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Work/Life: The Mind of the Working Person, Part One: Perish the Thought

According to the new book “150 Best Jobs For Your Skills” by Michael Farr and Laurence Shatkin, the highest-paid jobs these days are the ones which require, above all, thought-processing skills. Now, I always assumed we were born with thought- processing skills. For example, “perhaps I shouldn’t plunge my hand into that engine fan,” or “oh, look, a brick wall,” are thoughts we are often forced to process on a daily basis. But it turns out there’s more to it, and that you can actually do things to improve your thought-processing skills.

According to the new book “150 Best Jobs For Your Skills” by Michael Farr and Laurence Shatkin, the highest-paid jobs these days are the ones which require, above all, thought-processing skills. Now, I always assumed we were born with thought- processing skills. For example, “perhaps I shouldn’t plunge my hand into that engine fan,” or “oh, look, a brick wall,” are thoughts we are often forced to process on a daily basis. But it turns out there’s more to it, and that you can actually do things to improve your thought-processing skills. You’ll be sad to know they don’t involve watching “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?” or even trying to figure out html code. No, they are common, everyday things we can all do to keep our synapses firing. A quick search around the ever-reliable Internet revealed these mind-massaging techniques:

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1.JOURNALING. If your first journal entry is “this is a bunch of Oprah b.s.,” then perhaps you are not ready to let this technique work for you. Also, be careful of Wall Street Journaling, a work-obsessed, carpal tunnel condition that will no longer be covered by your health plan once Rupert Murdoch takes over.
2.POWER NAPS. You’d be surprised how refreshing ten minutes of sleep can be. And the Monday morning meeting usually supplies just the right motivation.
3.MEDITATION. A simple discipline that requires sitting still and thinking the same thought over and over again for an hour. A simple discipline that requires sitting still and thinking the same thought over and over again for an hour. A simple discipline that requires sitting still and thinking the same thought over and over again for an hour.
4.EXERCISE. Good news! Yes, golf counts! No, really, I checked!
5.BRAIN TEASERS. A crossword puzzle or Sudoku game can really remind you of how stupid you are. I save the kids’ brain teasers from the Sunday comics and do those instead.
6.EAT BETTER. Studies show that an improved diet also helps improve cognitive function. Now put down that double cheeseburger, pick up the dictionary and look up “cognitive function.”
7.READ A BOOK. Good news! Yes, Harry Potter counts! No, really, I checked!

Well, that covers thought-processing. However, the authors of “150 Best Jobs For Your Skills” have not only looked into the criteria for high-paying work, but have also tracked the fastest-growing jobs out there. They say that the number one requirement for these new positions is “social skills.” But, we’ll go into that next time, I’m not up to dealing with anybody right now.

Meantime, how do you keep your brain up to par? (Oops, another golf reference, sorry.)