Whoa – is it week 5 of the Kindness Challenge already? My, my. How time flies.
Here’s the link to Niki’s site, that explains our goal for the week.
In general, I was to reflect on the things I’m grateful for in my life.
Have you heard about confirmation bias? (This might seem a little off-subject, bear with me.)
Basically, confirmation bias is our tendency to look for things – or only see things – that confirm what we’ve already decided to be true.
So let’s say you think the world is an awful place and people are idiots. You can find proof of that wherever you go — because you’re looking for it. (Honestly, you can be a real downer, you know that?)
We can all think of someone who fits that description, right? A real Negative Nelly, who can find something to complain about wherever they go, even at Disneyland, even when the lines aren’t bad.
(No really, it happens! If you time your trip just right and get there early, you can be the first one on Space Mountain!)
Here’s something fascinating I learned this week: in turns out we’re all hard-wired for negativity, not just the Negative Nellys. I read an interesting article about it.
They think it’s a leftover from our caveman days, when we had to constantly be on guard lest a saber tooth tiger jump us at the next corner.
Here’s the link if you want to read the article in its entirety.
Anyway, as I reflected on these biases of ours, as well as the challenge before me to be a more grateful person, I came to a few conclusions:
- We should forgive ourselves for thinking negative thoughts. It’s not a weakness, but a natural part of our humanness. Nor does it make us bad people. It just is.
- Just because our cavemen ancestors had to worry constantly, doesn’t mean we have to. There is no saber tooth tiger ready to pounce as you walk out the door. In comparison, our worries are pretty tame.
- We can use confirmation bias to our benefit — think of it! Do you want to see the world as a beautiful place? Believe it first, and the evidence will follow. Want to see people as good and kind? Believe it! (Get the point?)
- Unlike our cavemen ancestors, we have the luxury of changing our surroundings, changing our jobs, changing our attitudes, if what we are currently experiencing isn’t working for us.
- For that, we should be grateful.
So that’s what I want to leave with you today. Whatever frustrations we may endure, let us always be grateful for our freedom, our comforts, our intellectual capacity, and our ability to learn, adapt, and grow as individuals.
It’s a great time to be alive, isn’t it? ❤