I Know You Don't Know But...

Monday November 19, 2018

Are you willing to play a thinking game? I hope your mind said, "Yes!" This is a good one!

When we feel 'stuck' in Life, there are a couple of phrases that will often be first on our lips. The first one is, "I don't know!" The second one is, "I can't!"

I've added exclamation marks because these are declarations. They are not very empowering statements, are they? Feeling like we don't know and that we can't do anything really aren't great states of mind to be in.

Here's the game.

We add a 'but' and then a little bit more.

Are you ready to play?

When you have "I don't know!" on your lips, add this: "I know you don't know, but if you did know the answer, what would it be?"

When you have "I can't!" ready to burst forth, try this: "I know you can't, but if you could, what would you do?"

Your mind, if it's like most people's, will then resist like a limpet resisting the sea as the tide changes. I'm certain an example will make this clearer.

When the children were smaller, they would often have trouble making a decision when feeling under pressure. We might be queuing for what seemed like hours in a café and they couldn't quite make up their minds. The exchange would go like this...

"What would you like to drink?"

"I don't know!"
"I know you don't know, but if you did know, what would you like?"

[Cue resistance!]

[Cue patience]
"I know you don't know, but if you did know, what would you like?"

"...Pepsi Max!"

If I was a betting man, I'd be prepared to put money on all of us banging up against barriers in our lives at the moment where we don't know the answer, and where we feel like there is nothing we can do. My invitation is to keep grounded in reality ("I don't know," and "I can't" are statements that believe they are telling the truth) and yet push our thinking by playing the thinking game.

I won't promise a dramatic solution or turn-around, but I can promise that your mind will often offer up more ideas than when we initially close our minds with the definitive "I don't know!" or "I can't!"

If you're feeling brave enough to share, would you please share your own stories of where you've transformed not knowing into knowing, and can't into can!

Oh, and by the way, the limpet may seem stuck in its position, but time-lapse photography reveals that limpets move a long way... just not when we're looking!

A Moodscope member.

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