24 Jan 15|Innovation

So the term Mental Contrasting popped up again the other day in a newsletter from Inventium.

So the term Mental Contrasting popped up again the other day in a newsletter from Inventium. I’m surprised it’s not used more often than it is…though there is the association between mental and hard work, and that may be prohibitive.

Professor Gabriele Oettingen (so much easier to write than to say) from New York University did all the things she needed to do (i.e. conducted a study, did some research etc.) to prove that the technique of Mental Contrasting has the potential to improve health, relationships, academic achievements and goal attainment.

So what is it and how does it work?

Well it’s a collaborative effort between positive thinking (glass always full, imagining what you want, creating your own reality and so on) and bringing a dose of reality into the picture. Make that a big dose – one that spills a bit – sets things off track and needs a bit of mopping up! What I mean is – think about all the obstacles that could possibly be in between where you are NOW and where you want to BE! In our Create and Innovate workshops we call this exercise FAT CHANCE! That means imagining the absolute best scenario for your future that you could hope to achieve…The next session is called Make It Real…or consider all those obstacles that stand in your way!

The idea, and a concept that has been proven in various studies, is that considering/contemplating/imagining/acknowledging ALL the things that could get in your way, actually raises your adrenalin levels – gets your fight or flight gear happening – and therefore increases energy and enthusiasm for the problem solving that lies ahead. What may have been considered unachievable,  has become a challenge and as each small step is taken to overcome those challenges, the reality of achieving that once considered illusive goal, hedges closer to reality and is suddenly a very real possibility.

And where else is this process more appropriate than in the innovation space!

So what is it and how does it work?

So what is it and how does it work?

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