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Life Lessons from the Scottish Referendum (politics free!)


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Life Lessons from the Scottish Referendum (politics free!)

john graham

Although I’ve been living in Ireland for 8 years I am Scottish.  So obviously the Scottish referendum was an event that was very close to my heart.  I certainly don’t want to go into my politics but what really interested me was how politicians & media went about giving information to the people.  How the same subject matter and information could be twisted, exaggerated or ignored depending on the agenda they were trying to run with.

Now we know that this has been happening for years and years and in all walks of life, we almost take it for granted.  In this age of Internet accessibility and social media these it a lot easier to call the distortions to information and this really came to light and was caught out time and time again during the referendum weeks.

With any of the information provided to us we had a few options 1) just to believe what we were told 2) question the information for its validity then make a decision 3) take it with a pinch of salt knowing that their version of things could change again any minute, unless it was absolute fact.

There were plenty of people who only used mainstream media and didn’t make use of the alternative information.  It was the safe option as it was the provider of information that they were used to and to certain extents trusted.  A lot of the information provided created fear, anxiety but they went with it because either they weren’t aware that there were other sources of information or they weren’t comfortable in utalising them.

The reason I highlight this is because with our thinking we go through a lot of the same processes.  Information is taken on board through our senses that are then processed through the Parietal (taste touch, Occipital (sight) and Temporal (sound) lobes of the brain.   Now even this is limited in terms of what’s reality as this video shows it’s still easy for us to misinterpret things.

We take in either consciously or unconsciously 400 billion bits of information a second!!  Most of the stuff we do is unconscious and it all works perfectly without intervention (well most of the time).  It’s when conscious thought pops up that trouble can start.  Now conscious thought is fine when we are trying to problem solve but any other time it just gets in the way of us being our best.

And here we have it, thoughts pop into our head and we then have a couple of options 1) just to believe what we were told 2) question the information for its validity then make a decision on whether we use it 3) just to recognise its only a thought and will move on if we let it.

If we don’t catch ourselves thinking then the beliefs we put our intention on create the filters to how we view reality.  As we don’t like to be wrong we generally start to twist, exaggerate or ignore to make sure our external world fits with our beliefs… stubborn.

For example someone comes and tells me ‘I’ve no confidence’ which is a belief I would help question the validity of the belief (because I see it as an exaggerated statement and there will be some aspects in their life where they are confident).  Generally what you find is that the person is focusing on the situations where they don’t have confidence and unconsciously deleting all the situations where the do, so their version of life fits with the belief.

One of my favorite games to play to show how we filter information is this. 

For the next 30 seconds look around the room you are in and spot how many blue things there are in that room, count them.

Tick tock tick tock

OK have you done that?  How many yellow things did you notice?  The answer is probably around….none.  Purely because you were filtering and focusing on a certain thing.  Exactly the same as we do when we are living through the filter of limiting beliefs.

“Beliefs have the power to create and the power to destroy. Human beings have the awesome ability to take any experience of their lives and create a meaning that disempowers them or one that can literally save their lives.”
— Tony Robbins

So what I’d encourage you to do is when you notice a limiting belief rather than just follow it, question its validity. Look for alternative evidence, I bet you can find some.  I believe every thought has a positive intention it might just not be right one for you to achieve what you want to achieve. Better yet just realise that its just a random thought you have decided to cling to and it has no power apart from the power you give it, then get on and do what ever you were going to do.

No need to twist, exaggerate or ignore like they did in the referendum if you see your thoughts rather than be them.