We sacrifice our compassion and gentleness when we are driven by a need to be right. In a world where we have started to draw battle lines in the strangest places, it’s time to think about softening minds. When our thoughts and beliefs become brittle, our understanding of reality becomes fragile.
“If knowledge is power, knowing what we don’t know is wisdom” – Adam Grant
There isn’t a shortage of knowledge in the world right now. In fact we all carry an unfathomable amount of information right there in our pocket. You would think this would make sorting fact from fiction a lot easier, and disagreements simple to sort out.
Unfortunately it’s not that simple. In fact we are now more divided than ever in terms of our beliefs about the world, and we are not very good at reconciling our differences in healthy and constructive ways.
Practices for Softening Minds
Many of us struggle with this kind of relentless and unproductive conflict. It’s draining and exhausting.
When we get sucked into brittle thinking we pay a great cost. It impacts our relationships. It causes us to act from a place of urgency, scarcity, and smallness (not abundance, expansion, and creativity). And it sucks all our energy. So we are left with no inner resources to build life upon a foundation of meaningful vision and values.
In this episode of the podcast I explore how, rather than asking how to change other peoples’ minds, we might be better off softening minds instead. Starting with our own, by embracing some of the ‘re-thinking’ practices that Adam Grant discusses in his latest book, Think Again.
Rather than engaging at the level of ‘what’ we think. To soften our approach and think again about ‘how’ we think.
In The Episode You Will Hear Me Discuss:
- How ‘complexifying’ can disrupt overconfidence cycles and spur rethinking cycles by helping us avoid dividing the world into binary categories.
- That what we believe often depends on what we want to believe. And how this is informed by fears of uncertainty and the unknown.
- The three main barriers to re-thinking, and the approach we can take instead if we want to experience more joy and creative meaning.
- How we can learn from our own experiences of softening and changing our mind to build practices that help give others the space to soften their’s.
- The benefits of holding our own views lightly and with a spirit of humour. And how to build playful practices where we actively see how it feels to position ourselves differently.
- How softening minds requires us to look at the process rather than the substance of our conversations.
- The role ego plays in keeping us entrenched. And the questions we must ask ourselves about what a better vision for the future looks like.
- Whether distance plays a bigger role than difference in our division and hostility.
Over to You
Can you think of a time when you had your mind changed in a big way about something? What made the difference for you? And how could you practice softening your relationship with your own thoughts and beliefs this week? I’d love to read your thoughts in the comments below.
Links to Articles and Resources Mentioned in the Show
- Get the Extended Play Private Podcast: https://patreon.com/andymort
- Listen to my music: https://music.andymort.com/
- Why Facts Don’t Change Minds (James Clear)
- Think Again (Adam Grant)
- Why Is It So Hard to Change People’s Minds (Elizabeth Svoboda)
Connect With Me
Related Episodes and Articles:
- Facts Don’t Change People’s Minds. Here’s What Does
- How to Change People’s Minds
- Megan Malone’s Twitter Post: “Just because I don’t like what this person is saying, doesn’t mean they’re wrong.”
- The surprising reason people change their minds
- A New Study Has Found a Way to Stop People From Believing in Conspiracy Theories