Musings from the Mind and It’s Potential Conference

This year’s Mind and Its Potential Conference was a delightful smorgasbord of speakers and researchers who shared their ideas, thoughts and findings with us. Here are some of their key messages…


Tony Buzan – There are an infinite number of possibilities, and we are using only a portion of our brains capacity. The limits we put on the brain limit our capacity, memory, learning and creativity.


Amantha Imber shared some ideas on science based innovation. One strategy is to ask ourselves how someone completely different from us would approach or think about something.  So how would Apple approach this?, or how would Virgin think about this? etc.  Then we can think like Apple, think like a gamer, think like an airline, think like Richard Branson, etc.

The other important thing Amantha shared was the need to make important decisions in the morning because we get “decision fatigue” over the day and thus take the easy option forward. This has important implications if we want someone to make a change decision because they are less likely to make a change decision in the afternoon.  In the morning our cognitive resources are replenished and so we make better quality decisions.


Toni Noble shared research on being lucky – The Luck Factor – and said that people do get luckier by thinking they are lucky. She highlighted a number of principles that support luck.  These are:

  1. Turn bad luck into good fortune by seeing life as it is but focus on the good bits.
  2. Maximise chance opportunities by being open to new experiences – Strike up conversations with people and develop your network – people who are more open mind, relaxed and sociable have more luck. Write your bucket list.
  3. Listen to your hunches. Meditation and mindfulness practices increase our intuition which makes us luckier.
  4. Expect good fortune by persevering in the face of adversity or failure. Affirm how lucky you are each day.   Visualise good fortune.


Jason Cooney Horvath reinforced the point that we need to teach the “why”, not the “what”. The why is teach thinking concepts and strategy – this then is reinforced by the what which aligns more with drill learning (repetition learning).

He also spoke about the brain training apps like Luminosity and said that research reflects an initial increase in brain improvement when commencing these programs because of the novelty of learning something new or in a new way. Novelty is the key to improvement not brain training games.  He suggests doing new things daily to learn new rule sets and new strategy.


The final presenter I will share this month is Bruno Cayoun on Equanimity Pain Reduction.   The WHO states that 25% of the world population suffer from chronic pain and 33% of these people live a reduced independent lifestyle as a result of chronic pain.  The transition from acute pain to chronic pain occurs through neuroplasticity linking pain pathways to our learning centres in our brain producing cortical thickness after 6 months.  He and his team have developed a remarkable process to unlearn chronic pain in blocks of 30 seconds (yes, 30 seconds!) of mindfulness practice that focuses on the pain and dissociates it through objectivity, non-judgment and acceptance.  We got to see it in action and it was truly amazing.


The reoccurring theme throughout the conference was the practice of mindfulness – anytime, anywhere, for any amount of time. There are only benefits so again, I encourage you to be present to yourself periodically throughout your day and notice what you notice.

Posted in On Balance