“Nothing whets the intelligence more than a passionate suspicion, nothing develops all the faculties of an immature mind more than a trail running away into the dark.”
– Stefan Zweig
Every day since I started this site I’ve done a puzzle. Be it a crossword, rubik’s cube, word search, or brain teaser.
Two weeks ago I decided to do an almost-scientific experiment. I spent the first week recording my daily activities while continuing to solve puzzles and I spent the second week keeping track of my actions while not challenging my mind.
According to my shoddy recording, the results were as follows:
Week with puzzles
Overall these seven days were awesome. I accomplished everything I wanted to, I felt insanely focused, and I was on the ball with my school work.
Week without puzzles
In contrast, the time I spent not exercising my brain sucked. I procrastinated with all my work, I had trouble sleeping, I couldn’t concentrate, and I felt a lot lazier. During the previous week I had been working on a new book idea, now I was just sitting around watching Family Guy reruns.
I doubt figuring out that yam is a three letter word for potato is a miraculous cure-all for laziness and stupidity, but it does have some effect. If you’re interested in enhancing your cognitive abilities, I highly recommend that you start solving puzzles. You also have to be, amongst other things, great at puzzles if you ever want to work for Google.
For those wondering were they should start their brain training, I have a few suggestions. There’s a great subreddit filled with a vast array of problems to be solved. I also recommend The New York Times Light and Easy Crossword Puzzles. Lastly, if you want a really hard problem, try taking a crack at Einstein’s Intelligence Quiz.