Evolution over ExtinctionFeb 08, 2023
Last week, I had the privilege of listening to Dr. Carla Shalaby share her insights on parenting and education. Her ideas were so thought-provoking that I felt my brain was being pushed to its limits, – in the v way possible. (I plan to write more about my thoughts about those ideas as I digest them, and after I read her book, which you should also read- I may have also sent it to a friend as assigned reading before we go out to dinner together later this month...) Despite feeling some resistance to some of her ideas and concepts, I was grateful for the challenge. Nearly a full week later, my mind is still ruminating on her ideas, exploring how they can be applied in different areas of life, not just parenting. This is the power of challenging our thinking – it can trigger a growth process that leads to innovation, growth, and changed behavior.
Evolving our thinking— how we think about a problem or a concept – is crucial for adapting to new information and changing circumstances, developing more nuanced perspectives, finding better and easier ways to do things, and overcoming biases and limitations in our thinking. It empowers us to transcend the limitations imposed by our upbringing, exposure, and access, enabling us to transcend and elevate our current existence, and to pass that on to our children, communities, and workspaces.
Often, we are using so much of our brain power to do the tasked based thinking of our lives, that we tell ourselves that we don’t have the time or energy to spend any more time thinking about our thinking. It’s just another task, but that can’t be farther from the truth. Spending time understanding our thought patterns has a very high ROI. The thought patterns that we have are so ingrained, but they are also the very cause of our exhaustion and frustrations. Working on our lives, by examining our thought patterns, as opposed to working in them allows us to create a strategy to create more ease in our lives and leads to our evolution. We take a break from the hamster wheel of life and see if there may be a destination we actually want to head to.
Our biggest barrier to this type of evolution and creation of ease comes from our own brains. Our primitive brain is largely controlled by the motivational triad, which consists of seeking pleasure, avoiding pain, and conserving energy. This part of our brain works against us when it comes to change, and unless we are intentional this part of our brain is what largely drives our actions. Our primitive brains resist evolution because it works only in the short term, and it knows that change requires effort and may lead to discomfort. However, it's precisely this type of temporary discomfort that drives growth, improvement, and long-term ease.
So, how do we overcome this barrier and actively engage in the evolution process?
The answer lies in stepping outside of our comfort zones and exposing ourselves to new experiences, perspectives, and ideas. Seeking out those experiences actively and deliberately.
And once we are in those spaces we have to allow those ideas in and let them percolate, embracing the resistance you might feel, and getting curious. Asking yourself why so much resistance? Could things be different? What do I want to see happen?
Find people who break your brain just a little, gently and with love, and challenge you to do better and be better, and to think about your thinking.
This is how we grow; this is how we get better, and this is how we create the changes we want to see in this world. Embrace the discomfort and evolve. Your future self will thank you
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