Friday, August 26, 2011

W.O.W. (Words of Wisdom) from Chris Rock

Over the last couple of years, I rarely watched Oprah.

A couple of weeks ago, however, I tuned in at just the right time.

Chris Rock passed on these wise words which I suggest you read carefully: "Don't like it because you've tried something, not because you dismissed something."


"I know what I like and I like what I know!" you may declare. It's an admirable trait to be so certain.

Bear in mind, though, that as life flows by, you gain new experiences. Your taste buds change. You change. Activities. Friends. Partners. Jobs. Health. This can and does affect how and what you like.

I even have an example to illustrate what I mean. Several weeks ago, we went to the Regional Tasting Lounge, where we were served a set five-course meal. I was dismayed to note that I didn't like three of the courses. But, as I told the owner, I was willing to give them a try. Well, what a surprise! Not only did I like them; I loved them! Kudos to the chef. The food was so delectable and elegantly presented that it enticed me to have a bite. And another, and another!  It seems that my taste buds had changed.

By being open enough to giving those previously disliked courses a try, I felt good. It was a culinary adventure, one upon which I gladly embarked.

Stress can make you dismiss something - an activity, a food, or a person - without giving consideration to how you may have changed. Dependent upon whether you are stressed or not, a different part of the brain is activated. The cascade of stress hormones is akin to making a knee-jerk decision; one that is based on a previously negative experience, which may not fit for the current situation or encounter.

The key to differentiating between the likes and don't likes is in how you are feeling emotionally. That is something you can learn and practise how to do.

That "trying" that Chris Rock speaks of, is life-long adventure and experience.

Image courtesy of Asif Akbar.

2 comments:

  1. Marianna,

    Thanks for another great post on how stress affects us...even our decision-making process...

    I appreciated your example regarding the 5 course meal and how you were pleasantly surprised to see that you actually enjoyed all 5 courses :)

    You are absolutely right in that we change, our tastes change etc. over time and that it would be a mistake to assume that our likes/dislikes are a constant amidst all the change around us.

    I suspect that that we make this "mistake" as one way to address "decision fatigue."

    There was a great article in the New York Times the other week addressing the issue that we are generally facing too much choice in our lives and this in of itself is stress http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/21/magazine/do-you-suffer-from-decision-fatigue.html?pagewanted=all).

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  2. Dorlee,
    Thanks for providing the interesting and informative link to the NY Times article.

    If I could go one further with those experiments, I'd love to provide the participants with techniques that transform their stress and restore their resilience.

    The whole field of neuroscience is so important. We are not just a heart or a liver or a brain. It's all connected.

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