Whenever a speaker admonishes me to “Think differently!” I get a little irritated…and sometimes even mad!
The reason? Because “Think Differently!” is so hazy! “What in the world does “Think Differently” supposed to mean? That’s like telling my eyes to “See differently!” How in the world am I supposed to do that?
But’s here’s handle I’ve discovered that really has helped me think differently!
Before I share it, however….read the following sentence. )Trust me, there really is a reason my asking you to read this.)
Can you raed tihs? I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aullacty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdaniig. Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno’t mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are. The olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerim. Tihs is bcaseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istief, but the wrod as a pttearn. Azanmig huh? And I awlyas thhuhot slpeling was impmorantt
Isn’t that amazing? You can actually read this. And…there are four misspelled words in that paragraph. Can you find them? (Two of them are in the last sentence.) (The answers are at the end of this article.
Now read this! (This one was in my previous blog.)
7H15 M3554G3 53RV35 7O PR0V3 H0W 0UR M1ND5 C4N D0 4M4Z1NG 7H1NG5!
1N 7H3 B3G1NN1NG 17 WA5 H4RD BU7 N0W Y0UR M1ND 1S R34D1NG 7H15 LIN3 4U70M471C4LLY W17H 0U7 3V3N 7H1NK1NG 4B0U7 17!
The reason you can read these paragraphs is because your brain has created a pattern for every word you know, and instantly recognizes them by simply seeing the first and last letter of each word.
So…you can only imagine how many trillions of patterns we must be carrying around right now. In fact, according to V.S. Romachandran’s (rama-chan-dran) book, Phantoms in the Brain, (Dr. Romachandran is the Director of the Center for Brain and Cognition at the University of California, San Diego), the number of patterns your brain can carry is theoretically greater than the number of elementary particles in the universe.”
It is no wonder that neuroscientists now call the human brain the most complex organism in the universe!
But what can all this mean to us? Only this: The primary element that holds us back, from learning and growing and changing, is what we say to ourselves.
You see… while I am talking to you, you are talking to yourself three times faster. When I stop talking, you talk to yourself six times faster. We call this constant conversation your “self-talk, ” and this self-talk determines how you see yourself (called your self-image.) And…you do not have one self-image, you have tens of thousands; how your see yourself as an athlete, a teacher, a husband, a wife, and so on.
Now…let’s use these observations to create the “handle” I promised you for “Thinking Differently” at the beginning of this article.
So here’s the handle! One of the foundations of cognitive psychology is that much of what you can do is based on your self-talk! More specifically, much of what you do is based on what you say to yourself, about yourself, throughout the day. And as you probably know, a lot of what you say about yourself is negative stuff!
But guess what? You can change what you say to yourself…about yourself…starting when? NOW! So rather than saying, “I’m so stupid for thinking that…or saying that…or doing that” you can also say, “That wasn’t the smartest thing to think or say or do…but it doesn’t mean I’m stupid. The next time…I’ll think or say or do it differently!” You can actually choose to change what say to yourself about yourself. It is up to you.
And…guess what! Your brain accepts what you tell yourself without question! No arguments! So when you say, “No way! I can’t do that!” the mind simply says, “OK…you can’t!” and then blocks out ways for you to do it. However, if you say, “Absolutely…I knowI can do that!” the brain not only accepts that just as quickly, it then helps you find a way to do it, and then gives you the energy to get it done!
So…a new way of thinking is to immediately throw away any notions that we are too old, or too young, or too uneducated, or too stuck in our ways to grow and learn and change. We can grow and change as much as we really want to! How exciting!!!
(By the way, the misspelled words were pboerim, bcaseae, thhuhot, and impmorantt.)