On one side the square – the head-first person: reliant on numbers and facts, loves to plan ahead and thoroughly think through decisions before taking them. On the other side the star – the heart-first person: reliant on feelings, lives spontaneously in the moment and decides intuitively.
Both are examples of seemingly opposing perspectives that actually, at a closer look, benefit hugely from one another. But only if the hatchet is buried and there’s openness to questioning their own perspectives in order to discover something new. I would like to explain why I believe this to be super important and yet not so easy to achieve.
»We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.«
The quote from the Talmud reminds us that we don’t see the world objectively or neutrally. We see it through our own lense – colored by countless influences and our own imagination and ideas. There are as many perspectives as there are humans. All of them are partially true, and yet none of them is the Truth. If we put that idea into practice we would live by the principle of »live and let live« and, with a little practice, develop a healthy amount of ambiguity tolerance. Black is OK, white is OK and everything in between is, somehow, OK as well.
Unfortunately that’s where our rational mind gets in the way. Our mind as a »meaning making machine« automatically structures and categorizes everything we see and everyone we meet.
That’s how it creates clarity. This feels like stability and safety. The higher the level of coherence, the better. Our I-identity is being cast into stone. Every perspective that questions our own is perceived as a disturbance or even a threat. Who would we be in the end if our world-view turned out to be »false«?
When we reach this point, our I-identity develops a life of its own and takes personally everything that instills the slightest cognitive dissonance. We defend our position at all costs and fall for confirmation bias in the process. Until we arrive at a dead end – something I call the 72.5° Problem.
When tunnel-vision hits its peak, I cannot perceive anything outside of my own view. Now I really only feel well at exactly 72.5° room temperature. At 72.4° I feel cold and at 72.6° I start sweating. I just wanted to feel good! To feel clarity, coherence and so on… a tricky situation! Many people, including me, end up maneuvering themselves entirely into a deadend to find their way out.
That’s when the scope widens again. That’s when the wrinkles on our foreheads disappear. That’s when we can hug each other again and shed a tear of gratitude that, thank God, not EVERYONE sees the world the way like we do.
In this spirit: Thank you for being you!