“I will pay more for the ability to deal with people than for any other ability under the sun.
-John D. Rockefeller
Welcome to September’s “Mysteries of the Mind” monthly newsletter!
Communication, Motivation, Change!
There is a lot of change taking place in medicine in America today: Technological, scientific, cultural and political.
Some of the top 100 hospitals have been asking me to help them with the change stress that their employees are feeling.
The intro they use for me is often something along the lines of “Who better then a cultural anthropologist to talk about corporate culture and who better then a Las Vegas mentalist to be entertaining while doing it!”
I would love your thoughts and insight on the new website: Helping Hospitals Heal
Below is an excerpt from one of my talks on why we are averse to learning new tools and new ways of doing things. Enjoy.
The Cookie Jar story is an example of how a child positively deals with a problem and deals with change, and then how that innate strategy suddenly disappears.
Imagine as a child there is a cookie jar on top of the refrigerator. The child walks in, sees the cookie jar and desires the cookies in the jar. First, the child jumps up and down to try and reach the cookie jar.
No, that didn’t work.
So now the child climbs up on the counter to try and reach the cookie jar.
No, can’t reach it.
Okay, next the child opens the doors of the refrigerator and tries to climb up through the refrigerator and … and …
No, that didn’t work.
Okay, (says the child to themselves) I’m going to get a broom and then I am going to knock down the cookie jar with the broo-
No, no, I can’t get to it with the broom without breaking it.
Frustrated, the child has to re think the strategy. Maybe a team is needed! Big Brother will help! I’m going to go get my brother and… oh wait, he’s not here.
Idea! I’ll go get the neighbor kid and stand on his shoulders … Success! Captured the cookies. Of course, (thinks the child) I have to share the cookies, because he helped me, but at least I have cookies. Good enough.
Here’s the problem: Now that the child has found a solution that worked, when they are faced with this situation again, most will simply walk into the kitchen and say, “cookie jar on top of the fridge? I know the answer; I’m going to go get the neighbor kid!”
But what do they do if the neighbor kid isn’t home? “Oh, well, I guess I won’t get any cookies.” And they instantly give up. Many decide at that point to not look for any more solutions! It’s just done. They don’t try, explore or play with alternative solutions anymore. It’s almost as if they don’t see options.
So, step one involves looking at the world through fresh eyes, every time. Seeing situations, people and strategies with a new and childlike perspective.
(Now here is the fun exercise – play along if you like)
Cover up your watch. Don’t look at it. Now think, what color is the face? Does it have numbers? Does it have all of them? What is the shape of the second hand?
Now look at it, did you get it 100% right. Very few do. Yet those of us with watches look at our watch face dozens of times every day and never really see it.
You’ll see it from now on. Every time.
Please let me know if you have a hospital or business in your area that would like an anthropologist / Vegas Mentalist to come and chat about communication, motivation or change management! Click Here
“One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windowstoday.”
The Checker Shadow Illusion is an oldy, and remains a goody. The illusion shows how bad we are at gauging luminance, our eyes and brains are easily tricked by relative brightness and we are especially fooled by 3-D scenes.
I have only ever seen Professor Ted Adelson’ illusion in its original form – a drawing. But this amazing video put together by artist Brusspup illustrates the mind-bending trick better than any piece of paper. Check it out: Checker Shadow Illusion
Paul to appear this summer on National T.V. show on Oxygen and I hear that they are running re runs of my episodes of House Hunters on HGTV.
But until then, a fun new magical documentary staring some of my friends:
“Guaranteed to leave viewers levitating.” -Variety
“Gem of a movie… Thumbs up!” -Roger Ebert
“A coming of age journey set in the quirky subculture of magic, Make Believe follows six of the world’s best young magicians as they pursue the title of Teen World Champion and lead us on their personal journeys of transformation through magic.”