Uncovering our biases is an important step in discovering ourselves. Evaluating the words we choose, what they mean, what they imply, and how we use them is an exercise in self-awareness. Whether we repeat a “blonde” joke, a sexist expectation, a racist definition, an age bias, or just the labels we put on one another, we deserve to think carefully about all that’s implied and to question ourselves again: Is that what I truly mean? Why?
In Mind Programming, I recount a story told by Jesse Jackson. One evening while he was returning to his hotel, he heard rapidly approaching, heavy footsteps coming from behind. Growing anxious, he turned, saw a white man, and breathed a sigh of relief. Imagine the humiliation of that moment for Reverend Jackson. How many such revelations could we all experience?
Practicing Your Actions & Character
What if you could relive your childhood? Would you create a different you? Remember when you practiced your character? Perhaps you were a romantic and practiced kissing your first sweetheart. Maybe you were an up-and-coming tough guy and stood in front of the mirror to practice lines such as “Go ahead. Make my day!” Possibly you wanted to be a model, so you practiced your walk.
What if you could have a redo on your scripting, your practicing? Would you change anything? What labels do you use to describe yourself? How do you put those labels on others?
Centenarians: Expectations & Beliefs
I had a rude awakening in 2000. On an educational channel, I happened to catch a television special that was all about centenarians (those who have attained the age of 100 years or more). They were sharing stories of what it was like to be alive during the past 100 years, the whole of the 20th century.
There were incredible tales, but I was taken aback by how young most of them seemed. I was seeing people who looked as if they were in their late 60s and early 70s, not ones who looked at all as if they were 100 or older — at least, not as I expected them to look. What do you expect a 100-year-old person to look like?
Biases & Self-Fulfilling Prophecies
Your expectation can become a self-fulfilling prophecy — and usually does. What if you knew that how you thought you’d look, feel, and get around at a given age actually predicted more or less what was coming? Would you make any changes to your expectations? Would you rewrite your definition of old? Would you find more use for people in their 70s, 80s, 90s, and older? At what age do you honestly think the ability to contribute to society ends? Does it ever? Do you feel at all different today from the way you felt when you were younger?
Our biases are bound by definitions, and most are hidden from our attention unless we actively seek them out. Research suggests that such little things as what I expect of myself when I’m older do indeed affect what actually happens. In fact, the data shows that age can be reversed, simply by fully remembering youth, so that you feel it and see it in your mind’s eye. Change the definition and you become younger.
Does Our Belief in Gravity Rule Our Life?
My book Choices and Illusions discusses levitation and hypnosis. The punch line is that levitation was common in hypnosis until the definition of our world changed through the spread of Newtonian physics. Once everyone became “knowledgeable” and knew that heavy matter (bodies) didn’t float, levitation became uncommon. I wonder what else has become rare. Do you?
What if you believed that you could float upward in the air — would you? Could you? What else might you do if you believed you could? What if belief creates your world?
Excerpted with permission of the publisher,
Hay House Inc. www.hayhouse.com
This article was excerpted with permission from the book:
What If? The Challenge of Self-Realization
by Eldon Taylor.
What If? is a very personal book. By using everyday situations and guiding you through numerous thought experiments, Eldon Taylor does an excellent job of peeling back the layers and revealing the dissonance in much of our thinking, beliefs, desires, and choices — contradictory beliefs held at the same time with no apparent awareness. Once you have seen your own mind with the filtered lenses removed, it is impossible to remain the same. That is why so many have praised this work as being absolutely life-changing — not just a fascinating read — but a transformational experience!
About the Author
Eldon Taylor is the host of the popular radio show, Provocative Enlightenment. He is an award-winning New York Times best-selling author of over 300 books, as well as numerous audio and video programs. His most recent books include Choices and Illusions, Mind Programming, and What Does That Mean? Eldon is also the inventor of the patented InnerTalk technology and the founder and President of Progressive Awareness Research, Inc. He has been called a “master of the mind” and has appeared as an expert witness on both hypnosis and subliminal communication. More than 20 scientific studies have been conducted evaluating Eldon’s technology and approach, all demonstrating its power and efficacy. His books and audio/video materials have been translated into more than a dozen languages and have sold millions worldwide. Website: www.eldontaylor.com.