Editor's Note: This article is an excerpt from the speech of President Li Mianjun at the Langfang Wisdom Training Camp. Through more than ten years of research on the abacus mental math, President Li Mianjun has developed a deep understanding of the wisdom development function of abacus mental math and the benefits of delving into one thing.
You may wonder, what is the value of wisdom development of abacus mental math? In my opinion, the development of wisdom is a process that trains the brain to capture and process information and throw away useless information blocks; in a word, it is the training that enhances the brain’s ability to solve problems.
Wherever we go, there is information. Actually, when facing information, we will unconsciously consider it, from which we will finally get an answer. It is a kind of ability that everyone has. In the process of consideration, some information will be selected from a large collection of information and then be processed, after that, the result will be obtained. Such a process, namely, collecting information, processing information, throwing away useless information, and obtaining the result, is contained in everything, including running a school.
For example, when practicing abacus, no matter how many questions there are, each question only has one correct answer. So if one can calculate quickly and accurately with abacus, he must have strong ability to solve problems.
Take myself for example, after my abacus mental math reaches a certain level, I can easily get into a state unconsciously, and in such a state, I always have a perception, that I got the calculation result instinctively. Such kind of instinctive calculation trains the intuitive ability. But this ability still involves calculation, which is just too fast to realize.
To put it simply, to practice is to develop the ability to solve problems and the willpower and adaptability to changes. Only when one attains inner peace can his execution ability be stronger. The willpower and the adaptability to changes are also the core abilities in starting up a business. To achieve a goal, one must stick to the goal and experience all things involved by himself, from which his willpower and the adaptability to changes can both be developed. The combination of willpower and the adaptability to changes is intuition, which is a kind of wisdom. To some extent, the wisdom is not the result worked out by our brain; it is a channel opened up by intuition .
The abacus mental math can absolutely develop the wisdom, the great wisdom, which is not the outcome of knowledge in one’s brain. It is difficult to understand, but once you understand it, you will be suddenly enlightened. To seek wisdom, you need practice. It seems like that one has developed a magical power, through which he can obtain the result immediately by intuition.
Now let’s see the levels of abacus mental math. The first level is using the abacus, the second level is simulating the moving of beads in mind, and the third level is flashing beads, namely, the flashing of the beads in mind. For example, to calculate 3+5-6+4+8; first, the beads will flash in mind, then, the beads start getting smaller but flashing faster; after that, the beads start to blur and flash fast as lightning until they become totally blurred; finally, they convert to a part of your intuition. Through training, one can absolutely reach this level.
Then I’d like to share the influence of abacus mental math on the mental model of human. First of all, practicing abacus is a process of cooperating your eyes, brain, and hands. Firstly, your eyes need to look at the numbers; then, your brain will determine the mnemonic rhyme, and then your hands will move the beads. These are three separated steps, but after practice, they will overlap. The more one practices, the greater the overlaps are, and the less time one spends on each step.
In our daily work, when we plan to do something, there will be a time lag between the planning and execution, and the larger the time lag, the lower the efficiency; the shorter the time of planning, the higher the efficiency. If one just thinks a thing and does nothing, it is an inefficient mode. Through a long-term practice of abacus, I can know exactly what someone wants without hearing him out.
It is actually a reaction model. Look at this picture. It is the same as the abacus mental math. When doing something, the process is making a decision firstly, making a plan secondly, and finally implementing the plan.
Now take a look at the contrast between these two pictures.
They are exactly the same—to build a mode in your heart. If you participate in mental model communication, you will understand it better and know how the brain reacts. As for abacus mental math, the process of abacus mental math influencing the mental model is like drawing a line. Each time one uses the abacus, a line will be drawn correspondingly. As the number of times increases, the overlapping lines become a trace. When one keeps practicing, this process will become a program, and in his inner world, it will become a reaction model, which is called the mental model, and no matter what he does, he will follow this program. Therefore, the model of abacus mental math is the same as that of doing things. The true value of abacus mental math is building the mental model, namely, achieving fast reaction.
For people like me, who practice too much, the reaction may become a great burden. But I have relieved the burden. It will be better if we can transform the burden into wisdom. When one reaches the limit, he can react quickly. As soon as he receives a piece of information, it will be calculated automatically and then the result will be obtained in his mind. Shenmo can make such a progress today also benefits from this model I learned from abacus. No matter what problems the franchise schools have, for me, they are all information, and I’ll come up with corresponding algorithms as soon as I receive the information, then the results will be obtained immediately.
To some extent, the computer is as same as that. One of the functions of computer is calculation, but it also has some limitations. Unlike Tao, all technologies have their own limitations. Obviously, the children cannot reach the ultimate level, but each time they practice, their adaptabilities to changes and problem solving abilities become stronger. You may ask what the benefits of high efficiency are.
Look at the first diagram. It is the high-efficiency mode. People who do things with high efficiency will succeed more easily. The second diagram is the low-efficiency mode and the third one is an inefficient mode. Many people make mistakes in their roads of life. They go a long way and return to the starting point at the end.
Each person in Shenmo is a good one, either the low-efficiency one or the high-efficiency one. None of them is the inefficient one. As long as one can stick to a thing, he is moving forward and making progress, whether big or small. Through a high-efficiency practice of abacus, one can develop a high-efficiency reaction model.