This simple exercise has it all.
It gets your creative juices flowing like nothing else.
Your brain will fire hard to pull this off, if you do it right.
Even so, I don’t hear many folk suggesting this. There’s plenty of advice out there about how to sharpen your brain – for whatever reason, plenty of people overlook this one.
Not everyone, it’s true.
But this advice is rarer than it should be.
Oh, well. That doesn’t affect you anymore, as you’re about to hear it.
If you want to exercise your neurons – and I mean really put them through the ringer – then I recommend designing a puzzle.
Yep, it really is that simple.
But it works, and here’s why.
To design a puzzle, you first need to solve it. Can’t come up with a riddle unless you know the answer, right? This makes your mind work in strange and unique ways, as you calculate this or freely associate that.
You get that benefit from solving puzzles. To really kick it up a notch, you should create one of your own.
Because it forces you to balance, fine tune and think from other people’s perspective.
It’s trivial to make a puzzle that’s easy to solve.
It’s just as simple to make one that’s impossible.
But crafting one that’s challenging yet achievable?
That takes work, imagination, creativity, playfulness and grit.
All things that are worth practising, no?
Like I said above, it’s fun.
And it’s even more fun if you’re sharing your puzzle with friends, family or a small online community. Most puzzles have to appeal to a broad audience. When you create your own, you can tailor it to what they know, what they like and what they’re good (or bad) at.
You can craft the perfect puzzle for them.
And the more you practice, the better you get at this.
Plus, who knows? Maybe other folk will get in on the act. Maybe they’ll start designing puzzles for you – then you have a healthy supply of unique, bespoke problems to solve.
As for what kind of puzzles to create…?
If you’re handy with a pen, have a crack at making mazes. But not just boring old mazes – intricate, beautiful and challenging creations.
If you like wordplay, how about cryptic crossword clues? I love a good cryptic – the answer eludes you until you realise it can’t be anything but what it is.
Can you create visual puzzles, with images suggesting something other than how they look?
If you know your way around computer code, the sky’s the limit.
Even just thinking of what kind of puzzle to design is decent mental exercise. Everything else dials it up to hardcore mode.
So that’s one way to enhance your life.
But if self-improvement really interests you, what would you do with more techniques than you can use?
Like, say, 60 of them?
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