The Panting Dog Mindset

I have been listening to two books – “What Einstein Kept Under His Hat” by Wolke and “You Are Now Less Dumb” By David McRaney.  Both are about science.  The first is about the science of food, the second, your brain and thinking. They converge in relating you to a panting dog.

So what do you have in common with a panting dogs? You and Fido think something cool in your mouth will cool you down. Only one of you is correct, and he generally walks on all fours.  Wolke’s book goes into detail why ice on your tongue will not cool your body down with any significance.  A dog does cool down through his tongue. It’s a function of surface area to body weight that makes a dog’s tongue more efficient.

McRaney discusses the common fallacy “post hoc ergo procter hoc”.  “After this therefore because of this” is the direct translation.  You feel cool from the ice therefore the ice in your mouth really cooled you.  In fact, it is most likely a simple deception from your brain that you are cooling off.

Ice cream does the same thing, cools you off.  The sweet and the fat (and possibly chocolate) also release dopamine into your brain.  You are now happy.  Therefore you must be cooling off because you were unhappy when you were warm. A complex association, much like the bell and pavlov’s dogs.

What does this have to do with mindset?  Everything.  Your ability to think came about for survival. It is interwoven with instinctual responses creating a whole mess of small and large mental miscues that are no longer relevant.  The result is that you do things you believe are effective when in fact they are not.  One very relevant example includes being afraid to put yourself out there and be different.  Our ancestral brain has a fear of standing out because it meant death.  If an early group did not like you, they killed you.  Fortunately, this does not happen in business.

Another big mindset mistake for professionals in marketing is “The Common Belief Fallacy”. You follow the crowd because everyone is doing it. You never question a statistic or a “Common Belief”. One I come up against often is “great lawyers don’t do marketing”.  Another false “Common Belief” is that if you focus on a bigger market, it will mean more business. Neither of these is true.

You have a choice when it comes to your primordial brain and it’s false directions. Ignore the fact these miscues exist and continue dodging saber-toothed tigers and salivating at Pavlov’s Bell.

 The other choice is to reconfigure your outdated programming by paying attention to your mindset. Start entering some new code (new mindsets) on a regular basis to push your neuro software.  Your brain’s hardware is designed for another time and place.  It’s going to take work because your ancient hardware will keep overwriting the software.

Read “You Are Now Less Dumb” and continue to be aware of your mindset.  You’ll be responsible for the former.  I’ll deliver the latter to you every Monday.

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