He could still “see” it, because, his subconscious mind had it stored as a “snapshot” – and, being in his subconscious, it had incorrectly led him to the mistaken belief, as an adult, that he was slow with numbers. This is a classic example, but not only do we all have our own unique snapshots, we also share the societal snapshots that tell us that we’re imperfect in need of self-improvement.
As I said, we don’t need to improve ourselves, we need to, as many psychologists have pointed out, unlearn. In fact, we can’t really fully unlearn all the nonsense that is crowding our minds and disabling us from being our very best here, today, many years later. But what we can do is stop giving our mental energy to these useless and self-destructive programs. At the moment, as a normal adult, the vast majority of your mental energy is focused on your “family album of snapshots” and, in giving them your subconscious attention, those snapshots dictate your daily, automatic, reactive behaviour. In fact, research suggests that you’re probably only paying 1% or 2% attention to the reality of today.
To turn the tables, to start “unlearning”, you’ve got to relearn how to pay more and more attention to the here and now – in doing so, you’ll end up paying less and less attention to those old programs and you’ll be liberated – free to be the very best you can be here and now, today. You need to practice paying attention to what your five senses are actually telling you about now – if you’re warm or cold, if the sky is clear or cloudy (and all the different colours the clouds might be), if the birds are singing or the tumble-drier is tumbling, if there’s a smell of coffee or cooking in your nose, if there’s a taste of toothpaste or stale cigarettes in your mouth.