A recent issue of the ezine, The Certain Way published by my friend Rebecca Fine, featured the following from Scottish psychologist R. D. Laing:
“The range of what we think and do is limited by what we fail to notice. And because we fail to notice that we fail to notice, there is little we can do to change — until we notice how failing to notice shapes our thoughts and deeds.”
If you’re wondering if you’re supposed to try saying that three times fast…no, don’t bother. 🙂 but you might want to do what I did, and that is, read it three times slowly and really take in its meaning.
I’ve often spoken and written (and read) about belief systems and how they affect our thinking – and often, non-thinking – process. It is harmful to our progress in many areas to be stuck believing a certain way for no reason other than that is what we’ve been been taught and unquestioningly accepted (perhaps through a combination of upbringing, environment, schooling, news media, television and movies).
As such, we might fail to “notice” alternative ways of thinking, figuring and problem-solving.
However, what’s more harmful – perhaps devestatingly harmful – is to not even realize that the reason we are holding onto certain beliefs and failing to notice other aspects is because of those beliefs we have unquestioningly accepted and embraced.
These beliefs are are so unconcisouly ingrained that we don’t even know that they’re there, and we certainly don’t know that we don’t know that they are there (okay, that you can try saying three times fast). 🙂
We need to be aware; we need to notice. And we need to notice that we don’t notice. To paraphrase Dr. Laing (and perhaps Yogi Berra), it’s only when we notice that we aren’t noticing that we are able to notice.
Our belief systems don’t necessarily need to change. Many of them are valuable and serve us well. We just need to be aware/conscious that much of what we think, say and do are a result of those beliefs. Let’s simply take notice so that we can act out of strength and choice as opposed to unconciously accepted programming.