I just had the most unique experience!
I asked this one question to BUCKETS of people: both liberals and conservatives, people of faith and not, several cultural backgrounds, serious people, silly people, undergrad students, graduate students, a PhD student, nurses, engineers, entrepreneurs, designers, teachers, volunteers, mothers, fathers, and the list could go on and on.
What was so cool about the experience was that everyone had the SAME answer!
Who knew something like that was even possible?
And even though the question and unanimous answer experience was incredible, the thought that it led me to is something I challenge you to consider as you approach the new and unknown in your life.
I hope this week’s episode is both encouraging and challenging because you’re a gem and frankly, a gem should shine.
And for your convenience, here’s this episode’s transcript:
Hey, Gorgeous! Ginny Townsend here and I am actually coming to you live on location. My husband had a work trip that brought him out to New York, and I came along for a little bit. I’m actually on my way back to the airport and back to California. But I thought it would be fun to do a show out on location. If you saw the tease for this video, I’m sure you’re wondering, “What on Earth is she talking about?”
I usually have a lot of experiments going on at any given time. One experiment that I have been working on for the last couple months, I’ve asked a lot of really smart people in person, over text, and just recently on my social networks to my friends, this one question.
Engineers of all kinds, whether that’s software or NASA
People of faith
People not of faith
I tried to get as many people as possible to answer this one question. If I hadn’t experienced it I probably wouldn’t have believed it, but can you believe that they all agreed on the answer?
I’m sure you’re wondering, “What on Earth is this unicorn pixie question that she’s referring to?” It is the question, “Do we know everything about anything?” Take a moment. It’s kind of a big question, right? We know a lot of things, but I didn’t get a single maybe, let alone a yes. Everyone across the board, “No.” Usually without hesitation. “No. No we absolutely do not.”
We do know a lot of things. For instance, surgeons can perform intricate surgeries when their patients are hundreds of miles away. We’ve been to space… a lot. We can print cells and organs. We can do a lot of stuff. I mean, I just pushed one button and I’m live talking with you right now. We obviously know a lot. We’re probably the most educated people to have ever lived. But we still don’t know everything about anything.
Why did I ask that question? It goes back to a story, an experience that I’ve had over the last four years. Four years ago, I stopped eating meat and dairy just as an experiment. Like I said, I’m always doing experiments. If you know me, you know I don’t lead with that. I’m not trying to convert anyone to that. But it’s something that I really adore and I love about my lifestyle. Inevitably it will come up if I make a new friend or I’m out to eat with a colleague or whatever, that I don’t eat dairy. 90 percent of the time I’ll get the same response. It is, “I could never do that.”
Which is so interesting, because first of all, my question, in my mind at least, I haven’t asked this out loud quite yet. But I’ve always been like, “Says who?” or, “Based on what?”
As I’ve been thinking through this, maybe they meant, “I’d never want to do that.” If that’s the case, it’s a decision and you’ve made a decision. You never want to do something. That’s fine. There’s plenty of things I never want to do. But it’s the idea of thinking, “Oh, I could never do that,” which I have not been able to find any fact, any documentation, any principle, any law even, to state or to support that idea that we could never do something. We could never know that we could never do something. In and of itself, it’s kind of unknowable, isn’t it?
What do you think about that? Is that an interesting concept? An interesting way of looking at things?
Actually, what I thought was really funny was, we were out to dinner with some friends on Sunday. I mentioned that I’m going to be doing a live show on location this week, Tuesday. When I explained that it was going live, it wasn’t recorded and then posting live, his first reaction, his response was, “I could never do that.” That was amazing! I was like, “Oh my gosh! That’s the exact topic I’m going to be talking about!”
I just want you to know that the smartest people I know disagree with that. I don’t think that there’s any way that we can actually know what we could never do. I’m wondering, does something come to mind? Can you think of the last time you said that? Because I know we’ve all said it. It’s a very common phrase, and now I hope that you start listening for people saying that. But I encourage you, especially if you can remember one or two, multiple times that you’ve said, “Oh, I could never do that. I could never do that.”
Here’s what I would love, because this is what I do. I write down or I type out, “What happened? What was said? What did I say? Oh, I could never do that. Right.” But was there a common theme? What was it about what was shared that made me say, made me put this huge limit on myself saying, “Oh, I could never do that?” Not even that I don’t want to. I encourage you to write it out or type it out. Are there any things in common?
For instance, there could be, are they relational, “Oh, I could never do thats?” Are they career oriented, “Oh, I could never do thats?” Or physical limitation, “Oh, I could never do thats?” Or even my example, dietary, “Oh I could never do thats?”
I hope that you feel challenged to not accept this thought, that we kind of, I hear a lot of people saying it. I hope that you don’t just assume that because you say it, it’s actually true. I challenge you, the next time that you start to say that, I hope you stop yourself from letting those words come out of your face. Because our minds listen to what we have to say. I think if we tell our minds something, especially over and over again, we believe it and then it becomes a reality. It’s kind of more of a self-fulfilling prophecy than anything else.
What’s interesting, and I’ve said this on a lot of videos but I keep coming back to it because I think it’s so interesting is, we think 60,000 thoughts a day according to Cleveland Clinic. 95 percent of the thoughts that we think today, we thought yesterday. It’s thoughts like this, this idea of us saying, “I could never do this. I could never do that,” that actually drive our life, because they’re kind of under the surface. We don’t really even pay attention often when we say things like that, but they affect our lives.
If a thought like this is sitting in the driver seat, having the awareness of it at least gives you the opportunity to question its validity. If it’s driving you somewhere, make sure it’s driving you in a direction that you want to go.
If you have a method or a favorite journal, or a favorite software that you like to just get your thoughts out and write out, “Why do I think that I can’t do this?” I encourage you, use that method. Use your go-to method. Then if you don’t, I have created a freebie just for this purpose. If you go over to unsabotage.com/tryit, it’s a free printable and it is journal with space. Space for you to write and get those thoughts out of your mind so you can actually see them.
Then there is an exercise, it’s a really cool exercise that I absolutely adore, on the back of that printable that allows you to visually see your thoughts in a way that you’ve never been able to before.
So, what did you think about this idea of, “We don’t know everything about anything,” and how it relates to this statement that we say a lot of, “Oh, I could never do that?” If you like what I had to say, I would love it if you would share. I can’t wait until we get to connect again next Tuesday morning at 11 AM Pacific, right here on Facebook Live. My challenge for the week, until we talk again, never say never. Have an amazing day, and we will talk soon.
Have an amazing rest of your week and never say never.