If you virtually want to drive on your road to success with autopilot, if you don’t want to have to think about doing things „right“ all the time, then you need your very personal “behavioural food”!
Behavioural food is the easiest, safest, fastest, best, funniest and most efficient possibility to communicate with your Berta (your nerve system). And strictly speaking it is the only possibility to do so. It is a fact that Berta has been learning just like that since millions of years. She arrived somewhere and it smelled like smoke – her protégé didn’t like that – so she linked up pain to the smell of smoke. After some while she jumped over a ditch – her protégé liked that – so she linked up joy to the hopping-over-ditches. And this goes on and on! For example: apple-good-joy, rotten apple-bad-pain, injury-bad-pain, dirt stain-bad-pain, victory-good-joy, joy-good-joy, laughing-good-joy, noise-bad-pain, cold-bad-pain, learning-bad-pain, practicing-bad-pain,…
These linkages are happening of course very individually and depend either on the quality or the quantity of the link. So in one case Berta gets an incredible AMOUNT of behavioral food at once (for example if you are happy about a victory – then she gets a lot of “good” food or if you feel very bad at an exam – then she gets a lot of “bad” food) and then it’s enough with only a few units of “feeding”. In the other case – repetition is the mother of proficiency – Berta gets behavioral food incredibly OFTEN (for example if you are practicing the clarinet daily and you get upset about every mistake – “bad” behavioural food, or instead be happy about every little improvement achieved and therefore “good” behavioural food)! Then there is also the combination of quality and quantity: you are always upset about your mistakes and are hence “heating up” the one big topic (maybe the memory of your failure at an exam) again and again.
That means you are influencing something to your own benefit which is working perfectly fine anyways already. This requires consistency and a bit of a structure, but the good news are that you have to have fun with it all the time, otherwise you are doing things the wrong way. So it is this most fabulous corrective that you could imagine! If you are happy about something you are giving your Berta some good behavioural food! If you are molested by something, upset or bored, then you are giving your Berta bad behavioural food.
We have written a whole book about this topic because it is very important to us! It describes and practices the following points with you:
You have to notice when you are going the right direction. If you manage to do a good hit at training for example. You have to notice when you grow, how you get better if you are acting right, if you do what you want to do when you are good! An then, exactly then – meanwhile your Berta is busy noticing your behaviour, you are feeding this behavior.
Therefore you need a (as big as possible) collection of things that you absolutely really like, that you love!
Maybe it would be a good idea for you to create such a list right now! Just open a new file on your tablet or get an analog, little, empty book, a booklet or a notepad and write down a few things in this “learning diary” that you really like a lot! Small ones and also big ones! For example: Which music do you like to listen to? What do you read, whom do you like to talk on the phone with, which movies, which newspapers and which magazines do you like to look through? Which photographs cause good feelings? Do you like drinking water or do you treat yourself to a hazelnut sometimes?
This list is not about political correctness! You write down whatever you love!
That almost brings you to the goal!
Now divide all you joys into as small as possible portions. Such a portion needs to be big enough to keep your interest in it but small enough for you to want even more of it. That might work better with our hazelnuts respectively with the water than with a skydive for example. But you can even divide the skydive or a Ferrari. Pictures, photographs, catalogues, websites, visualizations that might remember you are doing a great job in this case!
And this is how it works: Divide your work into very small steps. For example practicing the piano: You are taking a short phrase (maybe four bars) and then you maybe define your learning level like that:
- straight back,
- lots of joy,
- deep breathing,
- relaxed right wrist,
- relaxed left wrist,
- lots of energy,
- correct notes left,
- correct notes right,
- bigger BOGEN in total (I weiß ned, wie des beim Klavierspiel genau heißt)
Now focus on one point after another. Seriously only one point. Feed in that case – to stick with our example – first ONLY your back. All the other points are not relevant at the moment! No matter how it sounds, how you interpret, how you breathe and how many incorrect notes you are playing, it is EXCLUSIVELY about your back now while practicing. Now try to feel incredibly good during these four beers and try to keep your back straight meanwhile. You can’t do anything the wrong way! Play the four bars, focus on your straight back and count the hits/successes. Then, maybe after every 10th success, have a sip of water, eat a hazelnut, look at a picture with a strong positive and emotional linkage or do something else from your behavioural food- storage chamber. At first it might take you a while to get those 10 times together but that will speed up soon. Your focus lies solely on your successes. Everything else does not exist and will not be considered.
Through the counting of the successes, Berta links up joy to your process of growing. She notices that every couple times something nice (a little jackpot) is happening and soon after the improved behaviour (in our example the straight back) itself is the behavioural food!!! That’s exactly when you move on to the next level, hence now e.g. back and joy, back and joy, ….once you have established that, you are adding the breathing, therefore back, joy and breathing, back, joy and breathing, back, joy and breathing, …
That’s not only fun to do, supplies you with countless senses of achievement – your Berta gets a huge amount of great memories of reference- but is also incredibly efficient. Once you have changed your practicing, learning and training that way – and please do really take the time that you need for that – you have disposal over the most powerful, for sure funniest and easiest learning method in this world!