Making a Good Brain Great : The Amen Clinic Program for Achieving and Sustaining Optimal Mental Performance
Daniel Amen, M.D., one of the world's foremost authorities on the brain, has news for you: your brain is involved in everything you do--learn to care for it properly, and you will be smarter, healthier, and happier in as little as 15 days!
You probably run, lift weights, or do yoga to keep your body in great shape; you put on sunscreen and lotions to protect your skin; but chances are you simply ignore your brain and trust it to do its job. People unknowingly endanger or injure their brains, stress them by working at a frenzied pace and not getting enough sleep, pollute them with caffeine, alcohol, and drugs, and deprive them of proper nutrients. Brain dysfunction is the number one reason people fail at school, work, and relationships. The brain is the organ of learning, working, and loving--the supercomputer that runs our lives. It's very simple: when our brains work right, we work right--and when our brains have trouble, we have trouble in our lives.
Luckily, it's never too late: the brain is capable of change, and when you care for it, the results are amazing. Making a Good Brain Great gives you the tools you need to optimize your brain power and enrich your health and your life in the process. The principles and exercises in this book, based on years of cutting-edge neuroscience research and the experiences of thousands of people, provide a wealth of practical information to teach you how to achieve the best brain possible. You will learn:
*how to eat right to think right
*how to protect your brain from injuries and toxic substances
*how to nourish your brain with vitamins and do mental workouts to keep it strong
*the critical component of physical exercise, and which kinds work best
*how to rid your brain of negative thoughts, counteract stress, and much more
Full of encouraging anecdotes from Dr. Amen's many years of experience, Making a Good Brain Great is a positive and practical road map for enriching and improving your own greatest asset--your brain.
In order to make muscles grow, one must eat right, exercise and force the muscles to do new things; the same is true of one's brain-which is just one of the things to learn from this short but informative audiobook from one of the world's leading experts on how the brain works. Works of this sort usually aren't well suited to audio, and this one is no exception. Unless listeners are studiously taking notes while listening, they will need to find a hard copy when the time comes to apply Amen's advice. However, Amen's friendly and warm narration relates the precepts of his brain-boosting program in a way that makes them easy to understand and absorb. The audiobook becomes repetitive when Amen tries to reinforce certain points, but this production is otherwise enjoyable and will leave listeners eager to implement some of the strategies outlined. Amen is a renowned keynote speaker and frequently appears on TV, so there's no surprise that his engaging and exuberant style makes this a fascinating exploration of how the brain works.
Copyright (c) Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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December 25, 2006
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Excerpt from Making a Good Brain Great by Daniel G. Amen
The Next New Thing Is--Things
A new bull market is under way, and it is in commodities--the "raw materials," "natural resources," "hard assets," and "real things" that are the essentials of not just your life but the lives of everyone in the world. Every time you walk into the supermarket or the mall, you're surrounded by commodities that are traded around the world. When you get into your car or truck, you are surrounded by other widely traded commodities. Without the commodities "futures markets" to set and regulate prices, the things we all need in life would be scarce and often too expensive. These essentials include oil, natural gas, wheat, corn, cotton, soybeans, aluminum, copper, silver, gold, cattle, hogs, pork bellies, sugar, coffee, cocoa, rice, wool, rubber, lumber, and the 80 or so other things listed in the traders' bible, the Commodity Research Bureau (CRB) Yearbook.
Commodities are so pervasive that, in my view, you really cannot be a successful investor in stocks, bonds, or currencies without understanding them. You must understand commodities even if you only invest in stocks and bonds. Commodities belong in every truly diversified portfolio. Investing in commodities can be a hedge against a bear market in stocks, rampant inflation, even a major downturn in the economy. Commodities are not the "risky business" they have been made out to be. In fact, I believe that investing in commodities will represent an enormous opportunity for the next decade or so.
For most investors, commodities trading is a land of mystery full of legendary dragons. Intelligent, well-informed people who can recite P/ E ratios of large caps and small caps, who study the balance sheets of high techs and biotechs, semiconductors, and small banks in the South, self-proclaimed "savvy investors" who follow bond prices and yields more closely than the baseball box scores and who might even have an eye on the dollar versus the euro, the yen, and the Swiss franc, know nothing about commodities. And if they do know something, it's typically second- or third-hand information, usually mistaken, and, more often than not, involves a cautionary tale about "a brother- in-law who lost his shirt in soybeans." Like Americans who never travel to foreign countries for fear of being humiliated or cheated because they don't know the local language and customs, investors who shy away from commodities are missing out on an incredible opportunity.
You cannot ignore an entire sector of the marketplace--not if you really want to be considered an "intelligent investor." If a friend of yours who was heavily invested in the stock market went through the 1990s without even considering buying a technology stock, and ignored what was happening in the world of Microsoft, Cisco, Amazon, eBay, and even IBM, surely you would find such behavior strange. Yet that is precisely what most investors have done with respect to commodities.
One reason that companies and stocks did so well in the 1980s and 1990s was that raw materials were in a bear market: Cheap commodity prices removed the cost and margin pressures from companies that depend on natural resources to do business. Investors who figured out that the commodity bear market was ending in the late 1990s realized that the stock bull market would be ending, too. The CNBC anchors were still giggling with glee, still advising to buy more dot-com shares, while the smart investors were exiting the market and moving to commodities. They could see that the costs of doing business would soon start eating away at profits--and that stock prices would soon follow.
It is hardly the bush leagues. In fact, natural resources are the largest nonfinancial market on the planet. The annual production of just 35 of the most active commodities traded every day in New York, Chicago, Kansas City, London, Paris, and Tokyo is worth $2.2 trillion. The volume of dollars traded on the commodities exchanges is several times that of the common stocks traded on all U.S. stock exchanges. (Commodities dealings for many times more than that amount take place outside the commodities exchanges.) And wherever there is a market, there are opportunities to make money. I know--the business pages of your newspaper, the financial magazines, and CNBC devote most of their time and space to stocks. According to the media and other stock-market "experts," the equities bull is forever hiding just around that next corner on Wall Street. But millions of investors who listened to the experts back in 1998-2001 about "the New Economy" got hammered in the stock market and are still trying to get back to even. The smart investor looks for opportunities to acquire value on the cheap, with one eye out for a dynamic change in the offing that might make that investment even more valuable.