1 minute experiment to show how our mind works.
Read these 4 lines:
‘John was on his way to school.
He was worried about the math lesson.
He was not sure he could control the class again today.
It was not part of a caretaker’s duty.’
(Source: Mindfulness Now)
You probably started forming a picture or understanding subconsciously based on the first line. Chances are you totally believed the assumptions your mind was making to be the truth, then had to update with new information.
We think we know the full story and don’t question if it’s complete or true until new information comes along. If we are stressed or anxious we can miss new information as we are naturally wired to look for information that backs up our initial thinking – our ancient minds/egos/chimp likes to be right.
One of the most powerful questions we can ask is, could another viewpoint exist? This helps us approach things with openness and without judgment or jumping to conclusions. With openness, there are far more possibilities for solutions as we see the whole picture. This question is also great for dealing with ruminations over negative thoughts.