(A great question asked by Pranav Rastogi)
Wow! What an intense packed question. This could probably be a series in and of itself.
I am going to explain by a drawing I drew for my daughter when she was 10 years old. We were having a conversation about a decision that she made that was limiting and caused some pain. I felt that she was ready for a higher level dialogue about cause and effect. I asked her, “what other options were available to you?” and she looked at me blankly. I then decided a picture would do much better than my words.
I choose soccer because it is an international sport, it is also a rich part of our family culture.
We are chemical factories with values, thoughts, goals, fears, data and dreams. In the mental cloud it is all swimming and moving together - like an electrical storm of neurons.
Then we are asked to “kick the ball” - that is respond to the world. The “kick the ball” means a choice is made. The word decide comes from the root “to kill” as homicide and suicide also come from same source. So when you “kick the ball” you are killing all other possibilities.
Here is what I want you to know. Our conscious brain processes about 40-50 bits per second and our unconscious processes between 4-11 million bits per second.*
For a deeper dive into this data check The Wisdom of Your Cells by Dr. Bruce Lipton
We only thin slice because we cannot process all the sensory information available to us.
So when we choose or “decide” - we have selected a sub-set of data that informs us and by which we form our core belief system.
The rub is this, most people are selecting data based on a filter that was designed when the individual was between the ages of 5-7 years old. Noam Chomsky taught me this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knowledge_of_language:_its_nature,_origin,_and_use. Language creates reality. Our word choices when we begin to tell a narrative about ourselves as either heros or villains or beautiful or smart or funny - all begin in our young adult histories. As that innocence begins to tell a story - a grove in the brain or a synapse pattern begins to form. Like a river is cut from a glacier - reinforcing data continues to dig the grove deeper and deeper. Neurons that fire together wire together. We seek data that reinforces our beliefs - whether it is there or not - sometimes the grooves are so deep there is muscle memory and the story goes on and on and on. Bottom line- what you focus on expands.
The question is, what filters do you consciously have?
Are the filters that you selected between the ages of 5-7 still serving you? Or do you need to re-examine what you are sensing and interrogate the validity of it.
We can rewire and begin to focus on new things - we simply need to be invited to ask different questions or re-examine our operating system. We also need a lot of reinforcing messages & support to help carve out new grooves.
This is why I love Clay Shirky’s http://www.shirky.com/ (@cshirky) brilliant statement: “The issue isn’t information overload, it is filter failure.”
Our choice of words matters. Language creates “code” which then creates the system of our awareness and our belief about how we fit in that landscape I’ll call the soccer field of life.
Your competitive advantage is not what you do or where you work; it is the accuracy of how you scan the macro (soccer field) and the way you choose to articulate your life experience (kick the ball).
Juicy topic. Just a quick brush.
Mind your mind.