I want to you to play the audio sample below, it’s only a few seconds
Did it make you think of Christmas?
I am using this to explain a point. I could make you think of Christmas, by getting you to listen to a small snatch of music. I could also get you to think of Christmas by talking about a jolly man in a bright red suit, with a big white beard, who keeps saying ‘ho ho ho.’
What you have just experienced, is your relational memory in action!
The music, or the image of a jolly man was all I needed to trigger your memory and nudge it in the right direction to make you think of Christmas.
You might also now have emotions, I like it, I hate it, and you probably have just arrived all primed for your course and immediately thought of Christmas.
Memory plays an important role in anxiety, your mood, and what goes on inside your head and leads me nicely into what I call
The space in between
Many of us falsely believe that if we have a temper, that is just who we are. Or if we get anxious when making a presentation, that is just who we are.
That is just who you are, if you do nothing.
Your brain pays more attention to the things you think and feel regularly, growing and strengthening the connections between them, than those things that you do not do often.
It partly explains why a few seconds into the music above, you thought of Christmas. The connections in your brain between the music, large jolly man and Christmas has been developed and grown over the years, so much so, I could get you to access the thought of Christmas, without ever mentioning the word. By getting you to access memory.
You might not fully understand at the moment how your memory got jogged to Christmas. Yes you will know that you associate the music with it, but you probably don’t yet know what is going on in your brain to make that happen.
This is the space inbetween, you playing the music and thinking of Christmas.
There is also a space in between, meeting someone and feeling anxious, giving a talk and worrying about it relentlessly one month before hand.
It is not just who you are. Understanding the space in between gives you the choice to change.