Today morning while I was talking to my 8-year-old daughter Tanisha (who loves gardening). A thought came to my mind which quickly converted into an exciting experience which I thought was worth sharing and hence this post.
Since the time I have been an NLP Practitioner and a Leadership Coach, I have been advocating the importance of positive thoughts and the impact it has had on my family friends and colleagues. I passionately believe that our thoughts shape our lives and the reason so many people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be.
Having known this, could there be simple ways wherein we can train our brains to be more positive about the past, the present and the future than what we are, and constantly keep improving on it? And hence an experiment to see how easy or difficult was it to explain this to an 8-year-old. I began by explaining to her the importance of our thoughts and how the little “ Tanisha” within her and the little “ Avinash” within me and all the little version of her friends within their respective selves generate the self-talk (notice the use of the word “within” here) She said “C’mon Dad, there is no “little Tanisha” within who talks ” , and I was anticipating this from a 8 year old but what came next made me really excited , and she continued “But there is one little voice in my head that does the talking all the time” . And I felt as if half the objective was achieved as she realized what inner voice I was talking about. Then I explained further that this voice can be imagined as that of a gardener inside her head (considering she loves gardening ) and every time there is a positive conversation with this gardener , the gardener would plant a beautiful flower within her head and every time the conversation was negative, the gardener would plant an insect which would start eating the flowers.
“Now what is that you would want to grow more of, inside your head? “is what I asked. She said, “Off Course, flowers dad, who would want insects in their heads?” she said with a “obviously” sort of look on her face. And what will you be doing to let those flowers grow?“ I asked , for which she replied “ I am going to have only positive conversations with the little voice in my head” and then with a thoughtful pause I asked , “and what if the little voice receives some negative things from what it hears from your friends , and it repeats it to you ?” for which her expressions changed with a mischievous smile on her face and she stated , “I know the little voice will try to plant an insect right, so I will tell it to put that insect out from the ear and get another flower to plant instead “ and that’s how the conversation ended along with the breakfast.
The reason this is a Linked-In post and not a Facebook one is because there are two important corporate lessons that I learnt today which might or might not seem important to you but the first thing I noticed is that we might see, hear and feel this in our workplace as well – people trying to plant insects in each other’s minds , knowingly or unknowingly , but if we are trained to tell our little gardeners who sit within our heads to know when it’s an insect being planted and when it can turn it into a flower instead , the communication amongst colleagues, productivity within the organizations and relationships with co-workers all over can change dramatically.
The second interesting thing I noticed is that if we can communicate in the language which one loves to hear (in this case, my daughter loves gardening and hence the little voice was that of a gardener) the intended result of the communication is absorbed faster than what it could have been if it was something abstract, say for example “ an inner voice of the subconscious mind “
So, if it was a subordinate who loves the game of Cricket for e.g.: the voice in the context could be that of a commentator in a work-related context so to say. Or if one loves watching movies, it might be the favorite actors voice doing the talk within. However, it was an amazing experience to see the impact of how the brain reacts to words and if an 8-year-old child can get it, we as adults may be able to get it (or maybe not).After-all its only words and words are all we have….