Believing IS Seeing: A Quick Brain Hack That Will Change Your Life
I want to try something with you right now:
Take a look around your room and look at everything that is red.
Try to remember as many things as you can, really focus on the reds.
Take a minute to do this now.
Then I want you to close your eyes and count how many things you saw that were blue.
Pretty difficult, right?
Now look back around the room and count the blues once more.
I assume you counted more the second time around, but here comes the interesting part:
You probably also counted some purples/turquoises as blues! You cheater!
Our minds are great at looking specifically for what we pay attention to.
This proved to save our lives countless times in the past, and is now responsible for a lot of different beliefs.
For example, if you believe the false stereotype that women are horrible drivers you will remember more women that were bad drivers than you will remember men that are bad drivers, even though there is an equal number of both!
Same is true for believing the false stereotype that men are stupid, or that the rich are evil, or whatever else you believe.
But, good news for us, we can use this selective attention mechanism of our brains to our advantage!
Just imagine what would then happen if you thought the world was an amazing place.
You would see more amazing things all around you while also counting some normal things as amazing simply because your mind is primed this way.
It will not only see the reds but also the colors similar to it.
When you think a lot about how to make more money, how to be happier, or how to be more productive, you focus your mind on these things more and more and your mind will bring more and more to your awareness.
The fact is that our minds perceive too many things at once and it cannot make it all conscious for us; it has to filter a large portion out.