As the holiday season is approaching, so are the exams. No matter what you do, you can’t win. If you celebrate the holidays with your family and friends, you will feel guilty that you are not studying. If you forgo the family fun and turkey dinner, you will drown in self-pity and anxiety. The bottom line is that law students need some motivation this time of the year. Experts believe that the learning is greatly improved when it involves somatic, auditory, visual and intellectual modes simultaneously (more on that in The Accelerated Learning Handbook: A Creative Guide to Designing and Delivering Faster, More Effective Training Programs by Dave Meier ). Therefore, I decided to snoop around and see if I could find something motivational that stimulates different senses. Here are the results of my search for motivation:
- Auditory. Check out Pandora created by the Music Genome Project. You tell them your favorite artists or songs and they serve up music that you are likely to enjoy based on your preferences. They say, “It's not about what a band looks like, or what genre they supposedly belong to, or about who buys their records - it's about what each individual song sounds like.” They perform an extraordinary analysis of musical attributes or “genes” to create this product. If their unique project is not an inspiration in itself, listening to your favorite music should do it.
- Visual. If you want to learn a little more about your brain, try these fun drawing exercises from the Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain website of Dr. Betty Edwards and find your budding artist inside. If you’d rather be cynical, try the Parody Motivator Generator. Are you familiar with the motivational posters? Perhaps, you have one or two in your room. Now you can create a satirical version of a motivational poster by uploading an image or photo you want to use and creating the accompanying text. Like the one to the right. Have fun with it!
- Somatic. These Brain Gym exercises based on the work of Paul E. Dennison, Ph.D., and Gail E. Dennison are designed to calm your mind and improve concentration. Start moving!
- I am adding a bonus. Olfactory motivation. Citrus smells are believed to promote mental awareness. Smell a lemon for clarity and concentration. Orange will energize you and lavender will calm your nerves. Peppermint is refreshing and stimulating. Coriander is motivating (next time you cook pork chops, make a rub with salt, pepper, cumin and coriander, simple but flavorful). Sniff success!