Just as my second son was born, the video game Tetris hit the market for the old-school Nintendo game system. I can't remember if we received it as a gift or if my wife and I purchased it, but we owned it. I do remember my wife and I staying up very late many nights playing the game, justifying it by saying that our newborn son was going to wake us up anyway. I also justified it by saying that I was a Youth Pastor, and I needed to be culturally relevant to the students I was seeking to have an influence on (I was undefeated against my students for four years until I was beaten by a freshman girl!).
Yesterday my oldest son emailed me with a Wired.com news story stating scientific evidence that Tetris can alter the structure of the brain. I was intrigued and at the same time vindicated as I read the article. Intrigued because the information was enlightening to me, and vindicated because of all of those late-nights watching the relentless colored blocks fall made me smarter!
By the way, the study cited in the article was conducted on adolescent girls, but who cares!
When I was s senior in high school, my Youth Pastor shared with me the benefits of memorizing and meditating on the Word of God. One of the benefits he spoke of was the growth that takes place in ones mind, as stated in Psalm 119: 99 I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes. Imagine having more insight than all my teachers! That was motivation enough for me.
The result: I went from a 2.3 GPA my first semester of college to a 4.0 by my 5th semester and I never looked back. Why? Because I memorized and meditated on God's Word (Tetris hadn't come out yet).
My encouragement is this: Do things that stimulate your mind and make you better, smarter, and more creative, thus a better leader and influencer. Even if it means spending a few minutes each day playing a mind-altering game!