Monthly Archives: July 2013

Releasing Attachments (but not to what to you might think!)

In life we get very attached to things: our possessions, our routines, our traditions, etc. Yet perhaps our most stubborn attachments are not to what we have or what we do, but to how we see things. Have you ever struggled to change your mind when faced with evidence that contradicts something you believed to be true or that indicates that what you once thought impossible is not only possible, but, is or has occurred? If so, then you understand just how strong mental attachments can be and you are in good company. In the past scientists and scholars believed such notions as “bathing is bad for health” and “the world is flat.” We may laugh at these false beliefs now but at one time they were considered unerringly correct and held sway over much of the world.

Changing our minds means changing our worldview and this can feel uncomfortable, confusing or threatening. These feelings often surface even though adopting a new outlook would enable us to see things more accurately and thereby improve our lives. Recognizing that benefits usually result from increased knowledge can help make revising our thinking a little easier. Here are some simple ideas to help ease the discomfort of these transitions:

  • Seek the comfort of history – across the ages, many cherished beliefs, no matter how illustrious their sources, have had to be abandoned.
  • Remember times you re-considered something and by putting this new learning into action you made a positive impact in a relationship, task, or procedure.
  • Cultivate a sense of play and experimentation when exploring challenging subjects – taking things too seriously or worrying excessively usually makes us less productive.
  • Maintain a sense of humor and humility – if you start with the premise that you don’t know everything, you can be open to new ideas, interesting surprises, unexpected benefits – and you might even be able to laugh at yourself!

Self-Discovery Tool Number 62

What can history show us about the importance of keeping an open mind? How can you find ways to let go of what you think you know in order to see what is actually out there? How can you find ways to challenge your thinking in order to reach a more expanded perspective? Make an effort to loosen your mental attachments – nothing new can enter a closed mind!

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