Are you smarter than a 5 year old?

Several years ago I taught a Sunday school class of five year olds. One day I asked a question, and the response from most of the kids was “I don’t know,” or something like it. But one little girl paused and said, “Let me think what I know.”

I was struck by her answer becauseof the lesson all of us adults could learn from it. In her innocence, she didn’t get all hung up on what she didn’t know. She was going to look for  the answer in the storehouse of things her five-year-old mind did know. She just needed to think about it first.

Your mind is constantly processing data, like a computer. Scientists tell us that we are continually taking in as much as 300 gigabytes of all kinds of information through all of our senses. But we’re only conscious of about 14 percent of it. Some would say that’s a waste of brainpower, but here’s what I see: a huge potential to connect with our skills and abilities. There is almost no limit to what the human brain can do.

In the movie Sabrina, Harrison Ford’s character, Linus, is watching Sabrina, played by Julia Ormond, take photographs of the view from some exclusive waterfront property. He sees the way she looks for the shot; how she frames the subject. After a few minutes, he asks how long she has been a photographer. Her response is classic: “Every time I look through the camera, I’m surprised. It’s like finding yourself in the middle of the story. I think I’ve been taking pictures all my life—long before I had a camera.”

Like Sabrina, you have been taking pictures since the day you were born. You have imagined yourself in those pictures. Now it’s time to look through your life’s photo album and relive the positive sights, sounds, and emotions that help you make decisions and connect with others.

Today is the culmination of your lifetime of experiences that can help you solve any problem. Sometimes they surface without effort, and you’ll delightedly wonder, Where did that come from?

Use this to your advantage, even when it takes a little work to access the vast array of experiences you’ve had and lessons you’ve learned. Don’t get bogged down by what isn’t there because there’s so much that is. Like the little girl in my Sunday school class, stop and think what you know.

Excerpt from The One Minute Networker

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