Brain Games

man in blue adidas hoodie doing magic trick

Card tricks to kickstart ‘renewal of the mind.’ Who would have thought?

Almost every day of this week we started our training sessions with what I like to call ‘brain games.’

Optical illusions, a bit of ‘mind reading,’ card tricks, even – lots of ways to make ourselves question if what we think we know is actually accurate. Add a Factfulness Quiz and everyone’s sure to realise their perception can’t be trusted.


Besides a fun approach to break the ice together it’s a great way to experiment with the idea that ‘we don’t know what we don’t know,’ and more importantly, I’m convinced we don’t grow until we know how much we don’t know.

The Greek philosopher Epictetus said,

“It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.”

–Epictetus, Greek Philosopher

What a privilege it has been to spend time at YWAM Holmsted Manor this week. One of the major themes of the week was ‘Biblical Christian Worldview,’ and reflecting on how often we think we know what we believe.

When we do some serious soul-searching and self-reflection we would be surprised with what thought patterns shape us, often more than we admit or appreciate.

Throughout the week I had a few great talks with Steve and Jo Bishop, who both inspired and challenged me in so many ways. Steve and Jo and their three daughters used to live in Argentina for a number of years before moving back to England and are now leading the team here at YWAM Holmsted Manor.

Brilliant family, as the Brits would say.

Steve told me he often starts off a teaching week with a short video taken from inside a birdhouse. The tiny birds spread their beaks wide open in eager expectation for the mother bird to regurgitate the worms she has caught for them.

Gross, Steve.

When speaking or teaching we can tend to do the same, spoon-feeding others the things we have chewed over for years, without allowing a similar learning process to happen as to how we may have come to these insights. One of the keys to allow others to chew on the content for themselves is not just allowing room for questions, but maybe even stirring them up a little.


Steve told me about a quote by former chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks:

“In Judaism, to be without questions is not a sign of faith, but a lack of depth.”

–Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

Failure is not an option, but a necessity for growth.

Share this post

Get fresh inspiration and leadership growth tips

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *