JoAnna Bennett

JoAnna Bennett, O’Brien Communications Group

13 December 2018

About ten years ago, I picked up the novel Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. It was recommended to me by a friend and wealthy business owner, who grew up in the same town I did and most certainly didn’t come from affluence. That novel was my first exposure to the Law of Attraction. And while I wouldn’t argue the scientific validity of this law, I’ve done enough research on the human brain to know that science may not be needed to explain it.

In case you didn’t know, there are plenty of cognitive biases that influence our perceptions of the world. Just to give one example, focalism, or the anchoring bias, allows our brains to rely too heavily on an initial piece of information offered when making decisions or judgements. The factual nature of the information might not even matter. I’d have preferred to name it the “Man in Red” bias.

Here’s why:

On my first few exposures to Christmas, I was told about a heavy-set man dressed in red who came to my house and brought presents. Every year, I came downstairs to an amazing mound of wrapped gifts that I knew my parents couldn’t afford. Decades passed and that initial piece of information always stood out as true. I’d even unknowingly channel my confirmation bias and prove to any naysayers the truth behind this man in red.

be·lieve – accept (something) as true; feel sure of the truth of.

Have you ever looked in the mirror before a big meeting and given yourself a pep talk? I usually like to say to myself – you are beautiful, you are strong, and you are capable. Channeling those three characteristics help me believe in myself and get any job done.

Perhaps this season needs to come around to remind us to believe in something. Whether we believe in ourselves, our clients, or good ol’ Saint Nick, that pure acceptance of something as true —without knowing — is powerful.