Source | LinkedIn : By Srinivasan (Cheenu) Gowrikanthan
I attended a program a long time ago conducted by my friend Kichu Krishnan. And somewhere right in the beginning, he told all the participants, “Don’t think of an elephant!” And smilingly, he continued, “I said, please DO NOT think of a pink elephant!” And by now, I, along with all others, was smiling. And then he said for the third time, “I am requesting you again, NOT to think of a pink elephant!”
Maybe by now, as you read that, you also thought of an elephant, followed by an elephant that was pink in colour, and then a pink elephant seen with greater clarity and in greater detail!
And if you are amongst the people who say, “No, I didn’t think of the elephant. I thought of a cat” – This is really not quite possible, since the brain does not possess the ability to process a “negative.” The moment one hears “elephant” the brain processes it and brings that up. And then, as an afterthought, inserts the “Do not” and then one consciously chooses to think of something else.
“Say what one wants, not what one does not want.”
Help people act because they WANT to, rather than because they HAVE to!
So, the other message in this article is “Say what one wants, not what one does not want.” Whether it is of me, or of others, stating things in the positive, is very useful! Any message is more inspiring when it is stated in the positive. Negative messages, exhorting others, or making them feel fear, or less about themselves, and therefore to act, may work in the short term. For long term and lasting benefit, it is always more useful to state things in the positive and to help people feel better about themselves. Help people act because they WANT to, rather than because they HAVE to! Help people focus on what is useful for them rather than berating them, putting them down and the like.
And, this article is based on a fair amount of neuroscience and understanding what goes on inside the head and brain of an average human being. I stand on the shoulders of giants who have studied the human brain, how it works, and what happens as a result, and shared their knowledge. I have borrowed knowledge from various sources and use them in my regular work, and in articles such as this.
Focus, is what helps with a camera – whatever is focused on, gets captured as a picture. Similarly, whatever the brain focuses on, it brings into sharper clarity and to the forefront.