I work in Film. I live in Martial Arts. I thrive in Imagination.


Putting Pen to Paper Keeps the Mind Sharp


Why Writing?

All that chatter in one's brain?! Cured for me by writing down my thoughts and forcing my brain to clarify and order them. To pick the words for precision. The order of the words to clarify thinking. Perhaps this effort is a constant Socratic forum for my brain to achieve more and more.

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Building Powerful Habits: Repetition Learning. Here, Let me Repeat that...

October 30, 20235 min read

Get the Right Tool

I like the Kindle in many ways. I like to read non-fiction books in Kindle and use their highlight and bookmark functions. Since I have Kindle on my computer and my phone, I can - when in line at the store or the ridiculous lines at the post-office - take out my phone and read. Now you can probably get the same features with a Google or Apple product. Just so happens that Amazon has soooooo many books. But these platforms probably work the same:

  • Computer and Phone/Tablet Synchronization

  • Highlight

  • Bookmarks

  • Create Collections

I like that, when I want to read some non-fiction on a plane, then I have access to one or two physical books that I bring (it’s an addiction!) plus the Kindle. At times, I’m a moody reader - not quite sure what to read until I’m in the moment.

Read for a Purpose

I am always reading non-fiction on my Kindle and generally read fiction with an actual book. Concentrating over the last few years on non-fiction to improve my various skill sets, I do like the electronic benefits.

But I am also clear that I am reading for a Purpose: To Improve My Skills.

To improve my Skills, I know that I have to organize and systematize my Learning. So, I’m covering two topics here. One: Building Powerful Habits. Two: Create Your Own Systems.

This is my learning system but you should customize your own System.

  1. Check out the Table of Contents to get a sense of the topical flow

  2. Start on the First Chapter - does it keep me reading carefully? Or speed skimming?

  3. Find my Points of Interest - Read more intently on these topics

  4. Bookmark important pages

  5. Highlight important passage - Yellow is Good. Red is Critical. I keep the color scheme simple

  6. Repeat

Create a Useful Purpose

But here’s the Key: Define How to Use the Knowledge Today with your next reading.

Perhaps you are reading a book about Negotiations. Then try using some of the techniques in the book with your spouse, friend, co-worker, etc., to embed the knowledge until your Skill Set.

That’s what I mean by reading with a purpose. Now, if you got kids, keep the book handy and really use it. But whatever the topic, you can find ways to mix two elements together. Knowledge and an Emotionally Driven Purpose/Project. By emotionally driven, I’m not talking about a hostage situation here. Just make sure to have something at stake with a positive forward desired outcome.

Could be making more money. Getting your kids to do chores. Get your preferred TV program one night. Getting a raise at work is a bit more serious. If the book isn’t about Negotiations or Business, then still figure how to make relevant.

Repeat Means Repetition - Better Learning

Yes, #6 Repeat.

Here’s the Critical Habit to Form: Repetition. Here, let me repeat that: Repetition.

Repeated review of previously learned material enhances connections in the brain and aids in  retention. Forming more neuron connections, the brain links new knowledge to relevant old information. Teachers have long used repetition in early childhood development classes and in teaching languages. I use a repetitive software deck called Anki for learning French.

Eventually, one masters new concepts and remembers them without struggling. The best strategy if you are really trying to learn from a book is “Spaced Out Learning.” No, that doesn’t mean hanging out with Sean Penn and smoking weed at Ridgemont High. You review the material in spaced out increased intervals: 24 hours later, seven days, 16, or 36 days later to boost your memory. 

Now, whatever you are dreaming to conquer, this method helps. I use it for:

  • French cognates

  • Crytpo Terms

  • Martial Arts Techniques

  • History

  • Geography

How to Read A Oldie But Goodie

This Book, “Master Key System” is a book done one hundred and ten years ago but stands the test of time. Maybe its wording might seem from 1912 - but then again I think its advice is timeless.

Your Library: "Master Key System" by Charles Haanel

From Amazon:

"Knowledge doesn't apply itself" – Charles F. Haanel. Charles F. Haanel was an American author, millionaire, entrepreneur, and businessman who shared his path to mastery through this book. The Master Key will not only help solve your problems, but also to become aware of opportunities, and make use of them. It's the key to universal forces, helping you to change the circumstances on the outside through altering your predominant mental attitude. Thought being energy, and concentrated thought being concentrated energy, concentration is the key to impact on the subconscious mind, thus aligning the Finite (conscious) with the Infinite (subconscious).

The Master Key System book is a terrific read with Week-by-Week Assignments.  You should read the book all at once but take the weekly journey - and then ponder.  Think.  Sit back and reflect.  No phone, no music, no Streaming.  Just reflect.

After all, you are developing Power Within Yourself.   I recently read and reread this section (Week 4) with the Q&A at the end.

You might think.  Oh, no.  I've stumbled into some New Agey kinda vibe.  Well, when we think back to the Warriors like John Adams, Gandhi, MLK, Mandela, etc., they fought with their Inner Spirit as Warriors.  They fought against external conditions with their minds.  They did not wait until the tools and resources came to them.  They found the tools inside. 

"The Law of Vibration" - isn't this a synchronicity of ourselves with others?  We are "in sync" with a person's ideas, thoughts or direction. So it's not really far off. You say the words already as “they give off a positive (or negative) vibe” . This is thinking of energetics in our Being.

"Service" as the Secret of Power.  The giving outward opens us up to Receiving inward.  The realization of a greater Why is critical for Service and, therefore, Power.  

Note the Impact:  "It is the first step to self-control and self-mastery."

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Michael Mandaville

Michael is a writer, filmmaker and dedicated World War II historian who studies martial arts, action films and is learning more about VFX every single darn day. Oh and a Scholar Warrior

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