What Your Truth Is, and How a Simple ‘Cup’ Made It So
Larry Olsen October 15, 2019
What happens inside your brain during the split second when a thought is transformed into a behavior? This is one of the most powerful components of the L.I.F.E. lessons: The more clearly you understand how your brain works, the easier it will be to understand your own thinking.
Having this understanding will enable you to take constructive action when things don’t go the way you want them to. You will be able to talk yourself into what you want, rather than talking yourself out of getting what you want. The brain must operate on a trial-and-error process if it lacks a vision. It will just try and fail, try and fail, and try and fail, (ad infinitum), until it gets a pretty good sense of what works and what doesn’t.
The ‘Cup’ example
Imagine that you are very young and don’t know whether you can pick up a cup or not. You have never tried before, so neurologically you have no experience and no idea yet of what kind of a cup picker-upper you are.
Your mother asks you to pick up the cup. The first time you try, it tips over. She asks you to try again, and it tips over again. What’s happening? Your brain is recording the evidence of your attempts, and so far you are falling short of succeeding.
Being the tenacious individual you are, you continue to try. On the next attempt, you tip it over again, and everyone who is watching begins to laugh at your behavior. Their laughter is also recorded by your brain—never to be lost, never to be forgotten. The emotion of what you are experiencing is also being recorded. Enough is enough. In your frustration, you accept that the evidence regarding your ability to pick up the cup must be the truth, so you quit. The results of what just happened have produced not only an attitude, but a belief about your expertise at picking up a cup.
Do you have a positive belief or a negative one?
This same process has taken place in many, many areas of your life. Through this process, you discover what kind of speller, athlete, artist, mathematician, typist, friend, lover, and spouse you are. If you were successful at picking up the cup, then you have a positive belief; if you weren’t, then you have a negative one.
So, what can you and I learn from this? What is one thing you have built a negative belief about that you’re willing to challenge for yourself?