June 26, 2020

A Rose by Any Other Name

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”
Romeo and Juliet, Act II, Scene II

It turns out that how you present something is sometimes more important than what you present. You can even trick yourself into better performance, a better attitude, and better success.

You see, our brains are really good at grouping things together. We like to categorize. For instance, when I first studied Morse code, I found myself automatically recognizing common word patterns. If I heard the phrase “bread and” my mind immediately jumped to “butter.” If I heard “take it or” of course I instantly heard “leave it.” Even when I was struggling to keep up with the dits and dahs of code, I could instantly catch up when I recognized a pattern.

Now here’s the trick. You need to create positive patterns for yourself. If you hate getting out of bed in the morning, that’s going to drag you down all day. You need to find a way to replace your negative feelings with a positive association. Maybe you can reward yourself with a nice, hot breakfast. Maybe it’s an energizing run or some relaxing meditation. If you keep repeating the pattern day after day, it’s going to get easier and easier.

Every time you replace a negative pattern with a positive one, you level up in life.