Changing Our Mental Gears

6 February

Sometimes all that is needed is to just change our mental gears.

A human mind becomes stuck easily. Our train of thought goes round and round in circles. We all familiar with that. It may be an annoying tune that plays on and on in our heads. But the same thing occurs when we have a particular option for the decision we are facing. This is a problem if it is a poor option. And when we are stuck this poor option can seem like the only viable option.

When this happens, we need a vehicle to change the perspective and think anew. Often, to do that we can use a question or a mental experiment.

For example, singer Amanda Palmer in her autobiographical book The Art of Asking describes an exercise she does to change the perspective. Sometimes, she gets hate mails or is faced with trolling and name-calling on the Internet. Obviously, that can spoil your day.

In such situations, she imagines a situation where an insulting comment is directed to the Dalai Lama. For example, she imagines someone saying to him: “You are stupid, old and fat”. And then she imagines what kind of reaction the Dalai Lama would have towards the person saying that.

And that kind of approach breaks the spell. Instead of getting insulted, getting angry, trying to argue with the trolls, or calling them names, she has a new way to react — to meet such comments with the kind of compassion the Dalai Lama would have.

Of course, this technique has nothing to do with the Dalai Lama, but rather with our own ability to change perspective and think anew. And this ability is always with us. We just need to learn to tap into it.

Sometimes all that is needed is to just change our mental gears.

0

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest on the blog

We all know examples when we want to change something, and it happens smoothly, almost by itself. Other times seemingly reasonable and desirable change doesn’t occur. How come? What conditions are necessary for a change to happen? Let’s say you want to start working on your side project. And you decided that you will spend […]

0
16 April

Hypnotherapist Milton Erickson had an ingenious way to induce anesthesia in his patients. He has a patient who was experiencing a lot of physical pain. Naturally, the pain was absorbing all of this patient’s attention. So Milton Erickson would start by asking: “What would happen if you looked over there and a huge hungry tiger […]

0
27 March

I once coached a founder who had stepped down from running his company. What he wanted, at first, was to explore how he should build relationships with the executive team. He wasn’t all that happy with their performance. He often had disagreements with them. When people have a problem, many times it is because there […]

0
11 March
Subscribe to our mailing list

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required