We rarely do or say things that surprise us on purpose. That’s because we are in close contact with the noise in our heads-we spend a lot of time looking in the mirror, listening to the inner voice and defining our point of view. “That’s not the kind of thing I would say or do…”
We call this internal familiarity “identity”. If you get lost (for example, when someone joins a cult), this is noteworthy and can be tragic.
If our thoughts equate to our identity, then talking about thoughts is to a large extent talking about our own behavior.
This creates tension. Our culture and economy are based on ideas. Over time, many ideas in our society have become better and better (you no longer go to the barbershop to bleed, which may be the reason why George Washington was killed), but some of them are in trouble. Usually, it takes a generation to walk away before a deep-rooted idea begins to fade, because people who have always championed this toxic or outdated idea see it as part of their identity.
When the media realize that they can increase profits by narrowing the ideas to those who accept them as part of themselves, it becomes increasingly difficult to have constructive conversations about many ideas-because people are capable and sometimes eager Change some of their thoughts. Without personal thoughts, we rarely seek to change our identity.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
If you are doing a jigsaw puzzle and you think a piece of the right thing is actually not appropriate, then the missed fit is considered useful information. Continue to try works from other places-this will not threaten your identity as a problem solver. In fact, your identity as a problem solver is governed by the idea that if the evidence shows something inappropriate, you only need to try a new position without feeling threatened or respected.
The most successful problem solver is the one who champions this simple method –Your current idea is not your identity, it is just a step towards a solution to the problem in front of you.
One way to define our identity is to fall in love with an idea (usually an idea handed to us by a selected authority). The other is to refuse to believe that our identity is embodied in an idea, but to accept a way to constantly find and improve our ideas.