One Thing to Know About Your Brain That Will Change Your Life: Ann Herrmann-Nehdi (Transcript)

And then those what to do, can make some assumptions about what to do. I don’t know about you, but sometimes assumptions have kind of led me astray.

I was in Vietnam with my husband visiting a major city. We were walking down the street and got hit with a torrential rainstorm. So I go running into a store to get something to protect myself and buy a Ponchos, right? All of us have bought Ponchos before. So I didn’t think this was a very complicated decision.

And as soon as I came out, my husband took one look at me and said, what’s with the window? And I was like, I didn’t even recognize that there was a window there in the first place.

And of course, I assumed that it was about my body, which of course it wasn’t, right? And so we didn’t really know what this window could be for until we decided to look up and look out and get out of our context.

And what we saw on the streets around us was hundreds of motorbikes with many people wearing Ponchos, I mean, you took a closer look at the punchy, you saw that the window was actually designed for the motorbike. Not for me, the motorbike for the light to shine through.


Well, one of my favorite tools is something I call a mind hack. You’re basically hacking your brain’s autopilot. And it’s really useful to kind of get mentally unstuck or shift your perspective.

And so a great mind hack for this is something called assumption reversal. So my assumption was, it had something to do with my body. If you reverse that, and you say this window has nothing to do with my body, suddenly, it opens up your brain to think of new perspectives. So you can always use a mind hack to shift your thinking.

Now, the second step is to recognize what your preferred patterns might be. Now, a lot of people assume since I grew up with a researcher studying this stuff, I sort of instantly got it.

But it wasn’t until I was a young adult, working with other people that I started to really understand the implications of his research. I had volunteered for a community project, the fund-raising project, and had assembled a team and so we had an accountant. I had a retired drill sergeant, a school counselor and myself at the time an entrepreneur.

And we got together into one of those team meetings and most of us have experienced that. And by the end of the meeting, I thought, oh my god, what have I signed up for? Have you ever been on a team that feels like this? It’s sort of you feel like, everybody together annoys me.

Well, what was happening is that the accountant was completely focused on the numbers. Not a big surprise. He wanted to know what the payoff was going to be.

Meanwhile, the retired drill sergeant kept saying, well, no point in talking about the numbers when we don’t have a plan, what’s our process?

And our school counselor said, look, I know all these people we could be calling, why don’t we just call them? and I was there with all sorts of possibilities and new ideas and kind of like a fire hydrant of lots of possibilities. And so it was really tough and I thought to myself, gosh, what am I going to do?

I went home that night and said, Oh my God, of course, this is a perfect application of that research that my father was doing years ago. He discovered that, in fact, we actually have access to our whole brain, not the simplified left brain, right brain. And we have access to all different kinds of patterns, but we develop definitely preferences for some patterns over others.

So what I was seeing with this group is that we had the accountant completely focused on the payoff. We had the drill sergeant all about process. We had our counselor wanting to talk about people. And of course, I was there talking about the possibilities.

And my challenge was to get us all out of autopilot because we were just looking at the world through our own personal lens.

And so I had to stretch my thinking and bring the group together. And it’s interesting because the payoff was really worth it. In fact, we were able to double the amount of money that we expected to make. And in the process, we actually bonded as a group, which kind of surprised me.

Now, since then our research has shown that you can get up to 66% more effectiveness when you bring together different thinking.

BUT WHAT DO YOU DO IF YOU DON’T HAVE A TEAM AVAILABLE TO YOU? So here’s a mind hack that you can use that’s really very simple, that thousands of people around the globe use every day. And it’s simply four questions you ask yourself when you’re faced with the big challenge, or a problem, or even something that is a big decision.

“Ask yourself what is really important to get into the payoff mode. Ask yourself, how am I going to do it to get into the process mode? Ask yourself who needs to be involved to get into the people mode? And then ask yourself what if this or that happened to get into the possibilities mode?”

But you know you don’t really have to do this by yourself, because we have a lot of different people around us. Why maybe even at home?

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By Pangambam S

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