Visual Thinking Podcast: Draw to change your life and grow

I went on the Visual thinking podcast this week with Yuri Malishenko and we had a great conversation.

This is the picture that goes along with the podcast:

To sign up for Yuri’s Udemy course click here then enter in the code “DRAWYOURFUTURE” at checkout for 50% off.

Below is an excerpt of our conversation, but if you want to hear the whole thing then listen on the podcast player above or ,click here to listen on Yuri’s site.


[00:00:00] Yuri: [00:00:00] Welcome to the visual thinking podcast. My name is Yuri and I am interviewing visual thinkers- people who use simple drawings and sketches to improve the way they think, take notes, tackle complex challenges, and communicate. The guests of the show come from diverse trades and together with them, we are exploring how visual thinking can help you succeed working in your field, no matter what you do. This show is brought to you by the visual thinking and Sketchnoting bootcamp online course. This unique and highly practical signature course will teach you all the necessary elements that you need to employ visual thinking for your profession. With the help of the course, you will boost your thinking and communication skills. ,As well as improve your productivity and effectiveness. Find the [email protected].

[00:01:01] Hello, my dear visual thinkers. I am excited to introduce my today’s guest, Patti Dobrowolski change activator, Ted Talk speaker. And did you know that her talk Draw Your Dream became viral and was viewed more than 6 million times. She’s also an actress and just a beautiful human and I’m so excited to talk about Drawing Your Dream, and especially in our turbulent times, what can we use from the drawing and Patti’s going to show us and tell us, um, a few tricks, how you could use simple drawings to basically visualize your dream and get there and act on it. And let’s just start talking about these things. Hi, Patti.

[00:01:56] Patti: [00:01:56] Hi, Yuri, how are you? Fantastic to be here with you. I love that, that you’re talking about drawing your dreams, that Ted talk is actually called Draw Your Future. So those of you that are looking for it, it is drawing your dream though. There’s no doubt about it. That’s the whole point is we are going to be drawing our dreams when we’re drawing our future. Isn’t that right?

[00:02:19] Yuri: [00:02:19] Yeah. And that’s actually funny because you see, that’s how I remembered that, because what’s really captured me is what you talk about dreams. And I made some notes because that’s how I connect with the new stuff. I take visual notes and I can show you here. I do quite a lot. And I was really-

[00:02:40] Patti: [00:02:40] Wow! I wish you could see what he’s holding up for me right now, because it’s filled with notes and a really awesome-

[00:02:47]Yuri: [00:02:47] Thank you.

[00:02:48] Patti: [00:02:48] -caricature of me. He’s drawn a great picture of me and I was telling you, I was telling him before we started the podcast, that one of my favorite things was his Udemy class, because he shows you there the easiest way to draw people, which are the hardest thing to draw when you’re first learning to draw.

[00:03:07] And you think you do such. a simple presentation of that and beautiful, so I highly recommend Udemy class, even to my wizard at the whiteboard students. I want them to go take it because it’s not expensive and it’s really good.

[00:03:21] Yuri: [00:03:21] Oh, thank you so much, Patti. That’s very nice of you saying those things.

[00:03:26] I do believe that drawing should be mastered to the level that everyone, even non-creatives, , could just confidently use that because you and me and people listening to us and a lot of the folks out there who associate themselves with a title of a visual thinker, they understand that we’re talking about simplified drawings.

[00:03:50] You say in your Ted Talk that drawing skills do not matter because what matters is that you externalize what you think about. So suddenly it becomes material and now , back to you. And then, , as I said, , what really resonated with me you said dreams are powerful and transformative and they can actually change a lot in our lives and maybe even in lives of others.

[00:04:15] So I wanted to explore a little bit why you were so interested in pursuing this topic, dreams, future, , visioning. What led you to that? The talk that became so successful.

[00:04:31] Patti: [00:04:31] Well, um, part of it was, I had an experience, you know, when I was an actor, I wasn’t really an actor. I was a performance artist, which meant that I would just like make up these funny shows and then I’d subject an audience to it. A friend of mine said to me, you know, you should really go to New York and take some real acting lessons. She was being kind, you know, and I went there. And when I was there, I stayed with Broadway actress and I had never thought about [00:05:00] being on Broadway until I stayed with Dale. And she, she would like, just totally showed me like the backstage and where the opening night parties should be and everything.

[00:05:12] She got me to dream about who I wanted to meet and all that. And after my summer of taking acting classes in New York, I’d go back to Seattle where I live and I’m, you know, waitress, schlepping burritos and. I just kept daydreaming about being on Broadway. I kept just envisioning like me there in New York, living there.

[00:05:32] I wanted to be there. I just, I could see myself walking to the theater and sure enough, I get an audition to go and be in a show at the Seattle rep. And I never auditioned for other people’s material because I never got the part, you know, but they wanted performance artists. So I go there and, um, honestly what’s true is the stage manager thought I was cute and I couldn’t do any of the dance moves, but somehow I got into the show and then I became one of the star pit divers.

[00:06:05] And, you know, I got to do a lot of funny things. One was to play the dead body on stage and Bill Irwin, who was the comic, he would tap dance around me and. I would lay there and, you know, really famous people saw me laying there dead so much so I was so dead in the show that on your, on your show coat in New York, you get a show coat with the name of the show on the back, et cetera.

[00:06:29] But my show coat, instead of having my name there, Yuri it said feature dead body.

[00:06:35] How many people can say that?

[00:06:38] Exactly. You were a dead body and Catherine Hepburn saw you Sigourney Weaver, but I got to meet all these amazing people and that showed me that your inner pictures make reality. That was one thing.

[00:06:53] And then. I was later, uh, I had like an artistic break. I couldn’t perform anymore. And so I went back to school, got a degree in drama therapy because I knew, um, drama was therapeutic, but I wasn’t a good therapist. So they pulled me into business, and the first time I was in a business meeting, a guy came into the room.

[00:07:14] And he started to draw what we were talking about and I thought, oh my God, I can do that. I know I can, I couldn’t draw Yuri I didn’t have any drawing skills, but I had really good handwriting and I thought I can learn to draw. I know I can. And so I just found someone who was doing it, Janet Shatzman and I interned with her and she taught me really how to draw, you know, the basics.

[00:07:41] And then I just went and opened, put a shingle up, opened my own business in Denver and started working with Janine Underhill there. And we started a very successful business. Yeah. And that’s how I started. I just, but the truth is that over the years I saw that if you drew a picture of things, like things you wanted.

[00:08:04] And then you put the picture somewhere you could see it every day and you took small actions on it. It would happen. And only when I did it for, um, Hoffman Laroche, I did a big picture for them. Uh, with the help of Kriss Wittman, we did a big picture for them of their vision and strategy. And they measured it.

[00:08:25] They measured what happened before the picture, how many people knew about , the vision and strategy. And then they measured after we rolled out the picture and the percentage went from like 34% to 96% people knowing it. And 84% understood how, what they did every day. So we drew a picture of the strategy and it helped too.

[00:08:48] And it helps you, right. If you draw a picture of what you want. It helps your brain stay focused. That’s the number one thing, because it’s so distracting

[00:08:58] Yuri: [00:08:58] and, um, I have a, I have a theory why that is so why does that increase the efficiency of people’s understanding of the topic? And I’m curious to know what’s your opinion about that?

[00:09:12] So what exactly happens when people see the strategy or let’s say an ex pla nation of how a software feature works, or let’s say an explanation of how a process works or whatever, something presented visually just increases the efficiency. Is that simplicity, is that attention span? What is it in your opinion?

[00:09:36] What causes the sufficiency to happen? Well, when it’s thrown out there in the external medium.

[00:09:44] Patti: [00:09:44] Well, it has to do with the fact that the way that we understand concepts and ideas is actually by creating a picture in our brain, right. That’s how we sort and manage information. So the brain sequences together, a series of pictures that create a [00:10:00] story about what you are experiencing.

[00:10:03] And then that story you recall. Right? So when, if you, like, if I look at that picture of notes, you took about me, then I would be able to map and track what you actually had drawn. And I would remember the story of it because of the drawing. So , one of the things as an actor that I used to do was , I would have to memorize these right. And even as a TEDx speaker, right. I had to memorize these talks and be able to play them back in eight minutes, it had to be the exact talk. I’m not going to be like Brene brown on myself and kind of just go ad hoc. I wanted it to be totally dialed in, which draw your future. Like I rehearsed that, I think over a thousand times, that talk, so that I wouldn’t, even if I forgot where I was, or what you call going up on stage, I knew exactly by the beat where I was going. So a thousand, I don’t think I rehearsed it that much, but I’m certain, it was at least 300 times because I did it for, it took me two weeks of solid rehearsal before I felt confident. And then I went on stage, right.

[00:11:20] But I mapped it out. I drew it in a series of pictures. So the concept of the very beginning where I give the Maya Angelou quote, and then I talk about the story of Joe, and I knew I had to draw at the same time because that’s the reason they chose me was because I wanted to draw it into a picture that you could understand the process.

[00:11:43] And so I had to rehearse drawing because to draw and speak at the same time, have a lot of content in eight minutes. You got to know exactly when you’re going to turn your back. How far are you going to turn your back, what you’re going to draw. And then it’s fast drawing. It’s not beautiful drawing by any means.

[00:11:59] The Draw Your Future drawings.

[00:12:01] Yuri: [00:12:01] It’s an effective drawing. It’s a drawing that is. Understood then that conveys the message. So yeah.

[00:12:07] Patti: [00:12:07] Which is the most important part wouldn’t you agree Yuri, you just want to know it, right. So I would say that, you know, you, the reason that you want to draw or can draw, and the reason we remember things when it’s in a drawing is because our brain catalogs by pictures.

[00:12:27] Yuri: [00:12:27] Hmm. So it’s in the way, a shortcut to our brain activity so that we basically don’t mess around, which is give the direct clues and therefore that’s the efficiency basically less time for the same result.

[00:12:45] Patti: [00:12:45] And, and what’s true is that, and you probably know this, that it is even more effective when you draw the picture of your future.

[00:12:56] Yuri: [00:12:56] Absolutely.

[00:12:58]Patti: [00:12:58] And why would you say that that is. From your perspective, why do you think it’s more important that you draw it?

[00:13:05] Yuri: [00:13:05] I saw this Ted Talk a few years back and it had nothing to do with visual thinking. It was something about violin, musicians and karate , martial artists, basically. I don’t remember even the topic, but what I do remember what the captured in my memory so well is that the person who spoke about this effect of a repetition of moves many, many times until you perfect it. That is that it, it is in proportion with the strength of, the neural connections established in the brain. So basically, brain in the way, the way I understood it, I’m not, I’m, I’m not a scientist when it comes to the brain and stuff, but the way I understood that basically , the stronger connection means a priority for the brain.

[00:13:56] So the brain thinks like this is good stuff, right. If it’s a strong, then it’s important to to your context, to your survival or whatever you’re doing out there. And, and therefore it’s kind of cataloged into this unconscious process easier. So you, you don’t think about it, but, the flip side of it is that now back to your question where it all started with a why, why is it more effective or efficient when you draw it yourself?

[00:14:24] Basically when you do it with your hand, instead of looking at someone, doing that. For you, you make those connections stronger by just the fact that you are doing that with an extra move that sends the signal into the same part of the brain. That’s how I interpret that. Okay. You guys are probably laughing at me right now.

[00:14:46] The guys who are, you know,

[00:14:48] Patti: [00:14:48] neuroscientists

[00:14:53] No, but I love that though, because it’s somatic. So as a drama therapist, we always work with somatic [00:15:00] therapists. They were like next door in the office next door, but they always talked about how, if you do something with your own hands, you will always remember it better. And so that’s, what’s true about your, think about, number one if you never draw. So this is a tip for you about, ugly drawings that in fact, they did a study on ugly fonts that you remember and recall information better if it’s in an ugly font than if it’s in a pretty font for some reason. And it’s the same thing with your drawing. If you draw a picture in and it’s an ugly picture, you’re more likely to remember the drawing.

[00:15:41] And so you don’t have to worry since I’m a quick draw. I really love that because early on, somebody would say to me, you know, it doesn’t matter what your picture looks like. It matters what it feels like when I look at it. Does that make sense?

[00:15:55] Yuri: [00:15:55] Yeah.

[00:15:55]Patti: [00:15:55] So I would be so worried if I’m drawing a ballerina.

[00:15:58] Yeah. You know, that she would look like she was spinning and she was on her toes, but no, in fact, just the movement of the swirl around her body would make it look like she was spinning and that was more important. So it didn’t matter if it was accurate as a drawing now, of course, you and I, we both like to be better because that’s, our, our DNA is wired us to make ourselves better at anything.

[00:16:23] You don’t have to be good at it to be effective with it.

[00:16:26] Yuri: [00:16:26] No. And there is certainly something about this golden middle section golden line, because when you said ugly photos are better remembered, I immediately remembered something from before , I don’t remember what was that about, but I read something about , the fonts, as you say, ugly phones or the unusual forms, right?

[00:16:49] Let’s call them that way. Yes. And , the explanation went like this. It’s all about pattern recognitions, right? So if it’s the perfect font, it’s probably the font that we are so used to see, we don’t even notice that. So our pattern reconditioned picks up words, no problems, and it just hits into the labels , where we store the meaning behind those words and so forth.

[00:17:13] But, it’s an unconscious process, meaning that we don’t think about it. We’re just like, okay, we see patterns. Okay. Boom tree. Okay. We , we pull out uh the, I don’t know if the visual picture based, definition of that word and so forth. But if it’s an unusual font or an ugly font, suddenly our pattern recognition it stumbles, like what, what, what is that? What am I looking at? And then it, yeah,

[00:17:37] Patti: [00:17:37] same that’s right. Same with the drawings. Say with the drawing, it wakes you up, you’re suddenly wide awake. What are you doing? Drawing Yuri you never draw. Why? Why are you drawing? And so it wakes your brain up and then you remember it better. And that is why I was obsessed about drawing your future and seeing, could you remember better? And the truth is that they’ve done all this studies on connecting yourself to future you. Right? So Benjamin Hardy, he’s fantastic. He wrote a book called Personality Isn’t Permanent.

[00:18:10] And, he, you know, was mentored by Dan Sullivan, all these guys and how Hershfield did a whole bunch of studies with Draw Your Future so that we could see, like, if you envision a future self, right, and you put it out there and you put it somewhere, you can see it every day. And then you take small actions on it, where they found that you improve your chances of making better decisions by 42%.

[00:18:37] So if you connect strongly with a future, you. Then, and you keep acting on it, 42% better success, like who wouldn’t want that? Right. That’s what I say too. 42%. I want that. I want that because , especially during turmoil, which is really what this is about is that, you know, this COVID has upended people.

[00:19:00] So maybe you lost your job or maybe you were, you were home, you know, homeschooling your kids or maybe you all kinds of things happen. And that kind of disruption is fantastic for you because you’re meant you’re wired to handle disruption. And if you want to really create an easy path to a future you desire.

[00:19:25] Draw a picture of it, write words, and draw pictures of the future you desire. And I’m telling you my niece is here. Right? And she said to me, you know, Patti, that drawing that you did with me, like, I don’t know. Maybe I did it five years ago when they lived in New York, she said, Everything happened in that picture, every single thing.

[00:19:50] And so I was drawing the picture for her because she didn’t think she could draw, but if you draw the picture, it happens even faster. And, and I have [00:20:00] stories, you know, hundreds of stories come into my email box every year from people who have tried it. And, you know, of course some people say things like , so this is just for those of you that are like, yeah, yeah.

[00:20:13] Draw a picture. Oh, isn’t that like the secret? Well, what’s true is you’re wired for success. You’re wired to close the gap between where you are, which might feel painful, and where you wish you were. So your brain is always working on that. So why not get that out of inside your head and put it somewhere you can see, so you can actually do something about it.

[00:20:38] So you’re not stuck complaining about where you are, that you actually are doing something to get to be the future you desire because you deserve to.

[00:20:47] Yuri: [00:20:47] Yeah. And I also think it has, it probably has something to do with a, what we call the step of awareness and change. I’ve heard this many times, and I totally agree with that, that every change, every movement, starts with the awareness.

[00:21:06] Because you need to become aware of where you are, of your whereabouts and of the challenges you’re dealing with. Because if you don’t have that information, how can you act on it? Right. So there is no miracle, so you have to become aware of what, what you’re dealing with, where you are or headed

[00:21:25] And a picture creates a pretty clear and explicit awareness.

[00:21:31]Patti: [00:21:31] Awareness of your current state. Yeah, it does. Especially if you ask yourself, like, I want to draw exactly what it feels like to be me right now, and you can do it on your work, your career, you could do it on your life. And I tell people, you know, we could be in a business setting and you might be drawing a picture of the current state of your team or, you know, your strategy.

[00:21:54] But what’s true is inside of you, you’re thinking about this for yourself. So you might as well draw it. And when you do draw where you are, then it does a couple of things. One, it gives you this reality. Of where it is. So it takes it from in here and it puts it up there. But the second thing it does is it’s a projective technique, which they often do in art therapy.

[00:22:14] It distances you from it. So you actually can see it as if it happened to someone else. Wow. That’s interesting. I can really see how look at how much red is in that picture. And then I feel that pain. And when I see the pain and feel the pain, I’m more compelled. To move and change that I would be normally.

[00:22:37] So the awareness is great because then it brings to light all the things that you’ve kind of been tamping down or sitting on. So once you have that current, then you have to kind of clear the slate in your brain. Cause otherwise you’re, amygdala you know, that part of your brain that’s problem solving and scaring you and wants you to run or hide or freeze.

[00:22:57] The amygdala has to be calm enough for you to dream a future that is not directly related to where you are. Right. If you want to leap over that, you have to imagine, you have to let go of it. So I have people like jump up and down or drink a bunch of water or do some kind of brain gym, or draw the infinity symbol in the air because this changes your brain’s chemistry.

[00:23:21] And then once you do that, then you can dream the best case scenario of the future you. And I have been experimenting now with going way out way, 20 years from now, like 20 years from now, what will my life be like? Like just imagining like the most outrageous things, because honestly what’s true is, that will change what you do now. If you, you know, 20 years out, , who knows, like we are seen as the legacy leaders and visual thinking, or that we have trained how education is processed or where your podcast has gone completely viral. And you have been invited to speak on the. United nations floor about how visuals will change the world. You know what I mean? So these things, when you put them out there with these big, bigger dreams, it cuts down the interference between these small dreams that you have, because we are small dreams are things like, uh, I want to have enough money to go on vacation.

[00:24:25] Um, or I want to get a better job or I want to, right. We want to get bigger dreams so that, that future self can help us make better decisions.

[00:24:37] Yuri: [00:24:37] Yeah, that’s a nicely sad. I was , I was thinking about this.

[00:24:43] Patti: [00:24:43] Yuri was thinking about his bigger dream. You see, we caught him, we caught him in that bigger dream because I think when we are asked to dream big, we think, wow, I think maybe I’ve been dreaming small.

[00:24:58] And even I [00:25:00] think I dream, you know, I’ve had four career changes, right? I was an actor. Then I had an artistic break. I had to, I went to Broadway. Then I had an artistic break. Then I became a drama therapist, terrible therapist went into business. Then it became a change agent in business. And then I saw somebody draw and then I became a visual thinker.

[00:25:20] And now then I became a speaker and you see how it just goes like that? Ping pong, ping pong, ping pong. And you have to allow for that to occur because that’s how you grow and change to meet what is true in your consciousness. I mean, you are expanding every moment and you must follow that because that’s how you step into your true calling and purpose at every moment.

[00:25:45] Yuri: [00:25:45] Yeah. So, so I returned from my big dream now and, , I remembered what I was about to ask you. So I have a notice this phenomenon. When it comes to discussing conflict related situations and, when you deal with teams, it’s not uncommon to have frictions because people see things differently.

[00:26:09] They are not necessarily used to work together. And what I have seen and noticed about, using the visual, thinking as a technique to talk about situations is that they have this almost magical, in fact, that people come down and suddenly it makes it easier for them to talk about heated situations.

[00:26:30] And I was trying to figure out what was causing that, phenomenon to happen and my best take on it is that when you externalize the facts about this heated situation about this conflict. And , a classical example is just to invite people to a whiteboard and draw out the situation. Suddenly the turn into this constructive mode , talking about the problem that would otherwise again, revive those pattern emotions, and then they would be, again, pissed off at each other, but suddenly they talk about the situation as if they were grownups. Right. And I was thinking like, why is that? And I contribute this effect to that , suddenly the stand from the same side. So they look at themselves, but from, from like, from the sidelines. So the see okay, this is Joe, and this is Mary, and this is something bad happening.

[00:27:27] And they suddenly start talking about some constructive strategies. Like we could do this and we could do that. And like, wow, why is that happening? So I thought maybe that’s something has, that has something to do that, the detach themselves from their emotions when they look at themselves , from a different plane.

[00:27:44] So I was just going to ask you, do you see that happening with people, especially when they’re trying to plot their way out from where they are today. And maybe there’s like, super-super plagued by some bad stuff or maybe some negative stuff. Do you, do you notice the same that they act differently when they look at their life from the third-party perspective?

[00:28:09] Patti: [00:28:09] Of course. Yes. As soon as that’s what I was talking about, um, that they are distanced from it. But this thing that you were talking about, this is how I discovered draw your future. What you’re saying, because I was called in as a change agent to work in a company. I also met my wife there too, but , she was HR there and I was the change agent come in to help HR handle people who had been the remaining people who are staying with the company after they’ve done a big layoff. And so I was in a room full of people and it was really, they were very upset. Like they were screaming and, you know, And I remembered that guy that drew the picture. And I said to them in the room, let’s draw a picture of what it feels like.

[00:28:57] So I want you to go to the flip chart on the wall, and I want you to write in words and pictures, what it feels like to be you right now. And as soon as they did that, of course, what they feel is alignment. That’s what you’re talking about. They feel, oh, we all feel the same thing. Oh, that makes it easier.

[00:29:15] And it’s out of them and on the wall. And then if you give them, the idea to draw their future or draw a picture of the future, they desire, it changes their body chemistry. Right. So when you dream and draw a picture, It changes you, it fills you with dopamine and you are like, oh my gosh, any, anytime you want to change your body chemistry, try it and try to envision a positive future.

[00:29:42] Just write a few words about future you on a piece of paper and then draw a few sketches. And you’ll feel how much better you feel because, and I always say, if we showed young adults, this it’d be so much easier, there’d be no more drug problems because you have the dopamine rush. [00:30:00] Right. Cause it’s something about, when you dream and draw the future.

[00:30:06] The dopamine and the serotonin in your system, it makes you feel confident and successful. You let go of the fact that you feel bad about yourself and you’re just ready to go. You’re ready to go. It’s fantastic.

[00:30:21]Yuri: [00:30:21] I, 100% second your encouragement to take care of your chemistry and learn to control it.

[00:30:30] I’m very interested in that topic. I’m listening to the lectures by Robert Sapolsky. He’s the evolutionary biologist and he is specializing on stress and all my God, he’s such a fantastic storyteller. Just a pleasure to, to listen to him talking about these things. I am not even the halfway through that fantastic material he shared, but what I got to learn is that it’s hard.

[00:30:58] It’s like very hard to control your chemistry. So, if you can master that, that’s a breakthrough and I am eager to learn how visual thinking could help us cope with stress, because I think stress is the number one disease of the modern human humanity, society, whatever you call it. And we need to learn how to tackle it because Robert says in his lectures that you can be exposed to as damaging stress in your work environment where the, whereas there is no physical danger.

[00:31:34] As intense as if you were chased by a hungry tiger in the jungle. So the, the damage to your body is as real. So we really need to find all the means possible to reduce this effect of stress. So I’m just interested to know yours take on it. So how can we use the drawing?

[00:31:52] Patti: [00:31:52] Yes, I think, well, no, here’s the thing I think you and I, we should do a bunch of experiments with this, honestly, Yuri, because this is fascinating to me.

[00:32:00] And I would say that I have been on Clubhouse quite a bit, you know, I don’t know if you’ve been listening in, on Clubhouse and using it, but I have been listening to a lot of people talk about some of the mental health issues that they’re dealing with. Which is so huge around the stress and anxiety that people are coping with in just daily life.

[00:32:22] So, you know, you add a pandemic to it and that makes you feel even less powerless than you felt before. And part of what you. What you want to remember is that there are two ways to respond in the world. One is you respond out of love and one is you respond out of fear and they’re the opposite sides of the same coin.

[00:32:45] And so if you are afraid in a situation, like you walk into a room and you’re worried. About how you’re going to appear to a room full of people or the boss or whoever you’re working with, then that interferes with your ability to relax and access your creative genius, right? Which is your unique imagination and intuition.

[00:33:08] And this is what I’m most interested in is how can you easily access this despite what’s happening around you? So. I use all kinds of tricks. And I read even a couple of tricks in a book I was reading just the other night by James Altucher has a book and he had interviewed in his podcast, a woman around stress because he, he wanted to know how can I be in a room full of people and not disappear. Cause you know, sometimes your anxiety gets so high, you cannot stay and we are we’re illustrators. Right? We’re visual thinkers. So we are sometimes running the meeting, but we’re sometimes also in the middle of some very stressful experiences where people are not communicating effectively with each other.

[00:33:58] And so it’s sometimes can turn on the facilitator. I don’t know if you’ve ever had that where suddenly then you’re the person who’s in trouble in the room. You’re the one who’s making it go this way. Right. And so my thing is that I actually asked people to stop. And to draw exactly what they are feeling right now.

[00:34:19] And I, I never do a meeting where we’re not drawing and they’re drawing too. Because if you draw, you automatically access more of your brain, that’s how it works with a drawing, integrates all the different neuron centers. And so you’re like so totally into it. So if you can imagine yourself just drawing a little picture before you go into a room where you know, it be stressful.

[00:34:46] And then if you do feel stressed out, just sketch, noting that and naming it, you know, because you can move through your feelings much more easily when you acknowledge they exist the same way we [00:35:00] acknowledge in a room full of people in a team. What they’re experiencing by drawing a picture of it. So you can do this too.

[00:35:07] So I think that if we did some experiments with this, it would be interesting and I would love to do it with, High school students. Cause I think that they’re the ones who deal with way more anxiety than than many of us do in our adult life. Like we know how to tamp it down and stay the course. But when you’re in high school, your hormones are raging.

[00:35:26] So that adds a little more complexity to it wouldn’t you agree.

[00:35:30] Yuri: [00:35:30] Yes. Yes, absolutely. And I also liked the part where you said well when you make people draw in your meetings because that forces their brains to work. I would say that drawing is like, and we talked about that already, it’s a shortcut into your do you call it?

[00:35:50] Like , the, the synthesis related the part of the brain where you create new meanings, right? So it’s just a shortcut. You basically kind of plug directly into the naked nerves of your, of your, Genesis process where you’re creating new ideas and stuff like that. And talking about the same is just a, so much longer access to the same part.

[00:36:14] I have seen that a website where people share specifically designed products that are impossible to use. And maybe you saw that, but imagine a fork, a fork, and a what’s the part where the handle, right? The handle of the fork and the handle is made of chain. So it’s just impossible to hold. Right? So I sometimes feel that words are like those forks with the tendrils made of chains.

[00:36:43] You try to get a meal in your mouth with that fork, but it’s just like a painful experience. It doesn’t get there. It basically, it’s just impossible. Right? Well, the drawing is just, just taking the normal fork. Just, just eat it. Right. It’s just so simple. It’s there. Just use your fork, the normal one. Why would you use the fork with the change handle?

[00:37:05] Why would you talk about that? Just go enjoy it.

[00:37:08] Patti: [00:37:08] That is hilarious. Well, so really to break that down, what you do is you draw a picture. Picture marries itself to your hippocampus. Now your hippocampus, when solving a problem is pulling pictures onto your prefrontal cortex. Which is the part of your brain, the problem solves, right?

[00:37:25] And so it’s the adult part of you. I think the prefrontal cortex it’s like, let’s take this picture and then that picture, and let’s pick something from the audience, we’ll put it on the stage and then we mix them together and then we come up with a solution or a series of solutions. And so if you can shortcut to that hippocampus or to the prefrontal cortex by pulling pictures together. This is why, you know, Dan Rome would always say like, put all the data up in front of you and then look at it. Let yourself soak it in and then close your eyes for a second. Cause then you take out all the stimulation and you let, and this is what I call it, your Creative Genius drop in .Because it is just waiting to give you the solution. But often. You’re so caught up in your fear that you’re not listening to the answer because you’re too afraid of what you’ll look like or what’ll happen. And that amygdala, you know, that anxiety will interfere with every, every thing that you want to accomplish.

[00:38:27] It’s, it’s, it’s set up that way because it wants to keep you safe. And the amygdala doesn’t want you to embarrass yourself, drawing a picture, a bad picture in front of people. And I’m like, yeah, draw a bad picture. I did. I drew bad pictures. People, you know, this was before the iPhone. You could like look at what it actually looks like and copy it.

[00:38:47] You know, I would just have to make it up. Drive the car, the DeLorean car from back to the future. I’m like, I don’t know what that looks like. How would I draw that

[00:38:57] Yuri: [00:38:57] yes, yes, yes. But then again, then there was a trick, you draw a normal car or just like a regular symbol and then you say this is back to the future car and that’s it.

[00:39:11] That’s all you need. Right.

[00:39:12]Patti: [00:39:12] You just label it, you just label it. That’s what somebody else showed me. You know, just draw anything a circle and say with two pointy things on it, say this is a giraffe. Right? And so , that you, you get yourself off the hook and there’s so many tricks to do that. And, and it’s so powerful anyway.

[00:39:31] So, you know, my thing is that if everyone can , learn how easy it is to, to draw a simple picture of your future and then take small actions on it that you can create change, especially whenever you feel stuck. So you look at where you are right now, like you were saying. And then you look at where you will be a year, five years, 10 years, 20 years in the future.

To check out the rest ,click here to listen to the full episode on Yuri’s site.

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Patti Dobrowolski picture holding markers

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