November 20

6 Tips to Keep Your Mind Sharp, All the Time

Feeling as if your mind is growing duller with each passing day? Here are some tips to sharpen it – and keep it sharp all the time:

  1. Get adequate sleep, consistently: We all know that it is impossible for our minds to operate optimally if we are groggy. So it is important for you to figure out what ‘adequate’ sleep means to you, and ensure that you don’t get anything less than that on a day to day basis. It is also important for you to create a comfortable sleeping environment, and get rid of things that tend to interrupt your sleep.
  2. Don’t skip breakfast: It has been observed that people who skip breakfast tend to have sub-optimal mental performance. So you can’t afford to skip breakfast, if you want your mind to be in top shape all the time.
  3. Breathe properly: The idea is to deliver adequate oxygen to the brain, in order to get it to function optimally.
  4. Don’t overeat: The objective here is to avoid a situation where the body is forced to dedicate all its energy to digesting the excess food, at the expense of other functions (like the thinking function).
  5. Manage your stress properly: It is impossible for our minds to function optimally when we are over-stressed. That is because when we are over-stressed, our minds go into fight or flight mode – which is not ideal for thinking or other high-level mental activities. You need to identify the things that cause you stress, then figure out what to do about them. Let’s say, for instance, that you are a GM dealer, and every visit to the GM global connect portal triggers a stress reaction in you. What you would need to do in that case is identify the specific dealership-related tasks that cause you to be stressed. Then you can either undertake more training (to become better at them), delegate them, or simply change your attitude towards them. The key thing is to identify the deeper roots of your stress, and resolve them conclusively.
  6. Maintain good posture at all times: It has been observed that whenever we slouch (or opt for other non-ideal postures), our mental performance tends to go down. The inference is clear – try to maintain good postures at all times, and that will go a long way towards keeping your mind sharp at all times.
January 13

Using a Target Gift Card to Pay for Mind Refreshments

Having just received a Target gift card with, say, $50 in it, the first challenge you will encounter is that of figuring out what to spend the money on. That is the predicament I found myself in last month, when one of my nephews sent me a Target gift card with that much money. I wanted to spend the money on something worthwhile – something that I would really enjoy. That is the point at which the idea of using the Target gift card funds to pay for mind refreshments occurred to me.

The specific mind refreshments I opted to spend the Target gift card funds on were a couple of books, three movies and some wine.

My initial plan was to buy the books in the local bookshops, but I was disappointed to learn that they didn’t have the books I needed in stock. So I was forced to shop for the books online – which then meant having to wait for the books to be shipped to me. I was nonetheless appreciative of the idea that I ended up paying far less for the books online than would have been the case had I opted to buy them at the local bookshop.

As for the movies, things went as I had planned: the plan had been to stream them online — from one of these websites where, upon paying a small fee, you are allowed to stream all the movies you need. This I was able to do, after paying the subscription fee using my Target gift card.

Having gotten the books and movies, I decided to check mybalancenow (that is, to view the Target gift card balance online), before proceeding to the last phase – the wine buying phase. But my Target gift card balance check revealed that the funds in the cards had almost been fully depleted by the books and the movies. With the funds remaining in my gift card, I could only afford a cheap wine which nonetheless turned out to be quite refreshing.

Looking back, I feel that my decision to spend the money in my Target gift card on mind refreshments was a good one. I enjoyed every dime.

January 5

Is the L Brands Store a Good Place to Refresh Your Mind?

The answer to the question as to whether the L Brands store is a good place to refresh your mind depends on several things.

First of all, it depends on what ‘refreshing the mind’ means to you. For some of us, refreshing the mind simply means being in an environment different from where you spend most of your time. You know, away from your regular environment. If this is also how you view refreshment of the mind, then, by all means, the L Brands store would be a good place. That is, of course, unless you happen to be one of the people who actually work at L Brands (and who can find a link to their HR portal at For such individuals, the idea of refreshing their minds at L Brands stores doesn’t apply because they work at the very same L Brands stores, and spend most of their time there. Which means that, for them, refreshing the mind would mean being anywhere else other than in a L Brands store…

Still, it is important to remember that the typical L Brands store tends to be a busy place, with lots of colourful apparel and all sorts of people shopping. Therefore if, for you, refreshing your mind means being in a quiet place, then the L Brands store may not be an ideal place for you (to refresh the mind). If you prefer quietude, you may be better off going for a long walk on the beach, or in a park or in some other place where you don’t have to get exposed to lots of people and movement.

On another note, the L Brands store will tend to be a good place to refresh your mind if you have some money to actually buy something there. But if you just spend your time walking around the store, seeing others buying things yet you are unable to afford anything… it can be depressing. Rather than refreshing your mind, it may actually end up upsetting you.

December 14

How I Refreshed My Mind While Shopping at L Brands

The last week was a stressful one for me. My cat had fallen sick, and I had a rather bitter argument with my partner. It is against this background that I found myself walking into the local L Brands store, in search of shopping therapy. The idea was simple: go to the local L Brands store, have a two-hour shopping adventure and (hopefully) be refreshed by the time I would be stepping out of the store.

There is a good reason why I chose the local L Brands outlet. It is a vast store – the sort of store you can explore for hours without reaching all corners. It also has a wide variety of merchandise, and just trying to sort through it all forces your mind to be distracted, by and by. The store’s color themes are also of the variety that cools your mind down and destresses you (as opposed to stimulating your already tired mind).

Accordingly, last Saturday, at exactly 2 pm, I ventured into the local L Brands store, with a view to distract myself through shopping. I started by browsing through the dresses section (it is close to the main entrance). I was in the dresses section for about 30 minutes, observing the flower and color patterns in the various dresses. In the process, I picked a couple of pretty dresses, before proceeding to the jackets section for another 40 minutes. By the time I was venturing into the lingerie section, I was starting to get tired. I nonetheless pushed myself to explore that section, followed by the accessories section, where I was able to pick a rather good belt and a modest neck chain for myself. I then proceeded to the checkout section, where I found a couple of cute attendants complaining bitterly about what I gathered were aces scheduling issues.

By time I was stepping out of the L Brands store, I was feeling much better about myself and the world. Conclusion: shopping therapy works, especially when you have some money to spend at a major L Brands outlet.