Don’t Worry, Make Flashcards!

Roberto Assagioli (1888-1974)


I remember when I had my first child, I got caught up in the hype of teaching baby to read from the moment it comes home from the hopsital. Of course, I wanted to do everything I could to give my baby the best possible start. I bought this “better baby system” (even the title now makes me chuckle), which consisted of large white rectangular cards with bold lettering of simple words. I took matters into my own hands and thought up more words for baby to learn. Before you know it I had these signs all over the house and on everything (told you I went overboard :-). The stove had  a sign that read “STOVE”; the floor , a sign that read “FLOOR”, etc. Guests would come over and ask me if I was afraid they would forget what a ‘WINDOW” was or how to spell it.

William James believed that every image has a motor component. Dr. Roberto Assagioli, Italian psychiatrist in the time of Sigmund Freud and pioneer of a new school of thought called “psychosynthesis”, believed in the power of what we look at, to produce corresponding results. With his patients, he would take cards, and write words such as “Bliss”, “Happy”, “Calm” etc, and found that they would produce these states when placed in a place where a person looks at them often.

The notion of placing “reminders” where you will see them often has come back into popularity in the past few years, but it really does seem to work.

How to Use this Tip: Take a few sheets of paper, upon which you write the words that represent what you want to achieve today. One word or short phrase per sign. Then place these where you will be exposed to them frequently–the refrigerator, your desk at work, your bathroom mirrror, etc.  Make sure you take time to read and reread these words. You can even change them or add/subtract, depending on which thoughts most represent what is in your heart the next day and the next.  Do this for three weeks, and see if it makes a difference in the way you feel, and in what you achieve.


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