A while ago a scientist called Jules Davidoff worked with the Himba Tribe in Namibia and discovered something really cool.
The Namibia people had many words for green, however no words for the colour blue. They grouped blue and green together.
He developed a test to see whether they could identify the colour blue by showing them 11 green squares and one blue square.
They either couldn’t tell which of the squares was a different colour to the others or took a long time.
However, when he asked them to identify the difference in colour between shades of green with a very slight variation they were able to identify it very quickly.
English speakers had the opposite problem, they could tell which was blue quickly, however struggled to tell the slight variation in the green.
As the story goes, apparently he took the experiment a little too far (if you ask me) when he had a child. For the first three years of her life, he made sure that she never learned the word for the colour blue.
Can you imagine how hard that was?!
One day, in the park and pointed to various things asking for what colour they were.
“What colour is that grass?”
“Green.” She said.
“What colour is that swing?”
“What colour is the sky?”… she didn’t know.
She couldn’t tell the colour of the sky!
Neither could the Himba people. They largely thought the sky was white….
This always spins me out. Can you believe there are people who don’t see the colour the sky the way we do?
What colour do they see?
Is the sky really blue?
Why is this important?
We need to believe a concept before we see it.
Until we believe something to be true, we’re less likely to see the evidence to support our belief. The lesson teaches us to understand that there things we don’t yet realise because we haven’t thought about them deeply enough yet!
It teaches us to keep our minds open to new ideas.
Language is important
The language we use is important, especially with ourselves. What do you tell yourself about your skills, abilities and potential. Do you tell yourself that you’re capable, intelligent, kind, attractive, productive, mindful and happy?
Try this: Pay attention to the stories you’re telling yourself and the language you use.
When you feel yourself becoming judgemental or negative, think of three positive things you’re grateful for and see how it changes your mindset and therefore what you notice, focus on, and in turn, achieve.
It makes a huge difference.
After all, when you believe it, you’ll see it and that makes all the difference.