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Maybe you saw a picture like this of me lately on Facebook or Twitter? Did you ask yourself what it was about (a part from bold trying to grab attention with something unusual)? This wasn’t planned! On the contrary. Read why and how I used a mistake I made to spread love, to be bold and to have fun.

Patricia with chop stick

I created a chopstick incident during my online training last week: I told the attendees to hold chopsticks between their teeth… and I forgot about it. Instead of holding it for a minute or two, they were stuck with it during 5 long minutes (it’s not very comfortable). I was really sorry, when I remembered – and I was very amused, too. I hadn’t been mindful, I made a mistake.

What five lessons did I learn thanks to this mishap?

#1        A mistake is just a mistake

I hadn’t been mindful. I made my spectators suffer a little bit. I was sorry. I also knew that this is not the end of the world! I asked for forgiveness – and I forgave myself. And then I went on with my training.

#2        You have to experience it!

As I preach, if you don’t do and actually experience something, you don’t know it. I forgot about the chopstick, because it was something abstract I only thought about. I only had this camera in front of me – I couldn’t see someone doing it or feel it myself.

#3        Don’t be afraid! Be bold!

I preferred to instruct people and keep on talking because I was afraid that people would switch off, if they saw me doing it in front of them during almost a minute. I wasn’t as bold as John Cage in his three-movement composition 4’33” or Four thirty-three (see video below).


#4        You can always turn the wheel around

With a little help from a friend, I realised that I could use this to create a little buzz. Using the character strengths of humour, creativity and courage, I promoted the replay talking about chop sticks. Find out more on my Facebook Page

#5        Mistakes make you grow

After getting encouragement in a private facebook group to post this picture on twitter, I even was so bold to put it as well on LinkedIn where I usually provide links to scientific research or background articles on issues like neuroscience, positive psychology or creative learning.



I’ve got three questions for you.

1             What was your first reaction when you saw that picture? Did it make you smile or even laugh? Did you think this person must be vain or silly or mad – or ridiculous?

2             Do you know if this is your habitual way  of reacting to something you don’t understand with your intellect? Could you choose another way?

3             Are you usually aware what you do with your body when you react in an amused or puzzled or irritated or curious way? (Yes, you DO things to FEEL in a certain way!)

I bet you have already guessed what this chop stick fluff is all about… Read more about the why and the science behind all this in my post tomorrow.

PS: this post is part of a 30 day blogging challenge.


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Patricia Mauerhofer
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Please share this article viaFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail