One of the first blog posts I wrote many years ago asked the question as to whether a race car on a racetrack travels further than a horse during the days of exploring the wild west? It’s true that a race car can go five hundred miles in an afternoon whereas a horse would take days to travel the same distance.
Looking where the racecar and horse end up though is quite different. The racecar ends up exactly where it started from. Not true for the horse. The horse travelled much further. The racecar travels in essentially a circle. Speeding to end up in the same place it began its journey.
Our thinking resembles the journey of a racecar on a racetrack in many ways. Wrapped tightly around our opinion, point of view or worldview grounded in our beliefs of how things should be. The dangerous part in sharing these with others is not that we find ourselves firm in what we believe to be true, but that every bit of evidence that follows is turned into affirming these beliefs through our eyes and mind. Leading us back to the place we started from. This is the definition of the circles in our mind. We have far too many of them. Stealing multiple opportunities for adjustment, exploration and growth by being open to consider other possibilities.
How we first view a situation, challenge, or opportunity creates a bias in us that is hard to overcome. Everything subsequent to our first assertion leads us to the same beginning. Many times creating errors in judgment and thought. I was guilty of exactly this trap of circles in the mind that fueled my creativity in story telling myself things that just weren’t valid. Not halucinations or imagining things that weren’t there. Rather creating conclusions in my mind that simply affirmed, wrongly, what I believed was right from the beginning. Missing valuable opportunities to see clues or bits of new information that may have led me towards a different interpretation and more viable path to proceed.
Our social feeds reinforce the danger of circles in our mind by showing us only the content we like. No longer is it easy to see a broad range of viewpoints. Rushing to stereotype also leads to creating more circles in our mind. Where we expend a lot of energy in consuming information that only leads us back to where we started.
Deceiving us through activity while trapping us into inaction simply because we end up where we started from. Tieing us up in knots when we so desparately seek change. We focus far too much on our beliefs and far too little time on exploring the world around us. to develop those beliefs into a more balanced representation of the world around us.
Breaking the circles of our mind by giving people or alternate views possibility is foundational to love, tolerance as well as forgiveness. Not to mention the opportunity to evolve and grow by recognizing depth, nuance and opportunity where we never knew it existed.
The imagery of a horse being so powerful is true. Interesting how a racetrack steals the power of a racecar without it even knowing it.