Have you ever wondered why certain events seem to stick in your mind over others?
This thought was sparked by a comment from a customer the other day who, when trying to book an appointment, playfully remarked ‘every time I try to book you you’re on holiday!’
Could that be true, am I always on holiday or is that their perception? Well I guess I do pack in a good amount of R&R and although I may not always be leaving home for a foreign land I frequently take mini-breaks away from my work to re charge and re fresh my energy.
But back to my point, why did this event stick in the mind of that customer?
Upon reflection a few theories have emerged. One is that booking work in this case (whether with me or any service provider such as a decorator) is not an everyday occurrence. Hence when people do anything that is outside of their normal pattern of existence it’s a NEW event and that’s enough to make it stand out from a heap of similar experiences that our brains have already processed.
Add to this (in the case of that customer) a slight amount of disappointment (emotion), plus some additional facts of information to attach to the event e.g. my impending holiday, and hocus pocus a thought is created and with it potentially a new belief pattern. Wow, who’d have thought! I am sure the neurologists out there will have a view on this and OK, maybe my language is not scientific, however I get what I mean here (question is do you)?
So is this why over time it is harder to differentiate between any number of experiences, a meal out, a film, a holiday or even Christmases? Unless the event is vastly different or something distinctive happens at the time, each one may very well feel much like the last. Furthermore as many of us on this planet have taken to taking pictures during the precious key moments of our lives, is it any wonder that sometimes when we look back at pictures our personal memories of those special occasions can often seem dulled and even devoid of emotional memory. Sad eh?
This leads me to consider what this could mean for our lives. Could it be that repetition and running on auto-pilot means we switch off our capacity to be ‘in the moment’. The old adage ‘a change is as good as a rest’ may have some truth in it. Perhaps the lesson here is to be more mindful of how we spend our time, seek out new things and experiences. Most of all let’s make sure that we focus on the moments in life which we want to remember at the actual time of their happening.
So let’s put the camera down, pay attention through the lens of our minds and learn to focus. Otherwise we risk our lives becoming as wallpaper. A pattern that simply repeats itself.