Imagine that you are in the audience and I am giving a talk … and on the whiteboard or flip chart behind me you see the word “REVISION.”
Probably, like me, you are immediately transported back to a pre-exam scenario. Mutually, our minds will cloud our present moments – here at my talk – with snatches of individual memory around the topic of “REVISION.” The memories may be good, neutral or less than comfortable – depending upon our personal perceptions of Exam preparation. It is a road of experience we will have all travelled at some point.
Levers of Language
I have a more than fanciful awareness of the hypnotic domain – it is part of my being and my understanding of the nature of our human awareness; and it is also part of my professional approach to working with clients. Here too, I have an experiential understanding of how language (both verbal and non-verbal) is woven through all that occurs within the hypnotic domain.
Now, one of the linguistic levers that exists within this universal vehicle of conveying meaning, lies in framing; of “setting the scene.” I used one right at the start of the article by saying, “Imagine that you are in the audience … “, for instance.
I used another one by introducing the word “REVISION” into our proceedings, for “REVISION” – like that – is an evocative word. Our brains’ “Black Box Voice Recorders” will have picked up this internal dialogue in micro-time:
“Oh look – REVISION. I know that label. I have experience around that. It is flagged by my use of emotion at the time of experience, so I can recognise it with ease for future reference. That once future point has now arrived, and I can remember not just the experience (for knowing) but also the emotion (for feeling) all about REVISION. I’ll bring them both to my conscious awareness. Then, I’ll get to feel again how I used to feel back then.”
I used the lever of getting you to remember a whole raft of things … and your predictable mind-body link did the rest.
Part of the emotive nature of that word, of course, is linked to HOW we revised, WHY we revised, WHAT we revised, WHEN we revised, perhaps WHERE we revised, and (after the event) WAS it worth it, did it WORK for us, did it give us WHAT we wanted?
Of course, HOW we revise bears a very close relationship with HOW we learn. And we all LEARN in quite different ways. So, if our teachers tell the entire class that there is only ONE optimal way to REVISE – AND that this is IT – then I’d venture to suggest that their persuasive suggestions are way off the mark; along with the “factory-method” style assumption about there being only ever one way of learning.
“Here is some knowledge I am imparting and which you should be learning.”
I am like a dog with a bone regarding ways that we learn, and I make no apologies for that. I have coached enough children over the years to know that my being inflexible in the way I am imparting the knowledge, will only work for a small percentage.
Anyway, to get back to the language side of REVISION – the primary meaning conveyed by this label, this word, is there in plain sight.
If we are a Visual Learner, then our revision should literally be that … Re-Vision, or Vision-again. If we are an Auditory Learner, then we’ll be more in tune with revising from books, for the spoken word is going to work best for us. Kinaesthetic Learners are more in touch with subjects in the practical sense, so their best revision should involve a lot less via sight and sound, and be a lot more hands-on.
Now all of this is not woo-woo or rocket science. Especially when (and if) our Revision is meant to be a Re-visiting of what we have learned. After all, we are going to be examined on what we have learned – NOT on what we HAVEN’T learned – aren’t we?
Please remember – we will never learn anything when Revising. We may gain some further understanding and insight of that that we DO know, but in terms of something new – there is NO learning; only Conditioning.
Revising Our Thinking
There are, however, a number of other meanings within the domain of vision, revision, and revising – like that! There are Visionaries and ReVisionaries, Visionists and Revisionists. Revising can be examination and correction, proving and proofing a draft document, and so on.
Revising and its derivatives have now moved away from revisiting things we have already learned, into a domain of correction, change and re-assessment.
If our thinking about something is not entirely correct, or is not working very well for us, then we need to revise our thinking about it.
In visual terms, we might say we’re looking at it with different eyes and it will seem clearer; in an auditory sense we are hearing it from a whole new perspective which resonates with us a lot more; in a kinaesthetic sense we’ll feel more comfortable about it, more at ease, it will work much more smoothly.
If ever we needed proof that our non-verbal sensual language, and the ways we can express that language in a verbal way, is inextricably linked to our thinking – then here IS that proof.
Changing our Mind – is merely another way of describing what is going on when we Revise our Thinking. And we would do well to remember, also, that the only person who can change our mind – like that – is Ourselves.
In Outside-In terms, I may think that YOU have changed my mind, revised my thinking for me – YET I am the only person who can change MY mind. You have pointed me in another direction, you have facilitated my having a change of perspective, BUT only I can change my mind.
There was half a dozen of us sat around the dinner table a few days ago, and someone pointed out to one of the others that I was a hypnotist. “So, who do you hypnotise?” came the next question, which was a slight variance on the usual casual questions in conversations not involving hypnotists. You can imagine a rocket scientist in a similar social gathering: “So, tell me about your rockets?”
And yet also that slight variance, in and of itself, gives clues as to the personalities at the social gathering as well as the language of the questioner – which, again, is fascinating.
“Anyone who buys into the process,” I replied with rather vague intent – which one particular friend would describe as my being ‘woolly.’ Well, woolly or not, the conversational lever prompted my being invited to elaborate on my comment.
When I was first trained in hypnotherapy and the nature of hypnosis I would have never given such an answer. I had a set of thoughts and ideas around the process and the entire domain – and THAT set of thoughts, ideas, beliefs (almost) framed everything for me and my approach. Then I met certain people, began to move in certain circles, listened to and watched other hypnotists – and I became aware that my set of thoughts, ideas and beliefs (almost) were of such a narrow bandwidth as to severely restrict my understanding. My next step was simple …
I revised my thinking – I changed my mind.
I re-visioned my entire view of how the hypnotic domain sits within our Being.
I had many insights and light-bulb moments, which were both exciting and breath-taking in turn.
I believe that curiosity is a freedom granted to us before birth. It is the driver for ALL of our early learning. AND – if we were to allow it – can be the driver for our Learning for the rest of our lives. Yet most of us are told to hide our curiosity away – especially when it comes to educating ourselves – or have our educating done by others that sit in judgement.
“Our brain capacity peaks at 25 … “
“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks … “
“I couldn’t learn to do that – I was no good at it at school … “
“My teacher says I shouldn’t take this subject at GCSE because … “
Don’t these, and other well-worn phrases, look just like a set of thoughts, ideas and beliefs (almost)? How narrow is the bandwidth of the minds behind them – believing them to be the one, true and only way?
Curiosity – at ANY age – is the driver for ALL learning. Curiosity says, “I want to know this, I want to know all about it, I want to know more about it, I want to experiment with it, I want to see how far it can be taken.” Curiosity always keeps an Open Mind – nothing is set in stone, everything is questioned. Nothing in the World has ever been advanced by the Narrow-Minded and those beset with self-imposed boundaries.
So, I invite you to take a new perspective on REVISION. Revise your thinking about it.
I used to believe that 2+2=4 until I had it proved otherwise. The World was once believed to be flat – and indeed anyone questioning the views of the Church around that particular nature of the World was considered to be heretical, and was punished accordingly.
I invite you to learn about HOW you learn AT YOUR BEST.
I invite you to LEARN with Revision-in-Mind. By this, I mean be questioning from a perspective of Curiosity, so you can – at any time – revise what you have learned.
Take the book, the idea, the thought, in your right hand and recite these words of caution:
“You do not have to know something fully but it may harm your security if you do not understand when questioned something you rely on as truth. Anything you think you know may be given as evidence.”