Brain Bulletin 115 - The Secret of the Red Objects

in Brain Bulletin

One of the most important things I've learned is that our brains are wired to see what is essential, not what is real. 
 
This is a secret that is simple, and powerful. It can help us see the world in new ways. 
We might even uncover "treasure" hiding in plain sight. 
 
Marcel Proust once said, "The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes, but in having new eyes." 
 
Let's imagine that you are in one of my presentations:
Part way through the talk, I say, "I'm going to give you a test. A memory test. You have 30 seconds to looks all around the room. Memorize as many blue objects as you can. Everything counts. What's blue? Go!"
 
After 30 seconds, I say, "Everyone please close your eyes. List out loud as many RED items as you can remember." You think, "I don't know! I was looking for "blue". 
 
And, "blue" is what you saw.
 
Our brains are wired to see what is essential, not what is real.
The question was, "What's blue?" And that's what you noticed. The other colours faded away. 
 
So, why is this important?  For the word "blue" substitute gratitude, family, friends, generosity, kindness, health, sunsets ...
Now substitute anything negative. After all, the pendulum swings both ways ...... 
 
Brains see what they are looking for.
 
Consider this through the lens of neuroplasticity:
We all know someone who is really good at complaining. They weren't born that way.
They became a world-class complainer by practicing.
And, once a brain wires for complaining, it gets really good at seeing things to complain about everywhere.
 
The opposite is true for people whose brains are wired to notice generosity, and things in the world that are positive. 
 
In short, intention facilitates perception. 
 
A good question to ask every morning: "What am I looking for today?"
It's worth remembering, life reveals things one at a time. 
 
Here's another way to use our "mind's eye" to improve our lives:
 
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Something new -
Terry has a brand new webinar now available for booking: Healthy Brain, Resilient Mind - 5 Steps to a Calmer, Sharper, Happier You!  
This session will gives you, and your organization the tools, and strategies to respond to current life challenges, disruption, and prepare for an ever changing future.

Congratulations on learning something about your brain today. The Brain Bulletin is committed to help you to do just that. If you missed any Brain Bulletins you can find them in the Brain Bulletin Archive: Brain Bulletin Archives

I am happy to connect with you about the brain and leadership, learning, health & wellness, and workplace safety on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. My links can be found at https://www.terrysmall.com/  

My favourite book this month was a re-read of Jeffrey Schwartz's "You Are Not Your Brain". Self-directed neuro-sculpting at its best. 

Thanks for reading the Brain Bulletin......remember, you are a genius.

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