Do you sometimes feel stuck in a rut?
You work the same job, meet the same people, interact the same way with those same people and live a predictable life that has few surprises?
Here is how to get zip and sparkle back into your life, and to make the world, or at least your neck of it, a better place.
Experimenting With New Mental Models Can Make Life Exciting!
I speak about mental models a lot.
And will continue to do so because they are so central to our experience of life.
A mental model is a notion we have of the way the world works and we have dozens of them.
Do you believe that overweight people are lazy and undisciplined and that if they only ate less and exercised more they would be healthier?
That is a mental model.
The problem is not that you have mental models.
The problem is that you do not recognize that you have mental models.
You think that they are ‘real’ and not ‘models’.
The vast majority of your mental models serve you well. That is why you have been able to accomplish all that you have.
But some of your models do not serve you well and they are responsible for all of the problems in your life.
I did not say some of your problems.
I said all of your problems.
In part, this is to be provocative. In part, this is to carry the discussion to a deeper level in the programs and workshops I run.
But, for purposes of today’s blog, let me share an exercise with you.
It is designed to put some excitement and sparkle in your life.
Try it conscientiously for a month and tell me how you felt.
Think of someone in your life who you dislike.
Perhaps he – or she – has different political views or values you abhor or is slovenly and rude or totally selfish or whatever.
Can you actually get to like him?
Lincoln supposedly said, “I don’t like that person very much. I must get to know him better.”
Try to use that mental model: “I don’t like him means that I don’t know him well enough.”
Look for traits in him that you find likeable. Find out what makes him tick as a human being. Note the ways in which you are similar.
See how you feel about him after you have done this.
And note how you feel about yourself.