A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste
Scott A. Gese

An active brain is a healthy brain. Here are a few ways to keep it up and running.

a mind is a terrible thing to wasteRodnae Productions/Pexels

A mind is a terrible thing to waste… Especially at this point in your life. When you’ve worked your ass off for over forty years and now you’re ready to retire.

You made it. Maybe you got a gold watch and maybe you didn’t. Either way, you’ve finally left the working world behind. You’ve gained back your freedom and now it’s time to enjoy a Successful Retirement Lifestyle.

That doesn’t mean it’s time to turn off your brain and veg out in front of the television. Well, you can but it would be a bad idea. What it does mean is you can stop thinking about things like meeting quotas and hitting deadlines.

To stop thinking altogether is to die a slow death.

Muscles tend to atrophy when they’re not being used. Your brain is no different. Stop thinking critically or figuring out complex issues and your brain will slowly turn into a puddle of mush.

You may not need to think about the things you used to as far as your work life is concerned, (How refreshing is that!) but think you must. So how do you keep your brain in shape? The ideas are endless.

Not everyone has the same interests.

Here are just a few differing ideas:

  • Reading: Read books or articles that require you to think critically. Something that forces you to figure things out or learn something new. You might love to read fiction but it’s not brain building.
  • Learn a new language: This is an old standby but boy does it work your brain.
  • Learn to play a musical instrument: Another old standby and another major brain workout.
  • Learn how to type: I’m not talking about hen pecking or looking down at your keyboard while you punch the keys. Learn to type the correct way by memorizing where the letters are located and typing without looking for them. If you already know how to type, learn how to type faster with fewer mistakes.
  • Geography: If you live in the United States (and even if you don’t) Memorize all fifty states and their capitol cities. Memorize all the countries of the world. Do you even know how many there are?
  • Memorize your multiplication tables: Do you know them? If you do, maybe it’s time to move on to learning higher math like algebra or calculus.
  • Board games: There are plenty of board games that require you to think. Here are three of my favorites. Having someone to play these games with is always best, but not having a partner is no excuse here. With these three games you don’t actually need a physical partner or even a physical board for that matter. You can both learn and play these games online.

Three of my Favorites:

chess image

Chess: This is known as a thinking person’s game. There is a lot to learn here. How and when to move each piece. Different strategies that require you to think several moves ahead. There’s much more to it than just that. It’s a very involved game but fun even if you’re a novice. <Find a Board>

Backgammon image

Backgammon: Ever wonder what that weird game on the back of a checkerboard is? It’s called Backgammon. If you know how to play this game you may find it’s even more fun than checkers. There’s thinking and strategy involved here as well. <Find a Board>


Mancala: This game is well over three thousand years old. The rules are simple but it’s not an easy game to win. It’s a game that requires you to strategize while thinking several moves ahead. <Find a Board>

There are so many different opportunities and varying ways to keep your brain in shape while learning something new. Don’t end up with memory issues because you chose not to bother exercising your brain.

If you want to enjoy a long and Successful Retirement Lifestyle there are several things you have to do. A healthy diet and physical exercise are extremely important when it comes to keeping your body in shape. Exercising your mind is also important.

To me, the mental exercise is so much more enjoyable. The payoff is well worth the effort.

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