Try this little exercise.
Select something you “need,” and then tell yourself it is something you “should have.” Can you feel the shift in your psychology? Next select something you “should have,” then tell yourself it is something you “need.” Try the following:
Change something you have to do to something you choose to do.
“I have to go to work” to “I choose to go to work.”
Change something you have to do to something you want to do.
“I have to clean the house” to “I want to clean the house.”
Change something you ought to do to something you would love to do.
“I ought to write her a thank you note” to “I would love to write her a thank you note.”
Your theory about the world is deduced from your interpretations and beliefs. That theory then determines what you observe in the world.
We seek out only that information that confirms our beliefs and theories about ourselves and the world. People who believe they are creative see evidence of their creativity everywhere, and people who do not believe they are creative see evidence that confirms this everywhere.
Like the story of Vera Fryling, a Jewish teenager on the run from the Gestapo, she lived undercover in Berlin during the Holocaust. During this time she imagined that she was a doctor, a psychiatrist in a free land. Overcoming the Nazis, Soviet army and a bout with cancer, Fryling ended up on the faculty of the San Francisco Medical School. “Imagination,” she says, “can help one transcend the insults life has dealt us.”
The surrealist artist Salvador Dali was pathologically shy as a child. He hid in closets and avoided all human contact until his uncle counseled him on how to overcome this shyness. He advised Dali to be an actor and to pretend he played the part of an extrovert. At first Dali was full of doubts as he began to act the part. When he adopted the pose of an extrovert and made it obvious to himself and others by acting the part, his brain soon adapted itself to the role he was playing. Dali’s pretending changed his psychology.
So which stories are we telling to ourselves?
If we want to change something in our lives, we better start using imagination and visualization techniques for that purpose.