This Bike Only Works if you can think differently

30 Jan This Bike Only Works if You Can Think Backwards

What is thinking backwards? Can you actually think backwards? Interesting concept, right?! I recently came across an experiment and video that challenges us to do just that.

When you think of some of the inherent abilities that we all have as adults, like being able to tie your shoes, brush your teeth or ride a bike these are things that we just know how to do. The algorithm has been wired into our brains from a young age and we don’t even have to think about what we’re doing when performing these second-nature tasks. But, it can take just the slightest tweak, like using your non-dominant hand, to make these exercises seem utterly foreign.

The Backwards Brain Bicycle is one if these things. Created by Destin Sandlin of the YouTube channel, Smarter Everyday, Destin set out to challenge himself to re-learn how to ride a bike when the handle bars go left when steered right, and right when steered left. A simple enough modification that he thought he’d conquer in a matter of minutes.

Eight months later after practicing daily, Destin had finally conquered his brain’s bias to the expected and anticipated operation of the bike. This ultimately led him to the conclusion that knowledge is not the same thing as understanding.

At first it’s very funny to see a grown man struggle to operate a bike. But when we start to think about our cognitive processes, things get interesting.

Check out the video:

What did you think? Watching this makes you want to try riding a backwards bike doesn’t it?

For me it was a great reminder that the more we focus and practice, the better we can become at learning new skills or overcoming obstacles. We have the capability to become increasingly better at new things regardless of how challenging they seem at first. And, when we learn new things or memorize new information this creates long lasting functional changes in the brain, essentially making new pathways and connections.

Can you think of something to which you could apply this practice to create some new neural connections and change? What new things can you unlock in your brain? Which biases can you challenge?

I never cease to be amazed by the power of thinking differently and how it contributes to change.

Shift Perspectives In Your Organization

During my keynotes and workshops, I challenge participants about the perspectives that they hold onto that can be causing them to resist change or hinder projects. Through the use of magic they experience how their worldview is just one of many. See The Magic of Thinking Differently to find out more.
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