Terry Paulson

Reading “Brain Fitness” research helped Hal understand how writing his memoirs had improved his thinking. Hal contacted local researchers and offered to speak to brain trauma and stroke victims about how writing their memoirs might improve their brain functioning.

“I challenged them on the first session to write as much as they could remember,” Hal said. “One stroke victim took 30 minutes to write two lines. I had him struggle through reading the two lines to the group. He reread it a second time with slight improvement. His homework was to reread both sentences silently and out loud as often as he could before the next session. By the time he came to that session, he had mastered the two sentences perfectly and had added two more lines.”

Hal said with pride, “He was like a kid at Christmas. His face lit up like a candle as he shared his memories. He’d gone from powerless to powerful in one week. In a month, he had a page, and he was on his way. He was alive again! “

“My doctor says that I could live to 100, but I’m not sure I can afford to live that long,” Hal confessed. “But you don’t need a lot of money to enjoy life. There’s so much to do, and so many people to meet and enjoy. I want to live every day I have left.”

So, don’t just settle for a barbeque or a day at the park on this Memorial Day. Try honoring those who have died by taking time to write down your own memories of their sacrifices or listen to those fellow soldiers still living with a story to tell. If you don’t know any veterans, attend your local Memorial Day celebration and get to know one! Whether writing or listening, never forget to appreciate the ultimate sacrifice of those who gave their lives so that we might be free.

Terry Paulson

Terry Paulson, PhD is a psychologist, award-winning professional speaker, author of The Optimism Advantage: 50 Simple Truths to Transform Your Attitudes and Actions into Results, and long-time columnist for the Ventura County Star.

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