Everyone has thousands of thoughts running through their mind every day.
Some of them are helpful, and some of them aren’t. People tend to forget that their thoughts are the result of chemical reactions in the brain, and instead mistake their thoughts as reality.
We all know this rationally, but the implications for making positive changes in your life are huge when you understand this concept on a deeper level. The idea is that our thoughts are NOT reality, but just one possible interpretation of reality.
It’s important to remember that our minds evolved not to make us happy or to help us reach our goals, but to keep us alive.
The human mind evolved to its current state over generations of adapting to the environmental demands. Our current patterns of thinking are based on what kept us alive during our evolutionary past.
The mind did NOT evolve to be good at critical thinking. The brain uses more energy than any other organ its size, so it uses all the shortcuts it can to cut back on the energy it consumes.
These shortcuts worked well to keep our ancestors alive, but may be hurting you in the modern world. And this is why it’s important not to take your thoughts too seriously.
Most people assume that their ways of viewing the world are based on rational thought, but that isn’t the case.
Neuroscientists have found that we form beliefs and perceptions based on emotions, then rationalize our beliefs using logic. This is important: logic is NOT how we form beliefs; it’s how we rationalize them.
There are ways around this though. By correcting errors in your thinking, you can give yourself more options in life, increase your confidence in yourself, and take better actions to reach your goals.
Especially when improving your dating life, your thoughts can hold you back. “Approach anxiety” is really only a problem when you let negative thoughts prevent you from going after the goals you want.
One of the biggest errors in thinking is confirmation bias.
When people look at their thoughts, they tend to seek out information in their environment that confirms their beliefs rather than challenging them.
This mental tendency is called confirmation bias, and it’s crucial to actively take steps to counteract it. Confirmation bias is countered by actively looking for information that contradicts your beliefs.
It’s never possible to eliminate all bias from your thinking, but it’s important to be aware of how your bias is affecting your actions.
One reason that Warren Buffett is such a successful investor is because he explicitly seeks out information that challenges his beliefs, and encourages his advisors to provide him with information that challenges his ideas.
He knows the power that confirmation bias has over our human decision-making, and actively seeks to correct it. By actively looking for information that contradicts his beliefs, Warren Buffett makes infinitely better decisions than the average investor.
So instead of taking your thoughts at face value, look for other information that might prove them wrong.
Instead of letting negative thoughts hold you back from actions you want to take and goals you want to accomplish, look for alternative explanations to your negative thoughts.
Evaluate your thoughts in terms of whether or not they will help you live the kind of life you want to live.
Why is this idea important in everyday life?
People underestimate how critical thinking skills apply to everything they do. You don’t reach your goals by a brute force approach; you reach them by thinking critically and finding the most efficient way to problem solve.
Your thoughts will help you some of the time, but they will also hurt you at other times. Because of this, it’s necessary to constantly remind yourself that your thoughts do not represent reality, but just one possible perspective.
Never take your thoughts too seriously or you will get into trouble.