Physical exercise is great. Helps you stay fit and healthy, reduces stress and so on. No one needs to be sold on the clear benefits.

But, what about mental exercise? How can you keep your brain in tip-top shape?

Hypothetically speaking

Hypotheticals are one of my favourite ways to keep sharp. They work out your imagination, lateral thinking and problem solving skills. They can also pretty entertaining too. Fun and fitness for your most important organ.

For those of you playing the home game, a hypothetical statement or question creates a fictional scenario that warps reality in some sense. It could be as simple as ‘what if I hadn’t seen that car run the red light’ or as complex as ‘if the world was ruled by gophers, what would the national currency be based on?’ A good hypothetical sets some basic rules for the conversation but allows it to flow. They are also great ice breakers.

What would happen if…

Some of my favourite hypotheticals (you may see a few of these become the basis of future blog posts) usually involve some obscure element, just to encourage a different answer. For example, one of the most well known is ‘what would you do if you won a million dollars?’ Well known, but a little boring. What about, ‘how would you give away (not spend) a million dollars?’. This one is a little more interesting, as it takes the focus from selfish to selfless.

They are also great for long, boring drives.