On any given day, your brain is either growing or deteriorating. There is no such thing as “maintaining” your mind.
When you don’t challenge your brain, that day, your mind will shrink a little. When you solve a problem or entertain a new idea, your mental ability will grow.
If you do the crossword every day, at first, it’ll make your brain sweat. Eventually, you’ll have memorized all the coded prompts, and it’ll only be a rote memory exercise. So how can you keep stretching your mind?
The answer is not to read a book a day or work crazy hours. Your brain would soon overload and demand a long break. Neither complete stagnation nor excessive learning is the answer.
What you can and should find time for, however, is five minutes a day to engage with new ideas. That’s enough to get new combinations of neurons to fire together, and that’s what mental growth is all about.
Ryan Lombard can help you do just that. Ryan has a series he calls “Thoughts That Will Snap Your Mind in Half.” So far, he’s made 20 parts. Here are the first eight, totaling 44 funny shower thoughts, ideas, and mind-bending questions.
Some made me think deeply, some just made me laugh, and some I didn’t understand at all (yet). I’m sure a few of them will send your mind in new directions.
Here are Ryan Lombard’s 44 “Thoughts That Will Snap Your Mind in Half.”
- If you weigh 99 lbs and eat a pound of nachos, are you 1% nacho?
- If you drop soap on the floor, is the floor clean, or is the soap dirty?
- Which orange came first — the color, or the fruit?
- If two vegans are arguing, is it still considered beef?
- When you’re born deaf, what language do you think in?
- If you get out of the shower clean, how does your towel get dirty?
- If Apple made a car, would it still have windows?
- When we yawn, do deaf people think we’re screaming?
- If you’re waiting for the waiter, aren’t you the waiter?
- How do you throw away a garbage can?
- If you buy a bigger bed, you’re left with more bed room but less bedroom.
- Why aren’t iPhone chargers just called “Apple Juice”?
- If you work as security at a Samsung store, does that make you a Guardian of the Galaxy?
- When you feel bugs on you even though there are no bugs on you, are they just the ghosts of the bugs you’ve killed?
- When you clean a vacuum cleaner, aren’t you the vacuum cleaner?
- Nothing is ever really on fire, but rather fire is on things.
- If life is unfair to everyone, does that mean life is actually fair?
- What happens if you get scared half to death twice?
- Why is it called taking a dump when you’re leaving it?
- Being down for something and being up for something mean the same thing.
- If you’re in the living room, and you pass away, did you die, or are you just knocked out?
- Why is the pizza box a square if the pizza is a circle and the slice is a triangle?
- Why is it called a building when it’s already built?
- How does a sponge hold water when it’s full of holes?
- The blinks of your eyes get removed from your memory.
- What would happen if Pinocchio said, “My nose will grow now?”
- Actors pretend to work.
- People who need glasses just got bad graphics.
- Why is bacon called bacon and cookies called cookies, when you cook bacon and bake cookies?
- Do clothes in China just say, “Made down the road?”
- If your shirt isn’t tucked into your pants, are your pants tucked into your shirt?
- If you’re invisible, and you close your eyes, can you see through your eyelids?
- A fire truck is actually a water truck.
- Why are deliveries on a ship called cargo, but in a car, it’s called a shipment?
- If one teacher can’t teach all subjects, why is one child expected to study all subjects?
- Are oranges named oranges because oranges are orange, or is orange named orange because oranges are orange?
- What happens to the car if you press the brake and the accelerator at the same time? Does it take a screenshot?
- The youngest picture of you is also the oldest picture of you.
- If we have watermelon, shouldn’t we also have firemelon, earthmelon, and airmelon? The elemelons!
- Why do we drive in parkways but park in driveways?
- Your burps are just your puke’s farts.
- If it rains on a Sunday, does that mean it’s now Rainday?
- Clapping is just hitting yourself repeatedly because you like something.
- Your alarm sound is technically your theme song, since it plays at the start of every episode.
Some of these questions don’t make sense, others have fairly obvious answers. Some are just jokes, while others seem like they can’t be answered at all.
The more of these “shower thoughts” you consider, the more patterns of creative thinking you’ll spot.
There’s the “flipped logic,” as in the cookie vs. bacon example, the “circular reasoning” of being a vacuum cleaner, and the paradox of life being fair by being unfair. There’s the “incomplete set” of the elemelons, the “chicken vs. egg” problem of the orange, and the “all roads lead to Rome” behind your youngest picture also being your oldest.
Once you recognize such patterns, you can think about where else they apply and come up with your own examples. The latter is the ultimate creative exercise, and it proves: It only takes five minutes a day to grow your mind instead of shrinking it.
Don’t waste this opportunity. Just like we must share joy in order to grow it, we must snap our minds in half to double them in size.