Mental Representation... an incredibly useful distinction and an incredibly rare capacity
I loved the book 'Peak, the new science of expertise', until almost the very end. Then I got angry.
Somewhere around 90% of the book I noticed that he uses an expression, a phrase, that means something to him, the author, but meant nothing to me.
Now I know how you feel when you read my articles...
The expression he used was "Mental Representation".
He never quite explained what it was, and my mind was screaming "bloody murder" for a few days.
I felt it was important, I felt that without that the whole book is just letters and lines, and useless words in random order. I knew.
I fired up my hunting dog part, and instructed it to find it... it must be there, even if "I" can't see it.
Dreams that fell apart the moment I opened my eyes, glimpses that I didn't quite catch... maddening, if you ask me.
Then a glimpse I could hold onto.
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You see, a week or so ago I did something stupid and hurt my ear. It was bleeding, it was hurting, and I could hardly hear anything through it.
I managed to give it only as much attention as it deserved, and continue life, working, webinars.
He looked and "pronounced" that I punctured my ear drum. He suggested that I go to a specialist.
I immediately felt worse... lol, but declined to go to a specialist.
At home I went deep "inside" and looked at my ear again. I tested my hearing by rubbing my fingers together at different distances from my ear.
I disagreed with him. I "saw" how my ear was, and my ear drum was not punctured, the air didn't hit my inner ear. And now, a week later, my hearing is 100% on that ear, and I am well, though the wound is still healing...
Now, why am I sharing this with you?
Because I created a "Mental Representation" of my ear, including my inner ear, much like an ultra sound, an x-ray, and other diagnostic methods do. And compared what I saw with what I knew must be... I looked up some pictures on the web.
Aha... Mental Representation is like a model that shows the "thing" in full bloom, healthy, as intended... that you can compare with how it is. 1
I started to see a corner of what that meaningless phrase could mean.
Then I remembered that somewhere in the book he talks about a swimmer, who started to improve, dramatically, when she created Mental Representations of her stroke, her angle, her breathing, compared them with how they were in actuality, and started to adjust each to the model she just created... to an ever increasing perfection.
Hah... I am starting to see it.
You envision it, and then you get to it by adjusting what you do, what you have to that perfect Mental Representation.
And you can do it in any area of life where you want to achieve more results than your current actions give you.
In some way the Japanese Kaizen methodology, invented by an American! does this.
The workers know how the finished product should look. They know what each part should look. They know when a process is clunky... and they give feedback to management, and the clunkiness is smoothed out.
You can go from underachiever to overachiever in 20 steps... by adjusting 20 elements of your process to more perfect, if you have a mental representation of perfection... if...
You can do it in any area.
One area where I am helping people to do that is nutrition, to get well, get back to perfection to the degree they can.
I am using my feelings and muscle testing to do that.
I have a 90-essential-nutrients-according-to-Joel-Wallach. I know a lot about Ayurveda body types. I know a lot about blood type diet. I know a lot about the different types of eating from the Human Design modality.
I recognize gluten intolerance, indigestion, fructose intolerance, incorrect food combining, because I know what it looks like: I have the correct Mental Representation of either.
I do a session, make the recommendations, and do a checkup two weeks later.
And just like the chiropractor's "diagnosis" of my ear's condition was incorrect, I can see that a lot of doctors' "diagnosis", a lot of nutritionists "diagnosis" of what is making you weak, tense, lazy, or stupid is incorrect AND expensive.
Your mental representation can be only as good as the truth value of your knowledge.
- Medical professionals base their diagnosis on a knowledge base that has 7% truth value.
- Nutritionists base their diagnosis and suggestions on a knowledge base that has only 3% truth value.
And I haven't even talked about the financial skewing factor: recommending, unconsciously, the methods that make them the most money.
When you ask the body to tell the truth, you get a lie 99% of the time.
The body that is in homeostasis is going to tell you how to keep it in homeostasis, even though the homeostasis may mean one leg shorter than the other, or that you are severely out of balance.
The body is not a good adviser, no matter how much you wish it weren't.
I have experimented, and have found that the answer the body gives is different from what I get when I ask "all-of-it".
The body has a mental representation of the body remaining how the body is... crooked, ill, out of balance.
This is why I have said before: you eat what you are... the body wants more of what it already is. Sick, out of balance...
Because it is all according to the mental representation... The genes, that give the body its answers, has a mental representation of the homeostasis it is in...
One other area where I see that this capacity is making you like a bird with broken wings is planning your life.
When I ask "J" what would your relationship look like if you give him respect and dropped your superiority?
She has no clue.
When I ask "J", a different person, what his success looks like in his chosen endeavor: he jumps to fame and acclaim... nothing between here and there... not a useful mental representation, the end result lacks the details that are necessary to get there.
When you look at Bill Gates, or Warren Buffet, you have NO IDEA what they had to go through to become who they are, how they are.
Because the end result gives you no clues. It is not detailed enough.
One new book I am reading, called Will it Fly? is an excellent tool to develop your Mental Representation of your life, if you have ambition to be more, more happy, more deserving, more at ease, more accomplished.