The Wright Way

The Wright Way

Monday, February 27, 2017

The Yellow Bucket


One of the amazing things we humans are born with is our analogue brain. Within that Innate hard wiring that is always with us YET we need to cultivate and utilise, is the power of connectivity; our ability to make connections in the area of “joined up-edness”; what at times can seem like creative alchemy.
There’s nothing particularly clever about this, and I mean clever in the sense of “a learning and then a using of that learning” within the intellect. It is very much more about cultivation and utilisation of what is innate, is in our nature, in order to tap into a deeper understanding that we have labelled Wisdom.


Now wisdom, too, is Innate. It has an intangible beyond-ness, in as much as we cannot specifically point to where it is or where it has come from. Yet, when it arrives in Mind we recognise it instantly. We might call it a light-bulb moment, and we might use a word to describe its arrival such as “Eureka!” And it is intertwined with our hard-wired ability to utilise the power of connectivity.

Another thing that sets wisdom apart from learning is that we cannot gain a Degree in Wisdom. Yet through applying our wisdom we might achieve degrees of profound conclusion far beyond anything we might have learned in the course of gaining our Degrees.


As a final part of this overture before I start to tell the intended story here, I’d like to shine a torch in the direction of metaphor. 
Essentially, metaphor is our ability to use – within our verbal language – the power of descriptive connectivity. Whilst I apologise for that bit of word play, it shows our brainy ability to describe something in terms of something else, and thereby be instrumental in making a connection.
Now metaphor is everywhere within our language, and because of the omnipresent nature of metaphor it has been sometimes referred to as being “How our unconscious communicates with our conscious Mind.” 
I see it as the vehicle that links knowledge with wisdom, moving around the hard wires in our brain – a vehicle powered by connectivity.

Coaching reflections

Reflecting on a recent busy day of cricket coaching, I noticed a number of revelations I was able to guide players towards. Some were technical, some tactical and some psychological – as is usually the way with this kind of working interaction.
I’ve described elsewhere what I call the 3 levels of Mastery of any performance skills as being Unconscious Competence, Consistency under Pressure and Conquering Ourselves.
Our ability in gaining these levels does not follow each other in a linear way, but they tend to run concurrently. And the real clue of joy in all of this progression of Mastery is that Number 3 – conquering ourselves – makes Numbers 1 and 2 so much more straightforward and accelerated.
We learn to get better at something far quicker when we get out of our own way. Or to put it another way, dare I say in a metaphorical sense, our gaining of Mastery is much simpler when we pay more attention to what we are doing than to what we are thinking.

I was talking with one of my players about Mindset in Performance; how our thinking can override our ability to direct our attention; and that getting familiar with how we are directing our attention in practice is how we can really get a handle on reshaping our Mindset for Performance.

Believing we can reshape our Mindset is just the start. The practice of directing our attention comes next. The putting aside of in-time self-monitoring and judgement is essential to this practice – for if we believe we need to keep checking-in with ourselves in the nature of “How am I doing?” and “How am I doing Now?”, then we will dilute our attention to task and increase our attention to judgemental thinking.

Our beliefs shape our Mindset for anything – they SET our Minds in stone. According to Linda Quiring, Sydney Banks said “If you seek via your own silly beliefs, you will never SEE or HEAR! You will hear only the echoes of your own mind.”

The Yellow Bucket

I must have spent well over an hour playing with my grandson, Arlo, who is two and a half. This was unfettered and unstructured play, directed by him and with me following. I was merely his playmate in all this, so wherever his Mind and his attention went ... there we would both be.

At one point he picked up a see-through bucket made of yellow plastic and put it over his head, and almost at once he started laughing.
“I can see everything yellow,” he said. “All my clothes look yellow.” He looked out of the window, “Ha ha! – the grass is all yellow! You have a look Grandpa!” And I did – and he was right. The grass was yellow. I gave him back the bucket and he looked at the table:
“The table’s yellow!” Then he saw the fruit bowl and really started laughing.
“Ha ha Grandpa – the oranges are yellow! Not orange!”
Then I asked him, “What about the bananas? What do they look like?” There was a slight pause and then he said,
“Oooh! They’re even MORE yellow now! Ha ha!!”
The laughter continued unabated as, something about everything being yellow, and oranges no longer being orange but becoming yellow, and bananas that were yellow anyway and now were even more yellow, just seemed to tickle Arlo all over!

Only Connect

So is there a link here between Arlo’s yellow bucket, my young cricketer’s Mindset and “Brainy – Wisdom – Metaphor” ... LIKE THAT?
Has my – and perhaps your – innate and hard wired ability been inducted with a little change in electric potential across the synapses?

Did Arlo’s excursion into the strange world-view of all yellow just become an amusing experience based upon curiosity rather than create a disturbingly jaundiced mindset, or challenge his beliefs about how he sees the world around him? Of course it did – especially since he is merely two and a half!
“Yes, Pete, but I’m older and wiser – and I know about beliefs and mindsets and how important they are. Arlo hasn’t learned anything about all that yet.”
To which I might just reply:
“And what will change for him when he does? Will it become better or worse? Simpler or increasingly more complex? Stay amusing and curious or become serious and worrying?”
PLUS – there’s another perhaps more suspicious question I would ask:
“WHO is going to teach Arlo about all that – about beliefs and mindsets or set minds? Has his innate and unsullied view of the world already collided with such things and created some curiosity, perhaps even confusion, within his growing conscious experience?


Arlo looked through the virtual reality bucket and just couldn’t stop laughing.
I wanted my young cricketer to realise that the virtual reality bucket of mindset and experience she was using was also not real – yet could be EQUALLY funny, once she lets go of those “silly beliefs” that Sydney Banks so described. 

And I knew that once I’d got her laughing every time I mentioned how much of an illusion she was operating from within, that she was starting to break up the tablets of stone upon which her Mindset and beliefs had been etched.

No comments: