Illogical Logic…TSOTLS Ch3 – “It is difficult to remove by logic an idea not placed there by logic in the first place”

So here’s my take on this chapter on illogical logic: Paradigms prohibit personal growth; possibilities prioritise personal growth.

As a long-time sports coach I’m all too familiar with illogical thinking.  Sometimes its coaching someone who thinks they are 10x better than they actually are; at other times its the need to build up a player (or teams) belief that they are competent and capable beyond their own perceptions. Working with teenage boys when ego’s are tender or over-inflated can be a delicate tight-rope!

Confronting deeply held beliefs, habitual feelings and attitude seldom works – or so says Dr Livingston.  He surmises that “the things we do, the prejudices we hold, and the repetitive conflicts that afflict our lives are seldom the products of rational thought…instead, we are much more driven by impulses, preconceptions, and emotions of which we are only dimly aware.”

This begs the question around our own self-awareness, and what others refer to as emotional intelligence. “It sometimes seems that we are so trapped in ineffectual life patterns that we are playing out the old military adage: “If it doesn’t work, double it.” This reminds me of the mantra – if at first you don’t succeed, try try again.

Livingston expands an illustration of a husband who arrives home, unhappy in his job, longing for “some control over his life that proves maddeningly elusive” who instead takes out his frustrations on his wife and kids be being critical and short-fused. “He enters the home in the hope of refuge, but is confronted only by more obligation and disorder. This is not the life he imagined.”

“Whenever I talk with couples in conflict, it is striking how similar are their desires: to be respected, to be listened to, to feel that they are the centre of their partners life.” To which I simply add: don’t we all! As Livingston says – if we wish to be treated with kindness and forbearance, we need to cultivate those qualities in ourselves. He goes further by highlighting that why we act the way we do lies in our past experiences.

Children raised in supportive environments are entitled to unconditional love form their parents. However, most seldom truly receive such unconditional love instead being faced with an unspoken obligation to “make parents proud” through achievement with recognition, praise and outcomes being rewarded over endeavour and application. It’s a fine line – as a parent, and a long-time sports coach, I’m infinitely conscious of these subtleties!  Livingston stamps the sense of parental entitlement on the head: “our children owe us nothing!” 

In concluding this minuet, Livingston emphasises that “struggling to overcome maladaptive behaviours by the use of logic, one is often confronted with the fact that ‘some ignorance is invincible’.  People become so wedded to their particular view of how things should work that they ignore all evidence that suggests that change is necessary.”

WOW! So if our paradigms, i.e., our way of seeing and doing, prohibit personal growth, are we open to exploring, examining and evaluating those paradigms? 

Bruce Lipton PhD says it this way:

“In humans, the extremes of two polarities might appropriately be described as LOVE (+) and FEAR (-).

Love fuels growth. In contrast, fear stunts growth.”

If we apply this to illogical logic…are we able to identify the thoughts, assumptions, feelings and even decisions that contribute to our “rational” wellbeing?  What place does hope play? What about faith?  What about love?

If fear deprives, diminishes and robs us of what life could be like, how do we come to a place of seeing love overcome those fears? Is it even possible? Do we allow our hopes & even dreams (actual or otherwise) to be shaped by love or fear?

We all face realities that force us to confront our inner voice, the past from which we can’t seem to ever be free from, or perhaps even the fear of future happiness or success. Truth is we all have limitations. Learning about them and ourselves frees us from the misfortune of false expectations and unrealistic fantasies. But what if our own maladaptive patterns cause us to pull the pin too early, prohibit perseverance, or perhaps even prevent possibilities?

I refuse to believe that we are governed by our past, restricted by our upbringing and limited by the voices of those around us. True, we don’t always get it right – but we can decide whether we are driven by fear or by love!

So, can we break free from past experiences, past patterns, and even current paradigms? In a word – absolutely! But it is a choice. Growth always is!

So here’s my take on this chapter on illogical logic: Paradigms prohibit personal growth; possibilities prioritise personal growth.

Til next week…prioritise personal growth and stay open to possibilities as you authentically seek to live, love, and laugh!

 

 

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