Your reality – take it or lead it…

Time to Read: 1 Min 07 Secs

Time to Listen: 2 Mins 53 Secs

reality – take it or lead it…

“My life has been filled with terrible misfortunes, most of which have never happened.” – Mark Twain

The following headline was emblazoned on the front page of The Sunday Express on 8 June 2013:

Cancer risk of two beers a year

Your brain may conclude from those seven words that if you drink two beers a year you have a serious risk of dying from cancer.

Or you could conclude that you need to drink more, or less, than two beers a year.

Or you could conclude, as someone did online, that “The Express writes crap, so I immediately knew it wasn’t true.”

Or, after reading the source of the research, you could conclude that the headline is at best irresponsible journalism, at worst scaremongering to sell the paper.

Or you could conclude, as I did, that we hear and read so much conflicting advice about alcohol and food, and health, that no-one really knows, so I will instead go and play with the cat.

Seven words, five different meanings.

Why does this happen?

Because our brains, powerful, lazy and fast that they are, crave a meaning for everything we see, hear and experience.

And, based on our experiences, knowledge and imagination, we come up with a meaning, or “frame.”

Very, very fast and that becomes our reality.

The most frequent question we ask ourselves each and every day is this – “What’s this like?”

And get this; no event has any meaning, other than the meaning that you personally choose to give it.

So, after you have reached a conclusion on what something means, ask yourself if your meaning helps you, or hinders you from achieving your outcomes in your life/relationships/career/organisation.

If it helps you, great – brains love positive frames.

If it hinders you, then your brain has a wonderful little tool in its kitbag. If you choose, you can “reframe” to give a totally new reality to any and all events.

Three examples:

1. A business coach said to me last week “This guy I am coaching hasn’t got a clue what to do” to which I replied “Thank goodness for that, if he had got a clue, he wouldn’t need you to help him.”

2. Two shoe salesmen from different companies travelled to a far-flung country to assess the markets:

After just a day, the first phoned back to base: “They have never even heard of shoes here, let alone worn them…I am coming home on the next flight.”

The second also called in as well: “They have never even heard of shoes here, let alone worn them…send me everything we’ve got.”

3. A personal one. When I was young, and we went to the seaside, my mum would always shout at me not to swim too far out. I found this really annoying and raised it with her a few years later. She said “Would you have preferred me to shout at you to go further out?” Brilliant.

Please share your reframe examples.

With my love and best wishes



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