Mirrors are great tools for helping us look good. Reminding us how we are aging. Helping us practice our smile. As well as helping us judge whether our new eye glass frames bring life to our appearance.
Sadly, there is no mirror to see our thinking. From the time we wake up until our day ends, we go about our day using routines, habits, and busyness to make it through to the end. We react to things we encounter. Almost uncontrollably with frustration, anger, joy or even apathy. Many times we simply stumble on to our next day, taking life as it comes.
With no classes in school to make us aware that our thoughts and thinking control our lives to a much larger degree than we can ever imagine. Full of bias, incomplete information, and learned patterns our thoughts and thinking permeate all aspects of our life as invisibly as the air we breathe. Creating imperfection, dead ends, and complications created of our own doing.
The cynic would argue that none of this is true. That they always look to confirm their thinking and always find it to be solid. Easy to do with the internet and so many sources of information available to each of us. Our social feeds learn who we are & what we like and then feed us whatever fits our thoughts of the day. Making us always feel right.
Having made thousands of mistakes in my life, I can affirm with great certainty, our thinking and thoughts present us with our greatest danger. There was a time, I truly believed, that I can convince anyone of anything. Only to find out that much of my thinking was too flawed to be of any value. Only now do I understand that I was the biggest fool for always being convinced of anything through my own thoughts mistakenly thinking that I could only be right. Nothing else could be true.
I created my own roadblocks and dead ends because of my thinking. Hardships were created in part because of my steadfast belief that my thoughts were accurate, informed and above all smart. Little did I know how small my world really was and that my thoughts were only as large as a small fishbowl that houses only one goldfish.
Maps provide us with some perspective on this subject. Always showing much more of the world up front. Giving us the opportunity to see different ways to reach a desired destination. They provide the context of distance that gives us an opportunity to decide whether a bicycle, car or airplane would serve us best to reach our destination. We see a much broader picture of the world and then determine how we will choose to act within it for our travel.
There are no maps specific to our lives and this is a problem. For we never have any way of knowing how large or small our worlds are. Keeping us from developing the critical need to test our thinking and seek alternatives that are different from what we think is true in order to grow and become more effective before making important decisions. For there are always more ways to accomplish anything in life. But first we must put in the work up front to see them.