rigid thinking, constructive alternatives and problem solving

Rigid thinking narrows your options, and reduces your choices in how to cope with life’s challenges.

Yet, human beings are creatures of habit.  We often do not question how or why we think the way that we do.  But, we can change our habitual way of thinking if we choose to.  Consciously making the effort to be more open minded and more willing to consider other viewpoints can help us to grow and become better problem solvers.

In this photo, taken on 10 October 2014, we see a sea bird flying in front of a con trail from a plane at an air show in San Francisco.


blue angels 2014 san francisco



Some individuals do not make the effort in this area.  I have known persons who made their rigid thinking into a crutch with which to get through life. Sadly, they missed out on so much in life.  And, their approach to solving problems was less than optimal.

With flexible thinking, one can view problems and challenges from different perspectives and see that there are alternative, constructive approaches to consider.  The “quick fix” is not always the best solution.  Flexible thinking opens up more possibilities.  Rigid thinking narrows one’s ability to adjust successfully to life’s constant and changing challenges.  If one is too inflexible in one’s thinking, then there is the very real danger of stubbornly remaining on a bad path in one’s behavior, and not making a course correction when it is needed.  Do not be afraid to change course, to alter your approach to life and its challenges.  (It is okay to admit to yourself that you made a mistake.  But, try to avoid making the same kinds of mistakes.  Learn, adjust/correct, and move on.)

Try to look at problems from different angles, so to speak.  Then, other possible approaches can enter your mind.  As well, talk with others as there is much truth in the saying 2 heads are better than one.  (This is especially true when one’s emotions are involved!  Another person – not emotionally involved – can be more objective and thus can give more practical and rational advice.)

Do not cling to rigid thinking.  Being too attached to rigid thinking, being too close minded, too inflexible can be very costly to you in your personal relationships and family life, your career, your daily life.

In my experience, some of the most close minded people, individuals who were very rigid in their thinking, have been those who self identify as liberals. (These people preach tolerance of other viewpoints, but are not good at practicing it.)  When liberal approaches fail to solve problems, what do liberals usually do?  They continue to do more of the same.  Failed economic policies are not abandoned but are reinforced.  This “doubling down” or reinforcing failure is not rational.  Liberal approaches to social problems are similarly problematic.  Religious fanatics can also be extremely rigid in their thinking.

True progress and the search for constructive, practical solutions often requires letting go of rigid thinking and preconceived ideas (or biases).

We close with a saying from an unknown person.

Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we’re here we should dance.

copyright 2014 – larrysmusings.com

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