Hello TPI friends and family! As 2017 winds down, I hope you take the time to reflect on the past year and discover you have a lot to be thankful for and, at the same time, find some renewed vigor to put some affirmations together for 2018. 

As I travel from school to school, on many occasions I get the pleasure of meeting with groups of students in a professional development booster session. Some may have just gone through the curriculum. But, for many, it has been a while since they were immersed in the content day to day. As much as I love facilitating our concepts to Faculty, Staff, and Administration at the schools, there is no greater reward than to have a Q & A with a group of students. Time and again, I see the same reaction from student groups as the session unfolds. It’s the tilt of the head.

The booster session typically begins the same way. Students are attentive and engaged having heard the curriculum before. However, they are curious to hear how a “live” session might bring it all together or give them another interesting nugget. By the end of each session, I see the same outcome: many heads tilting, almost as if their brains now hurt, as a result of the dissonance they are experiencing. 

Cognitive dissonance can be a very powerful motivator, but unfortunately, it largely just feels very uncomfortable, especially in the beginning. Therefore, if the Creative Subconscious just wants to solve the problem and quickly, the easiest thing to do is just move on and not do anything to address the dissonance. The booster session overview of content and the Q & A for further insight or clarification of concepts just reminds many students of a time when they were engaged in the content and motivated to use it. The dissonance they are experiencing, at the present moment, is the reminder that, “Oh yeah, I used to……” and then, “Why did I stop?”

In order to make affirmation writing, visualizing our future, controlling our self-talk, pushing the boundaries of our comfort zones, and ultimately mustering the willpower to modify the HABEs to release our potential, we want to practice it long enough until it becomes the new normal.  It’s not magic. It’s persistence. Cognitive Dissonance is a gift. It urges us to move forward and get what we don’t presently have. Willpower is the muscle that makes it happen. The holiday season and upcoming new year is the perfect time to reflect, goal-set and get back to working the process to create the future we want. 

The tilt of the head as a result of cognitive dissonance is our gift to ourselves. The greater gift is to capitalize on it. “It’s not what you know, but what you use of what you know that makes all the difference.” Lou Tice.