Monday, February 02, 2015

A model transformation?

In my last post I promised to tell how a visualization instantly changed my diet. I'll keep it brief.

I don't know when I first tasted shrimp, but whenever it was, shrimp immediately became one of my favorite things to eat.

Now, however, I have not eaten shrimp for YEARS.

Did I stop liking the taste? Nope. My guess is that if I tried it now, I would enjoy the taste as much as ever.

So what happened? Simple. I was listening to the radio one day, and someone said something that created an image in my mind, an image that instantly turned me off to shrimp forever.

If you enjoy shrimp, and want to continue doing so, you may want to stop reading now. Seriously.

I don't remember the speaker's exact wording. I also don't remember the speaker's name, or for that matter, the name of the program on which he spoke. I do remember that what he said came down to this: crustaceans are basically underwater cockroaches. Shrimp? Oversized underwater cockroach. Lobster? GIGANTIC underwater cockroach.

That created an image in my mind of eating cockroaches, which evoked such disgust that I have not eaten shrimp since.

That is my favorite example of personal change from my own life, because it was instantaneous and absolute. There was no struggle. The decision not to eat oversized cockroaches was one of the easiest I've ever made.

In a way, the dynamic involved could be viewed as the complement of the dynamic that Danish poet/mathematician/designer Piet Hein described:

Mere good intentions go for naught. /The balance we must strike / consists of liking what we ought /and doing what we like.

In this case, I instantly found myself disliking what I ought, and have ever since refused to do what I dislike. I have often wished that I could effect other changes in my life as readily as I did that one. More than that, I have often suspected that I can effect other changes in my life as readily as I did that one, by making tempting things repulsive. But I haven't gained that skill yet.

Have you experienced an instance of instantaneous, absolute change? How did it happen?
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