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The 1-Minute Therapist

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Can you raed tihs? I cdnolt blveiee taht I cluod auclaclty uesdntnrd waht I was rdanieg. The pweor of the hmuan mind! Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are. The olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? And I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! Go fgiure!

The above is an insightful example of why we often lack insight about ourselves -- given to me by Dr. Madeleine L. Van Hecke, author of the new book, Blind Spots:Why Smart People Do Dumb Things.

Dr. Hecke explained that for the very same reasons you can read this gobbly-gook above -- you are also destined to do dumb things at times.

Basically ... as an adult your brain is filled up with lots of beliefs on how things should be -- in the same way you have a definitive sense of how words should be.

The problem: some of your beliefs are totally incorrect. Or very much correct -- but stubbornly single-minded.

As a result, when you look at an event, problem, new person, you often fill in the gaps of missing information with just plain dumb conclusions, thereby creating blind spots which can wreak havoc in your life.

You know when you say: "I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHY PEOPLE KEEP RESPONDING NEGATIVELY TO MY WORK!" or "GEEZ! WHAT WAS I THINKING WHEN I SAID THAT?" These areas of failure are due "blind spots" which you've developed by filling in blnkas in your mnid wthi wrnog infrmomatoin!

Blind spots are why bank robbers have been known to write stick-up notes on the back of their very own check-book receipts! Or ... why you might comment to friend who offers you "Chateaubriand" how it's one of your favorite wines! Or why you might dumbly yell at someone in your office for their demeaning behavior -- thus doing the very behavior you're trying to correct.

With this in mind ... here are some helpful easy tips to rev up your mind, so it's less likely to create blind spots today!

1. In your work-world, watch out for information overload. Limit the amount of paperwork on your desk so you can better see what matters most. If you're entering a brain-crowded state, walk away from your computer and enter a new setting, so you can better process and digest. To paraphrase Einstein: You can't solve a problem at the same energy state you created it in.

2. Avoid your tendency to habituate with the same ol' rituals. Start to try new things. Visit new places. Walk a different way to work. Buy a different flavor of juice. Get known for your love of embracing new ideas, situations and people. Get known for loving to ask people for their honest feedback about how you might improve your work habits -- then keep an open mind about criticism. After all, it's one of the best way to shine light on those pesky blind spots of yours!

3. Even more important than an open mind -- have "Beginner's Mind." In Buddhism "Beginner's Mind" is described as the pure lens with which a person who is absolutely new to a situation sees a situation. There's a famous Buddhist quote: "In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Children unwittingly have Beginner's Mind -- hence why kids are often smarter than adults at problem-solving puzzles! Once a day ask yourself: "How would a 12 year old look at my life and its various people, situations and problems?" Or try to imagine someone from a foreign country following you around for all day -- and commenting on how they see you interrelating with others and performing your job functions.

4. If yuo dnto wnat to lsiten to tihs avdice thtsa oaky. Jsut konw bilnd sopts mghit stirke wehn laest epxecetd!

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