The Story of an Experiment in Pretending
Two groups of men between 70 and 80 took part in a study on the effects of perceptions and beliefs. Separately, the two groups went to a monastery that had been transformed to reflect an earlier period. All the news, magazines, memorabilia, clothing styles, music, food and even activities were from the 50’s or 60’s. The first group, before entering were told to spend the next five days pretending to be twenty-two years younger and healthier. In contrast, the second group arrived but were not told to act like they were younger and healthier.
For the purpose of comparison, each group went through extensive examinations at the beginning and end of the study. The Researchers were stunned by the comparison of the before and after test results. The results showed that by all indications the men who had pretended to be younger became physically and mentally younger. Their posture, height, weight, gait, flexibility, memory, cognition, eyesight, bone length and blood chemistry had all shifted to reflect a healthier, younger version of themselves. In comparison, the control group that didn’t pretend to be younger showed no change.
Conducting Your Pretending Experiment
For the purpose of your pretending experiment, for the next week, make the shift mentally to pretend to love your work. In the morning when the alarm clock goes off and that thought of “another day at the grind” pops into your head. Stop. Interrupt that thought and say “I love my job! I’m excited to get to work and ______.” (Insert something that’s on your agenda for the day). At the end of the work day, as you’re walking out the door say “I love my job! A lot of things went well today.” Then go through that list of things that went well as you move to the next part of your day.
Throughout the day, when a person at work is kind, does a job well, or you notice something in their personality, look them in the eye and say “Thank you. You’re one of the reasons I love my job” From the boss to co-workers, to customers, to the physical environment pretend to love your work. And the more you begin to think it, reinforce it by speaking it out loud. Say it to yourself and the people you are in contact with each day.
Grab your journal and write a commitment to pretending to love your work for the next five days. Start right now by listing things about your work that don’t require pretending. Now list some more challenging areas. List some ways you can pretend to love those areas as well. Get playful with your list and your actions. After all, pretending is play.
Play is the ultimate expression of authentic yourself. tweet
And you having fun, seems a lot less like work.