Thinking about personal ideas of “what is” versus reality improves self-awareness, a key #emotionalintelligence skill that grows as you grow.
Emotional Fitness thoughts
Once survival is assured, most human behavior gets driven by the quest for pleasure. We follow our heart and its desires. What does that mean in terms of our thinking?
The pleasures found in certainty and control often distort our ability to code reality accurately. Every human being wants a predictable world that allows individual control. The more control, the more peace of mind, the more pleasure.
However, the real world is not predictable. Some people win the lottery, others die suddenly in accidents; disease ravages, lightning strikes, and people betray. Moreover, as much as we like to think our prayers or thoughts or actions control such things, we control little. We don’t direct lightning strikes. We can do everything right in a relationship and be betrayed. Disease comes unbidden. We all age and die.
These are brute facts and cause mega doses of uncertainty and pain. The creative source that made our world wisely introduces us slowly to the uncertainties and hardships of life. Why?
Life is a marathon, a long trip down roads of pleasure and pain. We need to develop lots of emotional strength before we can bear seeing what is instead of what we hope is. .
Our brains develop slowly in the ability to see reality. Children eagerly believe in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, Ghost and Goblins. Then about the age of seven or eight, their brains change; they better code reality and some wonder why adults lied to them.
Another big shift awaits some, but not all. That shift expands thinking based on personal experience and what is in the world around you. How?
By allowing you to come back to the magic of childhood, but in a different way. The child who believes in fairies, ghosts, or goblins thinks these are real.
One such child, told his parents “A little man lives in the traffic lights and turns them on and off.”
Once the child gives up magical thinking, he or she gets stuck in thinking only about what is. Such a child cannot think about what might me. The child who moves to next big brain shift knows such things are not real, but also that some could be. The world of the invisible or mysterious or seemingly impossible becomes possible. Why many teens become fascinated with the occult. This final stage is called abstract thought.
If you are a parent, when your loving pre-teen suddenly turns against you, particularly when in public or their friends are around, abstract thought plays a part. How? You are now being compared against imaginary parents that are perfect. In time, hopefully, the child will realize no parents are perfect and theirs were probably good enough or better.
Back to tips for coding reality.
EMOTIonal Fitness Tips
Tip one: If it is too good to be true, it isn’t.
Tip two: If it feels good, it might not be.
Tip three: If it is a sound bite, it is selling you a bill of goods. Always follow the money and see who is trying to sell you what.
Tip four: You can never know the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
Tip five: The more views of something, the more truth might emerge. As one pundit said, “Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer” meaning know them better. The more you read of opposing views about your beliefs, the more you might get a glimpse of the truth.
When it comes to acting on beliefs, two things matter. Those things? Safety and kindness.
With all the talk of believing the best in others and yourself, bullying gets ignored. So always stay safe, which is why I think the best things school could to to fight bullying is to hire Peace DoJos as physical education and health teachers and why I am for reasonable gun carry laws.
Harness safety with kindness; brain with heart, and intuition with thought; that is the path to properly coding what is.
Finally, the kinder you are the more you learn about another and yourself. Never think you know all about another person, for you do not even know all about yourself.
Thank you for all you do. Please share this if you found it helpful. You will be practicing kindness for you, me, and hopefully some others.
LINKS OF INTEREST
- Features of abstract thought (projectlearnet.org)
- When My Uncertainty Ends I Can Shout “Shut Up”.
- 12 Easy Emotional Fitness Exercises (amazon.com)
- Emotional Intelligence (en.wikipedia.org)
- WordPress Daily Prompts (wordpress.com)
Go to the EFTI store and browse its offerings for inspirational quotes or exercises. Go there and subscribe to be notified of new additions.
Word Press’s Post of the Day: The Great Divide When reading for fun, do you usually choose fiction or non-fiction? Do you have an idea why you prefer one over the other?
As noted above I think all we read is fiction at one level or another. I do read what I call get away novels most mysteries, but I also like to read historical novels that bring me to another world and add to my understanding of all worlds.