by Dr. John J. Franey, CEO/Founder of Developing Difference Makers
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This morning at breakfast, my youngest child took a bite into her hardboiled egg. To her great surprise (evidenced by her excited shriek) she found two yolks inside of the egg. She has eaten tons of eggs in her life, but this was the first time she had ever seen an egg like this. She quickly asked me to look at the egg. I said to her, “Wow, it has been a long time since I have seen an egg with two yolks.” She immediately threw her hands up in the air and exclaimed, “I am so lucky! This is going to be the best day ever!”
It was amazing to see how she immediately saw the positive in this situation. There is no reason to believe that getting a double yolk in your egg means you are going to have good luck. It could just as easily be seen as omen for a curse by another person. There is no scientific explanation for whether a double yolk has a positive or negative impact on our lives. According to my research, the chance of finding a double yolk egg is actually about 1 in every 1,000 eggs. Not really that rare, but we all believe that a double yolk egg is so rare it must mean something for our lives.
In life, we often seek out things that we see or experience that must mean something. Positively we look for four-leaf clovers and lucky pennies and we cross our fingers and knock on wood for good luck. Negatively we fear black cats crossing our path, breaking mirrors, and every Friday the 13th. In reality all of these are superstitions that provide a feeling of sense in this crazy life we live. As a former baseball player, I am all too aware of the impact of superstitions. I can still remember as a kid being so mad at my mom for washing my uniform in the middle of a hot batting streak. I remember telling her, “What have you done? There goes my game. You washed out the good streak. We are going to lose and I am going to suck.” And sure enough, that game I struggled at the plate, missing pitches, went hitless, and we lost. In my head, that dirty, smelly uniform was the key to my success (to my mom it was a problem that needed to be dealt with in the washing machine). My hot streak had nothing to do with working hard and practicing all the time. It was simply a matter of a lucky uniform.
In reality, it had nothing to do with the uniform (and I can now admit my mom was right to wash that filthy thing). But what I had done in my head was to build a positive narrative that was leading to success. My positive mindset was enabling me to be successful. Now the positive mindset was built from a falsehood of a lucky uniform, but regardless it was putting my brain in the ultimate success mode. When I struggled in the game after washing the uniform it was because the positive mindset had been replaced by a negative mindset that was setting me up for failure. We do the same thing in all aspects of our lives.
When we find the lucky penny, the day is going to be great and our brain seeks out the positives in the day, choosing not to find the negatives that exist on a daily basis. If we see that black cat run across our path, our brain immediately goes negative and we seek out the negatives in life. Now it is easy for us to avoid black cats and broken mirrors, but it is not just these superstitions that lead to our negative mindset. It could be an argument with our kids or spouse in the morning. It could be the guy cutting us off in traffic. It could be the boss talking to us about an issue with our work. All of these things lead us to a negative mindset that is going to negatively impact our days.
The key is retraining our brains to find the positive and to build off of them during the day. For in any situation we can choose whether we see something positively or negatively. We can control how we experience life by how we react to situations and experiences that arise. For my kid, she immediately saw the double yolk as a positive. She made that choice and sure enough she did have a great day. When I picked her up from school she excitedly shared that she had been picked as star of the week and that it was all because of that lucky double yolk (of course it had nothing to do with the fact that it was her turn to be star of the week in the class regardless of whether she found the yolk).
So the next time you find that double yolk take it as a positive and enjoy a great day built out of a positive mindset. Living in that positive mindset is going to positively impact our lives and, in turn, it will keep us looking clean and smelling good in a crisp clean uniform!