Only a Jedi Deals in Conditionals
[Y]ou can become more mindful by thinking in conditionals instead of absolutes. In one experiment, when people made a mistake with a pencil, they had one of several different objects, like a rubber band, sitting on the table. When they were told, “This is a rubber band,” only 3 percent realized it could also be used as an eraser. When they had been told “This could be a rubber band,” 40 percent figured out that it could erase their mistake.
Change “is” to “could be,” and you become more mindful. The same is true when you look for AN answer rather than THE answer.
Link to experiment: psycnet.apa.org/journals/psp/53/2/280/
Link to (otherwise rubbish) source article: mobile.nytimes.com/2015/10/10/opinion/ca...itation-madness.html
Reminder to notice the patterns of certainty and rigid, "decided" thinking in your approach to the world and to one another; to soften the "must" into the "may", the "should" into the "could", and to allow yourself to remain open to the possibilities of being wrong, of being ignorant, of changing one's mind... without which there can be no growth.
Remain present in even your language, rather than unconsciously blocking out the chance to learn something in each moment, each thought, each conversation. Until we allow ourselves to be fallible, we remain brittle. Once we learn to let go of
pomposity, indignity, certainty, we become flexible.
Flexibility may be our greatest strength.
For example, we tend to look to the sciences for the most definitive descriptions of the universe in which we live, which is generally justified. But a large proportion of scientific research papers, rather than making an absolute statement about their findings, conclude with statements containing phrases like "It appears to the researchers that ... " or "Based on this evidence we find ... though our results may not apply universally due to X or Y or Z." Despite the tremendous amounts of data often available to scientists, they still always distrust their own accepted theories and attempt to test them - which is what leads to a further expansion of knowledge and understanding.
"If one will begin with certainties, one will end with doubts; however, if one were content to
begin with doubts, one will end in certainties." -- Sir Francis Bacon