Everyone has heard the term, “Use it or lose it,” right? Of course you have, but that doesn’t mean it’s always true. While everyone has something they’ve purchased with the intent of learning how to use it properly, some stuff sits there forever—even stuff in your head, and this is the stuff that hypnotists tap into the most when assisting you. We haven't been taught how to dig it out and handle it correctly, so we rely on someone who has done this to assist us. Hopefully me clarifying a bit will give additional food for thought.
Take my daughter. She carried on about wanting an instrument she could write songs on, and she's always crooning, no matter what she's doing throughout the house. That’s not a problem as much as her headphones are turned way up and she has no idea what the rest of us are hearing. So, her brother and I went over to a music store in search of the perfect keyboard. Not too expensive—it’s her first one—but not the value of what I’d expect Snoopy to play either. Something in the middle.
We shopped, drove, drove and shopped, all the while pulling different destinations and products up on my phone as we searched. We actually put a whole lot of effort into this gift for her. I think we both wanted her to use her headphones and allow her a way to express herself. And when she ripped the paper off, her face shown pure ecstasy. And at that moment, I loved that gift as much as she did. I knew, deep down inside, that in no time at all she’d be pounding out whimsical pieces of art. Maybe she could pull a Justin Bieber and have passersby throw dollars at her on the sidewalk… of course, I’m kidding.
Can you guess how long it took for her to get her first piece out? If you guessed a week, you’d be wrong. A month? Wrong. A day? Wrong. As a matter of fact, if you had any guess aside from “Not a single song to this day,” you’d be wrong. How is that? Her brother and I worked so hard after her pining for days on end… what happened?
Well, what happened was she liked the bright colored box it came in. She loved the appearance and all the cute little buttons. She was delighted when she poked each one and made the pitches go up and down, reverberate, grow louder and softer—she loved all of it. But within a week, the keyboard was shoved in the corner and forgotten. She didn’t want to take the time to learn how to use it appropriately. She seems to have had a notion that if she simply owned it, she’d magically become an absolute maestro. Sound familiar?
Now, while I can go on about how special my daughter is, the scenario I’ve just laid out isn’t so different than situations of anyone else. And I’m not talking about the sewing machine I’ve purchased—with grand thoughts of all the clothes I would sew—money I’d save—and even furniture I would creatively makeover. The truth is—I haven’t so much as sewn a hem. I did tape my daughter’s uniform hem with the intention of sewing it, and she ended up wearing them with tape holding them together. Yeah, yeah, I know—we’re talking about what we have that we don’t use, although using it could be extremely beneficial. I’ll explain it more.
Let me start by going back to the original question, that if you could only have the logical side or the emotional side of your brain work, which would you choose? I’m going to take a stab in the dark that most of you chose to follow the great alien, Spock, and say you’d choose logic.
To be considered normal, both logical and emotional sides need to work together, although everyone’s brain works differently. The problem is that there are all types of learning programs, puzzles, quizzes, and classes that allow you to strengthen your logic, aren’t there? All types of ways to learn more devices and strategies of doing things easier and faster, right? But the one part of your brain, arguably the most important, is the emotional side. That’s right, it is the most important. You may ask, “How is that the most important side when logic tells us whether or not we have enough money in the bank to purchase the car we want to purchase?” That’s actually a pretty good example, so let’s use that. I mean, it’s pretty clear of whether or not you have the finances to afford it, am I right?
Let’s say you haven’t got enough money in the bank to purchase the entire car, but you have a sizable down payment. Logic will tell you whether buying the car is feasible in the sense of having enough money to still cover the other aspects of living. If you pay the down payment, will the remaining monthly payments leave you eating beans and rice, or Ramen Noodles for the next five years? And if you cannot afford insurance or gasoline, what’s the point?
Putting logic aside, because I did mention our emotional side is stronger, consider that National Geographic has an article entitled, “Emotion is not the Enemy of Reason.” In this article, several examples were given that pit logic and emotion against one another, but the one I’m going to focus on is just because it’s the easiest, given the fact that I want to engage your mental capacity and not your senses. It describes a trial where the situation arose to whether or not photographs could be used in a trial. For those who hadn’t considered whether or not this singular affect could determine the outcome of the trial, I’ll demonstrate—without the photos. The scene was described as horrifically bloody. The body was described as mangled, etc. as well as could be described by the singular viewpoint of the prosecutor, so no particulars could be derived from the scene. But that was only half the jury in this mock trial. In the other half, each juror had a varying description as to the portion they individually felt as “the worst” when they saw the detailed photographs—So, pictures rather than words had a far greater impact based on each person’s emotional values—their own interpretation of emotions went into overdrive, plowing over the logical reason of why the killer committed the crime. Their logic was overturned by powerful emotions because they weren’t sociopaths. And if you want to put your mind in a real quandary, consider this dilemma of the trolley car with a mind-boggling twist at the end.
The tricky part is that any significant changes we decide to make in our lives are based on emotion. They may be derived from the car we want to purchase, as mentioned earlier, but even then—is it simply for a mode of transportation or are we anticipating the car explaining to the world a particular aspect of our personality so we can feel better about ourselves? Perhaps you truly do need a car but can’t afford the one that really "screams success." See what I mean? And trust me, car salesmen didn’t get the reputation of sneaky salesmen by accident—they know how to push those buttons for monetary escalations. Really successful salesmen, whether selling a car, a home, a school, or whatever, utilize the power of the emotional ego frequently to upgrade the sale--and that's exactly how they've been trained.
But I’m afraid I got a teeny bit off my mark there, didn’t I? The original question was asking if you had something you don’t know how to use because you either don’t take the time to learn, or you will just wait until you are forced to learn it. And it will—teach you itself. However, by learning to use it that way, is a long and painful journey. It’s sitting in the proverbial closet right now, unused, and it is the most valuable asset you have in your possession. What are your emotions preventing you from doing right now that are actually holding you back, but you have no idea why or how? Is there anything you need to learn but are afraid of failing at? If you learned it, and failed for a few times, would it be worth that cost for use your entire life?
Let me share a childhood story with you that may help clarify what I’m talking about better. You know how emotions trump logic. I do have a story about why I was afraid to flush the toilet for years—but most of you are familiar with that “fear vs. logic” story yourselves. So, instead, I will share my favorite color. When I was an itty-bitty little girl, about four, we were told to color a picture in our favorite color in Sunday School. I’d always liked all the colors. I had no idea I was supposed to have a favorite until my teacher told me I needed to choose one. I remember staring at the crayon box and dumping all the colors out to decide. The yellow crayon seemed the happiest, so I decided yellow would be my favorite color. I was so excited to tell my family the leap I’d made that day—I had a favorite color!
Not long after, my mom surprised me with a beautiful yellow sundress. Well, it was white with little yellow flowers all over it. It had that tube-top, scrunch material across my chest and stomach with little straps that tied in a bow on the tops of my shoulders. I loved twirling in it, and I felt it giggled happiness and sunshine.
One day, I was in front of the house, on the driveway, twirling in my new yellow dress and watching my shadow, when my older sister came outside. Even though it was probably pretty evident, she asked what I was doing. I recall telling her I was showing the sunshine my new dress and that it was yellow just like the sun. My sister asked me why I thought yellow was a good color for a dress, and I explained it was my favorite color. After a pause, she told me that of all the colors there were, yellow was probably the very worst one to have for a favorite. Confused and certain that my sister, who had to have been all-knowing since she was eight, I asked her why. Because, she explained to me, bees are attracted to yellow. They have tiny heads and tiny brains, so they think everything yellow is a flower. They might think I was a flower, too. My eyes coasted to the edge of our driveway lined with beautiful, bright flowers of all kinds--but the bees seemed to be favoring the huge, yellow sunflowers.
At that moment, a bumble bee flew dangerously close by. I panicked. My breathing quickened. And my superstar sister begged me to go into the house to change so I wouldn’t get stung. I don’t remember the rest. I imagine once inside, the panic subsided as did the ability to remember what happened. But I do know that yellow was no longer my favorite color. And for the life of me, up until recently, I’ve detested yellow. Words that come to mind were bad milk, urine, mucous, and anything else unpleasant and yellow. And that thought stayed buried in my subconscious for nearly 50 years.
Think of all the things impressed upon you as a kid, and even though growing up you realize how outlandish they are--some small and seemingly insignificant amount of rejection clings to it. Some people detest clowns dressed up in makeup, others have a tremendous fear of dogs, cats, snakes, etc. In fact, for a long time, I had a fear of a particularly ridiculous fear of flies. People tend to think of how harmless flies are—but after watching a documentary on flies, with the slimy stuff they spit out where they land, and how sticky their feet are, I realized these tiny fly feet have been landing on feces and then flying around the picnic table. Generally, I no longer picnic, and I won’t eat at an outdoor bistro without first inspecting the atmosphere. Honestly, I haven’t been camping in eons. Now I won’t run from a fly when I see it, but I’ll spend so much time chasing a fly around my house until I have killed it, that could have gotten a lot of things done in the time that teeny-tiny fly swallowed up.
So I would challenge you to work on that the portion of your brain you’ve been neglecting until now—not because you’re careless, but because you didn’t understand how extremely important your decision-making skills are—and how they are affected by your emotions. Now, how long have you had this tremendous advantage and pushed it away because you just don’t understand how it works? Or growing up you were told logic is more important by the adults who taught you. You should probably do a bit of thinking and consider how logic surfaces—and how your logic’s true relationship is with your emotions. And if you don’t know where to start, perhaps this is your wakeup call to ask for assistance from a hypnotist.