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Culture & Religion

Why to Abandon an All-or-Nothing Mindset

Black and white thinking gives us a (false and temporary) sense of security and control over life's uncertainties but in reality it narrows our vision and creates insecurity.

What’s the Latest Development?


We often inspire undue stress and anxiety by viewing our existence with a ‘dualistic mind.’ For example, in terms of: right or wrong, good or bad, strong or weak, smart or stupid, success or failure. Black and white thinking gives us a false sense of control over life’s uncertainties but at the cost of narrowing our vision and creating insecurity.

What’s the Big Idea?

Philosopher Alan Watts said it best: “Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” So when you identify a dualistic thought, take five minutes to respond differently. Some replacement thoughts: I will give up needing to be right and accept that all circumstance is neutral, I will be more reflective than reactive, I will accept that I cannot have certainty about most things right now.


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