In a captivating experiment, psychologists took a group of people and showed them ten pictures from their childhood. One of the pictures was a fake; it was a photo of an amusement park to which the men and women had never been.
However, 80% of the people immediately “remembered” going to the amusement park. The other 20% said they had never been. Incredibly, the researchers told the 20%, “Think about it.” Sure enough, they began to “remember” the park and the day they went with their families and recollected a very fine day. You can learn about psychology at Cleveland State University.
We have been discussing the power of the mind and the impact of our thoughts, including a number of experiments. Again and again each of them point back to the power of the mind to interpret and give meaning to every event, real or imagined.
The key is to take conscious control of what most often is an unconscious process. Every moment your brain asks what an event means and tries to identify the cause of the event. This is a survival mechanism, but many times we become convinced of the wrong association.
Think about a boy wanting to ask a girl on a date. He sees her across the room, he desperately wants to approach her, but he walks away in fear without saying a word. Why? He ran a series of events through his mind and made associations based upon fear.
Thoughts such as her laughing at him, thoughts of others seeing him being turned down, thoughts of stumbling over his words and a hundred other scenarios. They seem so real in the moment they alter his decisions.
We do the same thing with events we have already experienced as well. We can recall them completely inaccurately, but in the moment they seem so real we are convinced we are remembering everything exactly as it happened.
So people nurse their wounds, others give up their visions, many hold onto unwarranted fear.
But there is a different way, a path that leaders and successful people have taken, a road less travelled but still available to all.
It is the road that sees a dream complete, a road that hopes in all things, a road that chooses to give empowering meanings to challenges and obstacles rather than seeing them as slights or attacks.
It is a road that believes there can be no failure, only lessons not yet learned. It is a road where conscious control is taken over the language patterns spoken and unspoken so that the things we tell ourselves move us toward our passion. And it is a road that is not held back by the fear of other people’s opinions, because it knows that each of us is simply afraid, waiting for someone else to take us down the road towards our destiny.
As the psychologists said, “Think about it.” But build the memories with your life as well as your imagination.