Imagined Observation

I was listening to an audio program by Brian Tracy the other day. It's called The Power of Clarity. He says that when he's talking to an audience, he sometimes asks this question: "If you knew a team of psychologists were evaluating your note-taking today, do you think that would influence how well you took notes?"

Most people agree that yes, they would do a better job of taking notes. Which means that up until then, they weren't taking notes as well as they were able to. I thought that was an interesting mental experiment, and I went on about my day.

Later that night, after a very trying day, I noticed that my thoughts were rather grumpy and pessimistic, and I had the thought, "If a team of psychologists were evaluating my thoughts right now, how would I score?" And I realized I would be embarrassed at the kinds of things I was saying to myself right then. Which means I wasn't thinking as well as I was capable of, and those thoughts, of course, had consequences on my mood, my actions, and the way I interacted with people.

I immediately began improving my thinking and that also had consequences. I began feeling better and behaving more like the kind of person I want to be.

I pass this idea onto you now. It is very effective: Next time you're in a bad mood, imagine a team of psychologists are evaluating your thoughts. Is there anything you would change? 

Adam Khan is the author of Antivirus For Your Mind: How to Strengthen Your Persistence and Determination and Feel Good More Often and co-author with Klassy Evans of How to Change the Way You Look at Things (in Plain English).

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