Friday Challenge: Resistance is Futile

In order for the brain to process a command to not do a thing, it must do it.

“Do not think about red clown shoes.”

You must process what red clown shoes look like in order to avoid thinking about them. And by processing what they look like, you have done the thing you were instructed to avoid.

It is never helpful, in the avoidance of a behavior, to name the behavior. Here are some examples:

  • Don’t panic
  • Don’t be mad
  • Don’t take this the wrong way
  • Don’t overeat
  • Don’t screw that up
  • Don’t think about your insomnia
  • Don’t worry about that
  • Don’t think about all the ways you’ve been misusing “don’t”

If you have children, try these out and let me know what happens:

  • Don’t spill your milk
  • Don’t tease your sister/brother
  • Stop laughing/smiling, or, Wipe that smile off your face!
  • Don’t forget to (fill in the blank)

You get the point.

Instead of giving your focus to that which you don’t want, simply focus on what you actually desire. And that is the hardest part of this Friday Challenge:

What is it that you actually want?

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