Saturday, 15 February 2014

6 short-cuts in consciousness that are ruining your life

Your consciousness is your operating system. It is the information that you use to interpret the data that you receive from your senses. It is the hologram of the world that you create in your head. It is you in essence....

.... and it's wrong.

But knowing the common reasons how and why we are wrong is a good step towards improving our lives generally. Here - in no particular order - are my top 6 reasons why many of us are architects of our own misery.

1.  Emotional conclusions
When someone gets hurt, it is easy to feel guilty if we were not around to help them. This feeling of guilt is perfectly natural, but the short cut is to believe that because we feel guilty, then we must BE guilty. This trait can cause us to hang on to all kinds of regret for decades.

2.  Memory filtering or bias
There are people who are very good at remembering all of the time that they failed, but ignore all of the times that they were successful. These people find it hard to do anything ambitious or positive, choosing to avoid risk instead. 

3.  Jumping to conclusions
Making huge leaps of logic are a classic mental short-cut. For instance someone who feels ill may think that if they call in sick, the boss will fire them and they won't get another job and they will end up on the street. 

4.  Thinking in extremes
You don't just want a drink. No, it has to be triple sweet, skinny, mocha, choco, caramel bucket of latte with nutmeg on the top. There is nothing wrong with wanting the best every now and then. But if you simply must be the first, or have the very best or the biggest of everything, you are going to live a miserable and unfulfilled life.

5.  Generalising
"All women are...", "All men are...", "I'm always......", "Life is always...." It's wrong. Need I say any more?

6.  Labelling
Giving people labels is a sure sign that you also label yourself. The media is very good at using labels to imply opinion. The Taliban were known as 'freedom fighters' when Russia occupied Afghanistan. Now, the west are occupying, they are called "Insurgents" or simply "Terrorists". Are you giving yourself or others labels? Are you talking to yourself in a positive manner? The labels you use will give you a clue.

Pay attention to your thoughts. Think about the generalisations you make, the conclusions you jump to, the labels you use, your inflated needs and the bias your memory holds. Because without you paying your consciousness any attention, IT may be running away with YOU. And, the outcomes from such a mind are rarely good for you.

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