Category: Superhero Mind


Heroes know that an active mind is crucial to your daily superhero activities, but did you know it can also help prevent dementia, Alzheimer’s,  and other age related mental illness? Activities such as reading, doing puzzles, playing an instrument, or learning a new skill all help keep the mind active, sharp, and young. According to an article in Time Magazine, regularly challenging your mind with activities such as a crossword puzzle can reduce one’s chances of developing dementia by almost 50%!

It’s difficult to reverse mental illness once the first stages set in, so prevention truly is the best way to combat an aging mind. Activities for developing and keeping a young and healthy mind include:

  • puzzles
  • reading
  • playing a musical instrument
  • learning a new skill
  • problem solving such as math
  • gardening
  • art

Basically anything that engages multiple parts of the brain in an active manner. Of course, just like your body needs both exercise and a healthy diet, so does your mind so be sure to consume lots of water (to flush out impurities and stay hydrated), fruits and vegetables (full of powerful antioxidants), healthy oils like omega-3 (for brain development), and lean protein.

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When we think of exercise we think mainly of the effects it has on our physical health. The benefits of exercise extend well beyond the physical, stabilizing and energizing both our emotional and mental faculties. In essence, exercise feeds the brain, and too many of us our starving.

Author John Medina in his book Brain Rules says that “physical activity is cognitive candy.” The brain needs food, oxygen, rest, and low stress to perform well and exercise plays a big part in integrating those elements and breaking them down into things the brain can use.

  1. People who exercise tend to eat healthier. Healthy feed promotes an active brain.
  2. Exercise boosts oxygen in the blood, including blood flowing to the brain.
  3. Exercise helps you sleep better. A well rested mind is more alert.
  4. Exercise boosts feel good hormones, which reduce stress. Stress can cripple brain function.

It doesn’t take much exercise to see the benefits in your mental health. A peaceful walk, yoga, jazzercise, kickboxing–getting down on the dance floor Saturday night–it all helps stimulate the brain. In what ways can you feed your brain today?

Superheroes know the value of going into any situation prepared. That’s why the hero is constantly adding to their arsenal of weapons to fight injustice and ignorance. One of the best weapons the hero can arm him or herself with is information.

A well-informed person is hard to fool. Researching the subject, judging the information, weighing the pros and cons, and sorting out the riff-raff one of the best protections against the criminal element. A good researcher:

  • Gets information from multiple sources: Yes google is great, and wikipedia is okay for settling disagreements among friends, but when it comes to the serious issues like changing careers, learning about political issues, making a large purchase, or learning about new cultures one should look at many sources for information.
  • Scrutinizes the source: Nowadays everybody has a website, you can print business cards at home, and with a few key strokes you can start calling yourself an expert. Before accepting a source’s information as truth, look at their background and ask yourself do they have any experience, education, or special skills related to the topic they are talking about? Do they have any bias, any reason beyond facts to persuade me to take their side?  I am biased. I want you to make an informed decision. Full disclosure here!
  • Follows their heart: No one knows better than you what’s right for you. Make decisions based on your values, goals, resources, and current situation. What’s good for the goose IS NOT always good for the gander.
  • Ask a trusted source: Go to an expert (or several) or find people who have experienced first hand what you are researching. Sometimes you’ll find out things that aren’t available through formal channels.
  • Sleep on it: Take time to let the information sink in and synthesize. I have had many seemingly good ideas turn out to be bad ones after a little bit of thinking time.

Of course, too much information can be a bad thing (especially on Facebook–just saying!). So, know when to stop, otherwise you run the risk of overwhelming yourself and crippling your decision-making abilities all together (guilty as charged). Alright heroes, arm yourselves and go get some justice!

“Prejudices are what fools use for reason.” –Voltaire

Because superheroes stand out from the crowd, its important that they be able to justify and defend their beliefs in a sound and reasonable manner. Too often, the political discourse and social commentary that people buy into are full of fallacies, faulty lines of reasoning that rely on prejudice, fear, stereotypes, and ignorance. Each fallacy has a name, but what they all have in common is the fact that they are unsubstantiated, inflammatory, and are clouding the way to healthy and sound solutions for some of our worst problems.

At best, a faulty argument looks something like this:

Mary is a woman.

Mary likes brussels sprouts.

Thus, all women like brussels sprouts.

It’s faulty to assume that what is true for one person is true for all. Right now, there are people calling for drug testing for all people receiving government assistance through welfare and unemployment. The assumption is that people on assistance must be doing drugs and that their drug abuse is the cause of their poverty and unemployment. By proxy, all people who are employed and off assistance must therefore be drug free.

It is false to make assumptions about either party. Drug use and employment are not directly related, nor is poverty and drug use. Recent Hollywood cases have shown us that there are plenty of drug addicts with more than enough money to cover their habits and their bills.

Be a responsible Superhero. Rely on evidence and logic when sharing your ideas and beliefs. Qualify your statements, and divert to authorities when you don’t know. Above all, point out when someone else uses a fallacy to defend an unfounded conclusion. It’s the most powerful way to stop injustice from prevailing.

Critical Thinking

Day in and day out, we are pummeled with jargon, sales speak, scams, spam, false advertising, political double talk, and more mis-information. This false information is dangerous. It creates an environment where injustice can be justified, where people can be taken advantage of, where poor quality can break through, where false experts gain credibility, and where poor decisions can be made. The superhero’s job is to fight against such ignorance.

The weapon of choice: Critical Thinking.

According to the Foundation for Critical Thinking, critical thinking is defined as:

Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action. In its exemplary form, it is based on universal intellectual values that transcend subject matter divisions: clarity, accuracy, precision, consistency, relevance, sound evidence, good reasons, depth, breadth, and fairness.

In more basic terms, thinking critically means that you:

  • know where to go for information
  • look at multiple sources
  • assess the credibility of the source
  • identify any bias in the source
  • synthesize the information to draw your own conclusion based on your values, needs, experience, knowledge, and rules of logic

This is how a superhero sees through the B.S. to the truth, and follows their heart (and their head) even when it’s not popular. They have compared the arguments and “facts” put to the public, located additional and more valid sources of information, and reached their own answers through careful research, analysis, and logical application. As superheroes, I urge you to fight against ignorance, sift through the crap, and find the truth buried beneath so it can come to light.  Nothing is more dangerous than a lie, but for some reason nothing is as hard to hear as the truth. We have to change that.

Tell me, what lie have you uncovered lately and what did you do to bring the truth to light?