Human beings are creatures of habit. Once a thought has been lounging around in your head for some time, it is difficult to dislodge it. Incubated over time, it becomes part of the way we approach people & situations and the way we live our lives. We start searching for news / people / social media posts etc. to cement that thought. It becomes stronger by its sheer “Seniority” and thus, new thoughts / ideas / concepts that may not support it become a sensitive, difficult and often sidelined element.
Thus, unlearning, takes on a whole new meaning. Without this, acceptance of fresh ways of looking at the same ideas is not a simple task. It does get done and for a lot of people, it is not a big deal. But for a large majority of people it is a grating feeling. It goes against the grain and the very foundations upon which the senior thoughts rest. Shaking it up would require an open mind, a thirst for improvement and a steadfast belief that change, in all its obfuscated existence, is good.
The seductive nature of the comfort levels provided by the senior thoughts is not something easily shaken.
A more granular approach provides insight into how the seniority of thought anchors all other thoughts that come after it and support it. It attracts and retains data / ideas / thoughts / concepts / peoples supporting opinions etc. into a neat blanket that cocoons the original senior thought. This buffering makes it a tough target to crack.
A second layer of complexity is the fact that we don’t even know that we are unconsciously leaning to one side. It’s like a scalpel disguised as a butter knife. It does its job without one realizing the sheer discrimination of it all. As Aristotle said “It is the mark of an educated mind to entertain a thought without accepting it”. Accepting it though, takes a little more.
The dichotomy is that although the strongest word in the arsenal of marketers is NEW, we are looking for OLD. The familiar. We crave the old, but seek out the new. This clash of sorts, is where seniority reigns supreme. We may “want” new, but “need” old. A great example is the rehash of old songs. These are new adaptations but remind us of the old days. We thrive on affinity. Our familiarity quotient is stronger than our desire for new.
Thus, we need to look at a critical timeline for these thoughts. If we do accept a thought / concept / idea, at some point in our lives, we must question its validity there and then. Its new and the acceptance levels are easily questioned. Once it is assimilated, accepted and ingrained, it is far harder to offload. We even look for supporting data, stories, experiences to ensure we are on the right track. This cements it even further, deeply embedding it.
Do we allow new thoughts to come into our sphere and breed, or do we suppress or squelch them? Our visceral leanings must be overcome with our ability to think things through.
Its about questioning, or, letting go of our Ingrained / deep rooted / embedded / established assumptions, letting in & opening oneself to new ideas and finally, keeping an open mind.
As the famous saying goes: “A mind is like a parachute. Best used when open”.
CEO 3H Solutions Group