Monday, April 09, 2007

Where are the Damn Pink Elephants?

Don't think of pink elephants. In fact, do NOT imagine them dancing on a high rope, holding onto an umbrella, doing death-defying pirouettes on their tippy-tip toes.

Nearly impossible now, isn't it?

A moment ago, the thought didn't even occur to you, but now, it's sitting on your mind, as unshakable as about 2 tons of elephant.

This interesting little short circuit in the human mind is apparent in many aspects of life, and first introduced to me, when I was learning how to bike in the army.

The more I focused on NOT crashing and NOT hitting a particular orange traffic cone, the more I did it. I would stare at the pylon I'm trying not to hit, and tell myself move, move, move, and then the next thing I knew, I was flying through the air. Again. In fact, I did it so many times, I was nicknamed Jackie Chan.

It was those times, I truly appreciated six years of being a sandbag in Judo class.

Draw a parallel to other aspects of life. The more we try not to do something it seems, the more we end up getting tempted. You start your day stubbing your toe, knocking your head, and your whole day goes from bad to worse because you're trying to avoid things happening to you. Don't miss the bus... Missed it. Don't get scolded, got it. Don't rain... you guessed it.

The only time I finally managed to do SOMETHING right, was when I got distracted from trying not to do the wrong thing. I wrenched my attention from NOT doing something wrong, to doing something right. Over and over again.

Worked a lot better, and the army mechanics breathed a sigh of relief on not having to keep replacing banged-up rear-view mirrors, and busted fuel lines.

Now, I have realized that there is a seriously thin line between the world of reality and thought. If you try NOT to think of pink elephants often enough, you'll probably realize that a lot of 4-legged Proboscidea (ie. big-assed animels with huge teeth) have taken a rather delicate rose hue.

Instead, focus on other things. Green fairies, singing mice on the talented wildlife front. And on the every day life aspect, think about the things that you want happen, and be as clear defining those things as you would defining the things you don't want.

This little shift might just cause rather interesting things to happen.


Anonymous said...

nice advice. :)

Vandalin said...

Thanks. But I can't claim credit. My friend lent me a DVD called "The Secret" and that's where I got a lot of this from.