The Joy of the Endgame

14 Apr 2019

Four people outside my family have had an enormous positive impact on me. Two were teachers; two were trainers. I say 'were' because two have passed away, but their legacy lives on in their students.

On Saturday morning at 3am, Tony Buzan, creator of Mind Mapping as a coherent discipline, died peacefully. Author of more than 17 books, translated into many languages, Tony has reached people all around the planet with a positive 'can do' message of how to study, memorise, and speed read.

What has touched me most is the realisation of all the friends I have come to know through my connection with Tony. My life would not have taken many beneficial paths without first reading his book, "Use Your Head," and then beginning to work with his organisation: Buzan Centres. This is where I met another of the four most influential people in my life: Vanda North. Vanda took me on as her apprentice, and I became a Buzan Master Trainer of that particular era of the Buzan storyline.

I vividly remember my first meeting with my 'hero'. He lived very close to me and invited me over. The first thing we did together was build the fire in his lounge (fireplace)! I don't remember what we spoke about, but I'll never forget how cool it was just to build and burn together!

Mind Mapping is the single most useful technique in my armoury of thinking, learning, leadership, and emotional management techniques. Whatever you can think of can be thought of more effectively and efficiently with a mind map.

Students around the world have aced exams with the technique. Executives have produced more, of higher quality, in less time. People have got married because of mind mapping. Other folks are behind bars. Aid has got to the right people. The stories are manifold.

So why share this in a Moodscope blog? I think mind mapping is a very powerful technique to help with improving mental health. This was not an intended application or planned benefit of the technique, but it is nevertheless a very tangible result of learning to use the process.

Why is it beneficial for our mental health? As we become increasingly pressurised by issues that magnify the effects of depression, one word frequently is expressed by those who suffer: overwhelm.

The tiniest of extra inputs can push us too far. Even as I write this, I'm ready to punch someone – there's just too much going on at the moment, and too many inputs, and too little time. The washing machine is too noisy. I might need to break something before I break myself.

Does this sound familiar?

One major way I cope is to get everything down on paper – to externalise the 'noise' on the page. The most effective way to do this in the shortest amount of time is to use the 'spider diagram' technique of mind mapping. It just uses key words – and even pictures wherever possible – all connected with a web of lines. will teach you how.

However, my point in writing this today is to salute those in our lives who influence our personal history for the better. Tony always had the joy of an endgame in mind: to create a more tolerant, empowered, and mentally literate world. That bigger vision carried him through the bad times and benefited so many millions – yes, millions – of people who read his books and saw his presentations.

He's run his race but the baton has been passed on to so many of us who remain grateful. He and I had unfinished business – good work we could have done together but didn't get around to it in time. Vanda is still with me. I'm going to get closer and act on my good intentions.

Who can you draw closer to today? Who can you say, "Thank You!" to for being a positive influence in your life?


A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

Moodscope members seek to support each other by sharing their experiences through this blog. Posts and comments on the blog are the personal views of Moodscope members, they are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice.

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