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Mental Mistake Solution #2: Think and Speak in Vivid Emotional Terms


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On October 29, 1941, an elderly man walked up to a stage with his cane and a cigar pressed between his lips. The subject of this man’s speech was “How to be Successful.” This scene takes place at the Harrow School for Boys in the United Kingdom and the man was once a young boy who attended this school. The traditional songs, the halls, and the smell were all too familiar. The elderly man making his way to the podium was the Former U.K. Prime Minister Winston Churchill. The young boys sat in anticipation wondering what this war hero and leader would say. Churchill, with his loud and booming voice, said,

"Young Men, never give up. Never give up! Never Give up!! Never, never, never-never-never-never."

With that said, the former Prime Minster sat down.

The lesson here is that thinking and speaking in Vivid Emotional Terms will hit a nerve and stick.  It becomes real rather then abstract. It’s easier to remember something that has affected you emotionally. People are emotional. We sympathize and empathize with emotions. When someone is sad, we can relate. When someone is angry, we understand what it means to be angry.  People understand emotions. You are wired to think emotionally.

One practical way to think in a Vivid Emotional Way is to:

Visualize out-loud

When you think Visually, according to 1997 article, Thoughts on Visual Literacy, Philip Yenawine writes, “Many aspects of cognition are called upon, such as personal association, questioning, speculating, analyzing, fact-finding, and categorizing.” The thought becomes personal and memorable. Once you begin saying it out-loud, you begin to believe what you preach.

“I will not surrender.”

“I love competing more than winning.”

“I will put myself on the line everyday.”

“I will not turn against myself during tough times.”

“I will come totally prepared to compete everyday.”

“I will not show weakness on the outside.”

“The crazier it gets, the more I will love it.”

Churchill, speaking loud and clear, made you think in a Vivid Emotional way. His speech was short, yet meaningful and personal. When you are faced with Negative Self Talk and don’t think you can do what you need to:

Think out-loud

Visualize the emotion

Believe you can