I’ve been thinking a lot about our thinking lately. Do you realize no one really cares what you think? Unless of course they think the same way, or disagree strongly with what you think and feel like arguing. But mostly people just care about what THEY think. And what we think determines the course of our lives. Years ago people thought the earth was flat. I’m pretty sure that kept most people from exploring too far. But you know someone had to find out what was at the end of the earth and they set out to find it. But they couldn’t find it (because it wasn’t there). Maybe they never came back because they never found it and kept going. People back home maybe assumed they did find it and fell off and that’s why they never came back. The homebodies’ incorrect thoughts were reinforced by their wrong interpretation of their experience of a lost loved one. I don’t know. Just a thought.
But what about in modern times? People still tend to group themselves with people who think like they do. Incorrect interpretations of experiences can reinforce wrong thoughts. Someone from outside the group might try to show them where their ideas are incorrect, but people generally don’t care what outsiders think. In order for someone to change, they have to change the way they think. But before they can change the way they think, they have to WANT to change. They have to be willing to reorder their thoughts and reinterpret their experiences. This is extremely hard when their whole support system, everything and everyone they have known, is wrapped up in their existing interpretation. This interpretation can be a foundation for their lives. And when the foundation is knocked askew, good or bad things can happen. Either way it’s scary when it’s unknown.
So the question is, why would someone want to change? We all want to change something, right? We want to lose weight, have more money, get along better with others, have a better marriage, be a better parent, have a better life, etc… At the heart is the knowledge we could do something better. But we can’t do better if we don’t change the way we think about the situation. Someone who is overweight has to think differently about food and movement. Someone who wants to get along better with others has to think differently about others and probably themselves. Someone who wants a better life has to be willing to admit that maybe the way they were taught to approach life isn’t the best way. As I work with troubled teens on a daily basis, I so very much want to help them think differently than what they have known to this point. What do you think?