you need to address and the priority areas to focus?
  3. Develop a personal development plan. What are the actions you will need to take, when are you going to achieve them, and how will you achieve them? What resources and assistance will you require?

A personal development plan can include a number of different elements based on your specific needs. It can be a specific plan focusing on the important goals and objectives you want to achieve, or it could be a more detailed life plan that includes the following elements:

  • Your life purpose or vision
  • Your dreams and desires
  • Your values and beliefs
  • Your achievements and disappointments
  • Your short, medium and long-term goals and objectives
  • Your personal education plan
  • Your action plan

To develop your personal development plan the following steps provide a good framework:

Step 1 Brainstorm your life purpose and your goals and objectives

  • Take a sheet of paper or use a journal determine your life purpose or vision. List all your goals and objectives. They could also include your dreams and desires in life and a vision of the “Ideal You”.
  • Some people have suggested you list 100 goals for this step, but if you can’t get to 100 don’t worry
  • Once you have your list then prioritize and label each as follows: 1 = goals to be achieved in one year or less, 3 = goals that are two to three years out, 5 = goals that will take about five years to achieve, and 10 = your ten-year goals and dreams.

Step 2 Focus on your One Year goals

  • Ensure your goals satisfy the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-based) criteria and rewrite if required.
  • Group your goals under the following categories:
    • Financial/Material Goals
    • Business/Career Goals
    • Personal Relationship/Social Goals
    • Health & Recreational Goals
    • Personal Development & Growth Goals
  • Further prioritize your goals under each category. I usually have 4 – 5 goals for each category and I prioritize further by asking what are the more important goals that will have the biggest impact in my life.

Step 3 Develop Action Plans for each goal

  • Write each goal at the top of a fresh page and develop the details of your plan.
  • Break down the plan into workable individual tasks. Assign a completion date for each task.
  • Some goals may require the assistance of other people. You will need to assign specific tasks to the individual people identified who can assist you with your plan.

Step 4 Repeat Steps 2 and 3 above for your 3, 5 and 10 year goals

  • Some of your longer term goals may be dreams or desires. You will need to convert these dreams and desires into specific and defined individual goals with timeframes. The individual goals together with their specific tasks and actions, collectively will achieve your overall dreams.
  • Long term goals require periodic review to ensure you are on track to achieving the outcomes that you have documented in your plan.
  • You may need to revise your plans if you discover that you are not progressing as originally planned.

Step 5 Take Action

  • You now have the winning combination of a goal with a plan.
  • Take action immediately with the highest priority goals.
  • Commitment and self-discipline will be needed to work on your goals and plans every day. Do something every day, no matter how small, to move towards achieving your goals.
  • Document your progress in a journal or diary and make any adjustments, if required.
  • Celebrate your success and achievements by rewarding yourself.

You can use the attached Personal Development Plan Template as a guide to assist you in starting and further developing your own plan.

Dr John Kapeleris

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And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count.  It’s the life in your years“.  Abraham Lincoln

The phrase “carpe diem” has been quoted by many authors, but it was Lord Byron’s quote “I never anticipate, – carpe diem – the past at least is one’s own, which is one reason for making sure of the present” in his 1817 work ‘Letters’ published in 1830 by Thomas Moore, which popularized the phrase in the English language.

Carpe diem means to seize the day, which translates to making the most of the available time you have in the day. This applies to both your work life and personal life. By focusing your time on the activities that will provide the greatest value or outcome, ensures that you maximize the use of your time. Generally 20% of the activities you engage in yield 80% of the value or outcomes you desire. It is therefore obvious that we should be focusing on the 20% high value-added activities. However, this is not always as easy as it seems. While we may be working on the high value activities, we may periodically become distracted with lower value activities or other people’s activities that may not necessarily be high value on our own agenda.

As we grow older time seems to pass much faster, therefore we must make every day count. Benjamin Franklin in his book “The Way to Wealth” stated that, “Once we waste time it’s gone. There’s no way to get it back“.   What this means for me is that we must invest time rather than spend time.

Therefore how can we make better use of our remaining time on Earth? Following are some of my thoughts that can provide a much richer experience and also possibly extend the available time you have:

  1. Invest quality time with family and friends
  2. Exercise regularly, by simply walking or riding a bicycle
  3. Eat healthy foods
  4. Remove the physical and mental clutter from your life
  5. Free yourself from the things that are holding you back
  6. Be the best you can be in anything you do
  7. Read books that stimulate your thinking, knowledge and creativity
  8. Make a list of the important things that you have been putting off and start working on them today
  9. Plan your time wisely to focus on the high value activities
  10. Take immediate action – “Just do it!” and “leave procrastination for another day

Carpe diem can also mean to seize the opportunities that present themselves or that you create. A prepared and open mind will be able to identify opportunities that could transform into the next new product, service or business opportunity. One approach to identifying opportunities involves capturing new ideas and recording them into an ideas journal, which provides the means to further process the ideas into new concepts or applications. Everyone has the ability to identify opportunities, however some people do it better than most. Identifying and seizing opportunities requires the development of your creativity, thinking and implementation skills.

I encourage you to seize the day, maximise the value in your available time and capture the opportunities in your work and personal life.

Dr John Kapeleris

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The wider development of your individual abilities will achieve greater confidence in your life and ultimately the happiness that everyone seeks to achieve. The first step is to identify your abilities and map out a program for developing them. Even if you do not know the direction that you should be following in your life or career it is good practice to be exposed to new experiences and learn new skills.

The American psychologist Abraham Maslow studied the behaviour of people who were confident and happy in nature regardless of the problems that confronted them. He described these people as “self-actualisers”. Self-actualisation is defined as the state of being where a person achieves their full potential when all basic and mental needs are fulfilled. In other words, becoming the person you desire by maximising your full potential and abilities.

Self-actualisers have the following set of identifiable characteristics:

  • Recognise that their life is their own responsibility
  • Concentrate on the present state to improve their future situation and do not dwell on the past
  • Cope well with reality but can also tolerate uncertainty
  • Accept themselves and others for what they are
  • Creative, have a sense of humour and unbound by convention
  • Appreciate the everyday pleasures of life

To move towards achieving self-actualisation you can implement the following actions:

  1. Assume full responsibility of your own life
  2. Identify your abilities and map out a personal development program
  3. Expose yourself to new experiences (try new things)
  4. Listen to your own inner true feelings when considering life experiences
  5. Be prepared to express your own views, even if they are not in accordance with the majority of people
  6. Avoid pretence and game playing when dealing with other people
  7. Work hard and smart at everything you do
  8. Develop a positive attitude and eliminate negative thoughts
  9. Seek and accept constructive feedback from other people

Begin the quest to become the best you can be by deciding what you want from life and then doing what is necessary to achieve it!

Dr John Kapeleris

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In our current busy world being able to concentrate and focus is extremely important for work and everyday life. Focus can provide clarity and at the same time magnification of the tasks we want to achieve. If we focus on the high value tasks that will make the difference in our work and personal lives, then we can easily become successful. Focus has made many individuals and organizations achieve success beyond the achievements of their their nearest rivals who may be more diversified. e.g. compare Intel with Motorola – Intel is focused on silicon chips while Motorola is involved in a number of different products.

The key questions you will need to consider when determining your level of focus are:

  1. Am I focused on my strengths?
  2. Am I focused on high value activities to achieve my goals and objectives?
  3. Do I need to shift my focus?

Al Reis has been a strong advocate of “Focus”. He has stated that success is achieved in business and personal life when you narrow the focus. Al Reis also described a number of characteristics related to focus, including:

  1. Focus is simple, memorable, powerful and revolutionary
  2. Focus needs enemies, is the future, is internal and helps organizations and nations
  3. Focus is selective, easy to find, long-term, but isn’t forever

If you want to improve the concentration and focus of your mind, then you need to work out and exercise your brain.  The correct brain exercises will improve the way your brain works, and develop better focus and concentration. Brain exercises are excellent tools for people of any age who would like to strengthen their mind! Following are some simple and effective brain exercises that can help you develop and improve your brain concentration:

  1. Crossword or Sudoku puzzles. Crossword and Sudoku puzzles can help improve your concentration and at the same time are a lot of fun.  Crossword puzzles are great for strengthening your long-term memory, while Sudoku is great for improving logic based problem-solving. Taking only 15 minutes daily to work on crossword or Sudoku puzzles can benefit you. You can purchase a crossword or Sudoku puzzle book, check your daily newspaper, or search online to find free  puzzles.
  2. Eat foods that help your brain. Your brain will stay healthy and function effectively if nourished with nutritious foods. Proteins are great for the brain, and may be found in cheeses, meats, fish, and milk. Complex carbohydrates are important as well, and these come from fruits, vegetables, and grains. The brain also needs some fat, derived from healthy oils like olive oil or fish oils. Eat foods that include Omega-3s, such as trout, salmon, and tuna. Some nuts contain these fats as well and are healthy food for the brain. Other specific foods associated with improved brain function include, cacao beans (chocolate), green tea, Greek-style yogurt, blueberries, flak seeds and broccoli. Of course you will also need plenty of water – about two litres per day.
  3. Exercise regularly. Exercise not only improves your health and fitness, it also provides important oxygen and glucose to the brain through increased blood circulation. Walking briskly is one of the easiest and effective exercise routines to assist in brain function.
  4. Changing your daily routine. Changing your daily routine takes you outside your comfort zone, which challenges your brain. This influences and and improves your problem solving abilities. One way of achieving this is taking a different route to work or changing your morning exercise routine.
  5. Start a new hobby. Trying a new hobby is another way to expand your interests and use your brain to learn something new. Being busy and learning new things expand the way the brain thinks and gets you out of a rut. Join a local club or take a class at a hobby store or community college. Challenging yourself and improving brain function is something that any person can do.
  6. Brain training games and puzzles. Mental exercise for the brain can be achieved through brain training games and puzzles. Brain activities and puzzles can enhance the logical, analytical, creative, spatial, memory and problem solving abilities of the brain.

Make just one change today to stimulate your brain. You won’t notice any drastic changes overnight, but with time and practice, eventually you’ll find that you can solve problems more easily, improve your memory and enjoy improved concentration and focus.

Dr John Kapeleris

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Try the following Brain Puzzles and add your answers as comments:

  1. A man and woman are walking together. At this very moment their right feet are striking the ground. For every 3 steps taken by the woman the man takes 2 steps. How many steps must each take before their left feet strike the ground together?
  2. A horse trader brings a string of horses to a horse fair. As admission charge, he gives up one of his horses. At the fair he sells one half of those remaining and on the way out he is charged one horse as a trading fee.
    He proceeds to a second fair where similar conditions prevail. There he pays one horse to get in , sells half his horses he still has on hand and pays a single horse as a trading fee.
    Not content he proceeds to a third fair. Here again he pays one horse to get in , sells half of his horses remaining and is charged a single horse as a trading fee. He then has one horse left which he rides home with the proceeds.
    How many horses did he start with?
  3. A bag contains one marble, known to be either black or white. A white marble is dropped into the bag and shaken, and a marble is drawn out, which proves to be white. What is now the chance of drawing a white marble?
  4. A man pointed to a one person in a family portrait and stated, “Brothers and sisters have I none, but that man’s father is my father’s son”. Who did he point to?
  5. A hunter travelling by train to the forest carries with him his gun, which is 2.3 metres long. Unfortunately, the baggage regulations of the train company do not allow any object more than 2 metres long. How does the hunter get around the rule?

Good luck!

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