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3 Ways to Use Doorways (Yes, Doorways) as Learning Tools

Stepping across a threshold is more than just walking. You can use doorways (yes, doorways) to help your brain learn better.
By
Stever Robbins,
Episode #525
image of a doorway symbolizing a mental threshold

Use doors (yes, doors) to unlock the power of your mind.

Through all of human history, one thing holds a special place in our hearts: doors. Yes, doors. We put them everywhere. We have front doors. Back doors. Side doors. Kitchen doors. Bathroom doors. What’s our most tasty snack food? DOOR-itos. Who liquidated the Wicked Witch of the West? DOOR-othy. And this happens everywhere. Who kills bulls in one-on-one combat? Mata-DOORs. Imagine how powerful you’ll be if you can learn to use Doors to become a master of the universe!

On the advice of a neuroscientist, I read an article about brains and doors. You might think it was about how zombies go through doors to find brains to eat (the zombie equivalent of DOOR-itos). But it wasn’t. It was about how our brains use doorways to create transitions.

Doors Change Brains

When you walk through a doorway, you tend to forget what you’re thinking about. Your mind gets cleared to make room for lots of great new stuff. Researcher Gabriel Radvansky explains that walking through a doorway creates an "event boundary" in the mind. Your mind separates episodes of activity and files them away.

The article doesn’t say how to use this. But maybe...just maybe...I’ve learned techniques in the past that worked, for no obvious reason. It may be that the doorway effect is why they worked. Here are some doorways. Use them and send along an email sharing your experience.

How to Become Confident Using Doors

Have you ever felt imposter syndrome? You’re invited to advise the United Nations on how to nullify the nefarious plans of Dr. Sinister. You think “They must have made a mistake. They can’t possibly mean to invite little ol' me.” But they did. You’re the only one who even knows Dr. Sinister exists, much less how to thwart the evil doctor. That makes you the most qualified. You just feel like an imposter.

Almost everyone has imposter syndrome. And if someone doesn’t? Be very careful. They’re probably way too confident with absolutely no competence to justify the confidence.

When you arrive at the United Nations, stop. Look for the doorway leading into the room where you’ll meet the assembled Forces of Good. Imagine the doorway has a shimmering energy curtain. This curtain activates the most confident, intelligent, good-looking, heroic version of yourself. (It looks amazingly like me! What an incredible coincidence.)

When you step through the curtain, imposter-you will stay outside the chamber, and amazing-you will step in and save the world.

Now, go for it. Walk through the doorway and become heroic you! Address the Forces of Good and defeat Dr. Sinister! When you wish to return to your normal secret identity, step back through the doorway.

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