Life coaching: 'Brain defect or enhancement?'

"Her brain sustained minor trauma. She will no longer be able to process negative thoughts and speech," the doctor explained.

ben goldfarb 88 (photo credit: )
ben goldfarb 88
(photo credit: )
Jane overheard the doctor speaking to her parents in the emergency room as she was regaining consciousness. She was alive and unscathed by any serious physical injuries. However, her MRI revealed an injury that would lead to interesting consequences for her. Jane was the victim of a collision between a parked car that somehow smashed into the motorcycle she was riding at 120 mph. Her doctor labeled her survival as nothing less than a medical miracle. "What do you mean by interesting consequences?" Jane's father asked the ER physician. "Her brain sustained minor trauma. She will no longer be able to process negative thoughts and speech," the doctor explained. "What the hell does that mean?" her mother asked. What Jane heard was "What the …… does that mean? "Her nervous system will not be able to comprehend her own negative thoughts or negative speech from others," the doctor said. Jane heard her father say, "Is that a blessing or a ………." What her father really said was "Is that a blessing or a curse?" "Only time will tell," the doctor said. "Please bring her into my office for a checkup in two weeks." The doctor left Jane's parents and went to deal with the next patient. Jane was released from the hospital a few days later. She planned on spending two days at home and then going back to work. One of her first visitors was Aunt Gloria. She came into Jane's room and hugged her. Aunt Gloria began her monologue which described everything that's wrong with the world. Jane could only see her Aunt's lips moving and her arms flailing, but Jane couldn't piece together what she was saying. Any outside observer could hear Aunt Gloria's scathing attacks on the universe's inability to cater to her every want and need. Unless Aunt Gloria got herself into an identical motorcycle accident, she would go to the grave with complaints against every human being and institution with whom she ever had contact. Jane just looked at her aunt with an empty stare and nodded occasionally to make her think that she was listening. Jane's inability to process negative thoughts didn't mean that she wasn't aware that negative things existed. Even after the accident, Jane was well aware that less than positive things happen in the world. She knew that the face of evil rears its ugly head in the guise of war, pestilence, and call waiting. However, her brain "defect" could only deal with these items under very specific circumstances. At first Jane's condition was annoying. She started feeling like a poster child for positive thinking. However, that feeling never materialized because the negative thought that might have generated that feeling couldn't be processed by her "damaged" brain. As time went on, she found herself gravitating towards positive people because they were the only ones whom she could understand. And since she couldn't think about anything negative, she was much more optimistic and happy than she was before her accident. Two weeks later at her checkup, she qualified her doctor's diagnosis. "Your diagnosis was only partially correct," Jane said to her physician. "Meaning?" asked the doctor. "While I can't process complaining and whining for its own sake," Jane said. "I can process negative thoughts and speech that are in the context of brief therapeutic "venting". "Go on," the doctor said. "I can also process negativity that is generated in the context of coming up with a solution." "So, at the end of the day, how would you answer your father's question whether or not your anomaly is blessing or a curse?" the doctor asked. "It's definitely a blessing. Instead of a brain defect, I see this as an enhancement or an upgrade to my nervous system. " "How do you know that you are only saying it's a blessing just because you can't process the idea of a curse?" the doctor asked. "Great question. I tried thinking about that myself but was unable to, of course. However, the answer to your question is that my brain is not blocking a negative assessment. And I have evidence from the outside world that my "defect" really is a positive thing." "How's that?" the doctor asked. "Many of my friends have asked me to help them replicate my ability to filter out negative thoughts and speech." "So you are teaching them how to consciously do what you accomplish naturally as a result of the accident?" the doctor asked. "Exactly. I'm just baffled by one thing." Jane said. "What's that, Jane?" the doctor asked. "I'm not sure why none of my friends have asked me to give them motorcycle lessons." Ben Goldfarb was born and raised in El Paso, Texas, and is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. He moved to Israel in 1988. He is the founder and director of Paradigm Shift Communications. He has given seminars and training sessions at Israel Aircraft Industry and Philips Medical Systems. His book, "Double Feature: A Nostalgic Peek into the Future" will be published next year. He lives with his wife and children in Jerusalem. For more information about his coaching practice, visit the Paradigm Shift Communications website, or send an email to [email protected] © Copyright 2008 by Ben Goldfarb