Two-Time USA Memory Champion; memory training expert, and memory keynote speaker Ron White shares his thoughts on taking time out to distress and walk away from a problem in order to solve it.

As a memory expert, I can attest to the fact that no mind, no matter how extraordinary, is capable of solving every problem immediately. We are distracted by problems that come up on a daily basis, and the stress mounts with each distraction that is ignored. It is how we deal with these distractions that make us or break us.

Navy Seals are specially trained soldiers who focus on the mission they are given, and taught to deal with stress and distractions in two ways:

1. Irrelevant/Dismissed

2. Target of Opportunity – worth diverting your attention for a little while in order to use this diversion to your advantage.

An irrelevant problem is one that takes your focus away from your ultimate goal. No matter whether it is a mission of a Navy Seal, or a marketing plan for your business that could bring in amazing revenue streams, little diversions can take you away from your focus – and often derail you entirely. Irrelevant diversions are not worth wasting your time, and take your eyes off the prize (goal). Dismiss these distractions and delegate them to the appropriate person or time.

A diversion that can help you, such as a networking opportunity that could allow you to rub elbows with some potential clients is referred to as a “Target of Opportunity.” It allows you to work on your goal as you take a side trip and enjoy the scenery. You then return to working on your goal – not losing focus.

In addition to these tools, Navy Seals see the value of distressing in order to keep their minds at optimum performance level, and in order to achieve their mission objective. You can’t achieve clear thought and memory improvement if you allow your mind to be cluttered with diversions and stress. For a Seal, a cluttered mind is literally a matter of life and death.

I often refer to Albert Einstein in my talks. He is someone I admire, not only for his fascinating brain and discoveries, but also his ability to look at life from different sides.

Einstein had his eccentricities, but he was totally in touch with himself and how his brain functioned. One of his most interesting traits was his ability to take himself away from a problem he had been struggling with in order to clear his head. He found that just removing himself from the problem, even for just a short while, allowed him to see things from a different prospective – and usually found the answer he was looking for.

According to his second wife, Elsa, “Music helps him when he is thinking about his [scientific] theories. When stumped in his work, Einstein would take a break and play piano or his beloved violin. Then he would return to his research with fresh thoughts.”

Our brains are amazing muscles, and like any of our muscles does not function well if it is constantly tightened up. It needs a release just like your body does. It is impossible to keep your focus if you are too uptight. Stress can tire you out, mentally and physically. If you want to maintain your edge, intentionally take a step back and let your problems blur for a while. This is why vacations are so important in a person’s life.

Each of us has to learn what helps us to distress. Some use meditation or yoga; some, like Einstein turn to music. Whatever it is that you find helps to clear your head, use that release when you have a heavy problem weighing on your mind. Walk away, have some fun, do something you are passionate about, and then come back to the problem with a clear head.

When you come back to your problem you will have a new attitude, a renewed direction, and even a new perspective on how you want to proceed or complete your task.

You will find these thoughts and ideas among our “Mind of a Seal” training program, now on CD.



Einstein and his love of music –

Arts Edge –