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The case for magical thinking

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Magical thinking is derided by the scientific establishment, but is that wise? I think not. Science tips its hat to magical thinking in the form of double-blind tests and placebos. Why? Because magical thinking has power to change consciousness, and when you change consciousness, you change everything.

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The case for magical thinking

  1. 1. Copyright © 2011 | Dark Matter ConsultingTHE CASE FOR “MAGICAL THINKING”David Kaiser, PhDExecutive Coach and CEODark Matter Consulting
  2. 2. Copyright © 2011 | Dark Matter ConsultingAgenda•Introduction•Great Content on Mindset and Beliefs•Offer for You•Good Bye!
  3. 3. Copyright © 2011 | Dark Matter ConsultingIntroduction•Executive & Relationship Coach•Help creative business people havemore fun, get more done, and getpaid lots more•CEO, Dark Matter Consulting
  4. 4. Copyright © 2011 | Dark Matter Consulting“Magical Thinking” Defined (& Derided)Magical thinking is thinking that ones thoughts bythemselves can bring about effects in the world or thatthinking something corresponds with doing it. It is a type of…causal fallacy - Wikipedia
  5. 5. Copyright © 2011 | Dark Matter Consulting“Magical Thinking” Defined (& Derided)Rationalists deride “magical thinking” as irrational.They point to “natives” doing a “rain dance” or “making asacrifice to the Gods” and think themselves superior.
  6. 6. Copyright © 2011 | Dark Matter ConsultingIs Their Derision a Bit Presumptuous?Science RESPECTS “Magical Thinking” by usingdouble blind tests and placebos. WHY?Placebos sometimes WORK…
  7. 7. Copyright © 2011 | Dark Matter ConsultingMagical Thinking - ClarifiedType One Truth – it holds whether you believe in it or not.“Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’tgo away.”Phillip K Dick, Sci-Fi Author
  8. 8. Copyright © 2011 | Dark Matter ConsultingMagical Thinking - ClarifiedType Two Truth – it becomes true if enough people believe it
  9. 9. Copyright © 2011 | Dark Matter ConsultingMagical Thinking - ClarifiedMost people think there is a lot more Type One Truth thanthere really is, but “reality” is a lot more malleable than that.
  10. 10. Copyright © 2011 | Dark Matter ConsultingType Two Truth - Quotes“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committedcitizens can change the world; indeed, its the only thing thatever has.” Margaret Mead
  11. 11. Copyright © 2011 | Dark Matter ConsultingType Two Truth - Quotes"Whether you think you can, or think you cant, youre right.“Henry Ford
  12. 12. Copyright © 2011 | Dark Matter ConsultingType Two Truth – Are the Chicago Cubs“Cursed?”Yes they areIs it supernatural? Who knows?But lots of people BELIEVE they are cursed, includingplayers, fans and coaching staff, so they are cursed
  13. 13. Copyright © 2011 | Dark Matter ConsultingAnother Term for Type Two Truth“Self-Fulfilling Prophecy”
  14. 14. Copyright © 2011 | Dark Matter ConsultingWhy Does This Happen?The Human Mind…Deletes, Distorts, and GeneralizesYou don’t find what you’re not looking for
  15. 15. Copyright © 2011 | Dark Matter ConsultingWhy Does This Happen? - ExamplesHawk ExampleRussian Word Example
  16. 16. Copyright © 2011 | Dark Matter ConsultingBeliefs are Assumptions About the WorldIs there evidence to support the idea that people areinherently GOOD?YES
  17. 17. Copyright © 2011 | Dark Matter ConsultingBeliefs are Assumptions About the WorldIs there evidence to support the idea that people areinherently EVIL?YES
  18. 18. Copyright © 2011 | Dark Matter ConsultingBeliefs are Assumptions About the WorldMost of your BELIEFS are not deliberately chosen, but theyare passed on, or they just accumulate without beingquestioned
  19. 19. Copyright © 2011 | Dark Matter ConsultingBeliefs are Assumptions About the WorldMost political “debates” are not logical or rationalYou think the scandals and failures of “your side” areexceptions, the other guys think your scandals and failuresare the norm.Candidates just argue past the other’s beliefs
  20. 20. Copyright © 2011 | Dark Matter ConsultingHow do you make this work for you?Examine your beliefs, are they REALLY true?Look for counterexamples, REALLY LOOK FOR THEM
  21. 21. Copyright © 2011 | Dark Matter ConsultingHow do you make this work for you?Car example
  22. 22. Copyright © 2011 | Dark Matter ConsultingSelf-TalkNotice what you say to yourself:“I’m not good with Math”“I hate selling”If you say it often enough…it becomes TRUE
  23. 23. Copyright © 2011 | Dark Matter ConsultingAct “AS IF” and Look for ProofIf you believed that your ideal job existed, what would youdo?GO DO THAT!
  24. 24. Copyright © 2011 | Dark Matter ConsultingAct “AS IF” and Look for ProofIf you believed that sales and marketing could be positiveand ethical, how would you behave?GO ACT THAT WAY!
  25. 25. Copyright © 2011 | Dark Matter ConsultingTalismanResearch has shown that when people carry “lucky items”(i.e., rabbits foot, lucky ring,etc) they often get better results.(Probably) nothing supernatural here, but lucky items bringconfidence and train you to look for good results!
  26. 26. Copyright © 2011 | Dark Matter ConsultingTalismanDressing up gives me confidenceI’ll wear a favorite suit, tie, etcI feel like a million bucks…and it shows!
  27. 27. Copyright © 2011 | Dark Matter ConsultingRituals:“There’s Always Parking Right out Front!”WHY DOES IT WORK?I slow downI get there earlier and actively lookIt’s fun, so I relaxTRY IT!
  28. 28. Copyright © 2011 | Dark Matter ConsultingVisualizationImagine how it will goThis gives you confidenceThis helps you remember what to doThis keeps you relaxed and resilient
  29. 29. Copyright © 2011 | Dark Matter ConsultingJournalingKeep a journal on a topic like “wealth” or “good luck”You will notice that after you’ve been doing this a while,you will start “finding” money / financial opportunities orgood luck out of the blue.
  30. 30. Copyright © 2011 | Dark Matter ConsultingWhy does it work?Because it trains you to find what you’re looking for, toexpect good things, to do the things that bring the resultsyou want
  31. 31. Copyright © 2011 | Dark Matter ConsultingCAUTIONThis is “practical” magical thinkingYou have to DO somethingYou don’t find money, love or parking spots out of the blue…You find them because you train yourself to look for them
  32. 32. Copyright © 2011 | Dark Matter ConsultingRe-Cap•Type One and Type Two Truth•Beliefs are just assumptions•Self-talk•Talisman•Rituals•Journalling
  33. 33. Copyright © 2011 | Dark Matter ConsultingGift!•Two articles: “Four Unusual Steps to Better Time Management” and“Answers to the Question ‘Is This All There Is?’” atwww.DarkMatterConsulting.com, when you subscribe to my eZineand get tips and inspirationFacebook.com/darkmatterconsulting, @DarkMatterCon
  34. 34. Copyright © 2011 | Dark Matter ConsultingAnother Gift!•Complimentary 30 minute “more fun, more done, more money”sessionFacebook.com/darkmatterconsulting, @DarkMatterCon

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