“You will act like the sort of person you conceive yourself to be.” — Maxwell Maltz
In 2004, Unilever launched the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty. The campaign highlights that beauty has been defined by narrow, stifling stereotypes, that society decides what beauty is. While society is conditioned to believe a certain look represents beauty, the fallout is that many women no longer see their true beauty.
In April 2013, Dove extended the campaign with a stunning video entitled Dove Real Beauty Sketches (embedded at the end of this week’s Thursday Thought). In the video, women describe themselves to a forensic sketch artist who cannot see his subjects, artist and subject are separated by a hanging sheet. These same women are then described to the artist by strangers whom they met the previous day.
The two sketches are then hung side-by-side and shown to the women, who have strong reactions. The stranger’s image invariably being both more flattering and more accurate.
We are all Water
A Japanese scientist Masaru Emoto spent fifteen years researching the effects of human speech, thoughts, and emotions on physical matter. Dr Emoto’s team measured how over 10,000 samples of water responded to words, music, prayers, and blessings. He and his research assistants spoke to, played music for, and even had monks pray over the water.
The water samples were then frozen, and the resulting ice crystals were examined under a microscope. The results were astounding.
When scientists treated the water “kindly,” by saying such things as “I love you” and “thank you,” the resulting water crystals became clear and beautifully formed. However, when Emoto and his team talked negatively to the water, saying “I hate you!” or “You idiot!” the crystals formed dark, ugly holes!
One sample starts out as a dark, shapeless blob, but is completely transformed after a priest prays over it for just one hour. The ugly crystal turned into a clear, bright-white hexagonal crystal-within-a-crystal.
We Are What We Self-Talk
Self-talk is the act of talking to oneself, either aloud or silently and mentally. It is the chatter that goes on in our heads and has a profound effect on our behaviour and how we operate in the world. It reinforces thinking patterns, that influence our physical actions.
You often see self-talk with sportspeople when they are taking goal kicks, penalties or about to take a winning putt. More importantly, we all know what I am referring to here, we all have that voice in our head, the key is to control the message.
Several of my friends have difficulty in getting in the physical shape they desire. They constantly repeat “I just can’t shift the weight or “I am not disciplined enough”. The reality is they will never lose the weight if they keep telling themselves they cannot. They are reinforcing the lack more than focusing on what they want to be.
We Are What We Mentally Eat
The great Bob Proctor describes how we feed our minds as follows: We make a decision to what information we feed our conscious mind every day. This is why if we listen to doom and gloom news stories all the time and then repeat them all day to anyone who might listen, this will have an effect on how we see the world.
The term “birds of a feather flock together” comes to mind. When it comes to relationships, we are greatly influenced — whether we like it or not — by those closest to us. We often see negative troupes spending time together, most likely most of us have been there at some stage. It can feel good having access to an ear who will listen to our rant, but by doing this on a consistent basis we reinforce negativity in our own lives.
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” — Jim Rohn
The key thing to remember is that your subconscious mind does not have a choice as to what information it is fed. The subconscious mind stews on those thoughts (good or bad) all day long, even when you sleep.
It is critically important to know that the mind does not distinguish between real or imagined events. This means catastrophising about things going badly does have a negative effect on performance.
Negative visioning happens in sport all the time. This is why you can see a team with the same players, turn from being a zero to a hero.
Is it because they are doing new training? NO
Is it because they are using some great new gameplan? NO
Is it because their coach has given them a vision, that has changed how they think? IT IS VERY LIKELY.
“Your nervous system cannot tell the difference between an imagined experience and a ‘real’ experience.” — Maxwell Maltz
We have a Choice
We can choose what information we feed our conscious mind. This is why what we feed our minds influences who we ultimately become.
As parents, we must be hyper-vigilant of what content our children consume and of who teaches/mentors or coaches them.
As we saw with the Dove commercial, women have a very negative view of how their physical appearances Women are comparing themselves to a “Norm” that is not set by them. It is a norm decided by advertising executives, TV producers, fashion designers and people who want to sell more stuff.
What our minds are fed ultimately, shapes what we become in life. Such dissatisfaction has long been present but now has been magnified by a selfie-obsessed society.
I truly believe that we see a huge lack of women in STEM (Science, Tech, Engineering and Math) because young girls have been traditionally conditioned to see those areas as men’s jobs. Without their diversity of thought, the majority of artificial intelligence will be programmed with a male bias.
60% of Global graduates are female. Women make 80% of major purchasing decisions including cars, houses and financial services. However, only 15–16% of top corporate jobs and board positions are held by women. How can you have men alone making sales, marketing and strategic decisions about a customer base they can never fully comprehend. This is where neurodiversity once again plays a major role.
Changing the Minds of the Governed
“To change the government, you must change the minds of the governed.” — Ross Ulbrich (Founder of The Silk Road)
CEOs in a business environment of mass disruption have one extremely important role. They must be the chief vision officer. They must be the corporate self-talk. They must consistently remind their people of WHY they do what they do.
CEOs must be chief storytellers. It is they who tell the press what the company WHY is. They also tell their people ad nauseam, to ensure it becomes the corporate mental operating system. The corporate vision is the corporate self-talk. It is the responsibility of leadership to set the self-talk, to consistently tell it.
Most business transformations fail. According to this recent survey by Fujitsu, global scale digital change initiatives fail and cost up to €555,000. In Ireland, 20% of organisations have experienced a failure costing €831,500.
This is because we always look for a a quick fix painkiller. What we need is a longer term cure.
We need to set and embody the vision and change the corporate self-talk.
We can never change business models without first changing mental models.
We need to change mental models in business and in society.
You’ll See It When You Believe It — Wayne Dyer
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On this week’s innovation show we talk to Whitney Johnson, author of the great new book ‘How to Build an A-Team’. Whitney shares the principles of personal disruption which we can adopt in order to lead more exciting and meaningful careers and lives.
We discuss how great leaders can manage their people like a portfolio, they develop their people by enabling them to learn, leap and repeat.
We discuss how organisations can build an ecosystem where people will disrupt themselves in the short-term for the growth of the organisation in the long term. In this great chat, we discuss some exemplars of personal and organisational disruption.
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