Impact and Being Stuck in a Limited Way of Thinking

Jun 4, 2019

Stuck in a Limited Way of Thinking

Many of us battle with the idea of being "stuck in a limited way of thinking," which is a typical problem. Breaking free from engrained ideas, stale habits, and out-of-date worldviews can be challenging. We may create fresh viewpoints and a more sophisticated awareness of our reality, nevertheless, via education and contemplation. I examine three quotes from three distinct authors to examine the issue of being "trapped in a narrow way of thinking" in this article. It's common and easy for many individuals to identify with the concept of being "trapped in a narrow way of thinking." Opening up to new ideas and various ways of thinking can be challenging when our thoughts are so firmly fixed on our own viewpoints. This can make it difficult for us to comprehend the world properly and cause us to lack respect for other cultures, people, and ideas. We may start to remove these mental obstacles and establish more educated and receptive attitudes, though, via knowledge and introspection. Being "stuck in a limited way of thinking" can be a significant obstacle to learning and understanding, in general. However, through knowledge and introspection, we may start to remove these mental obstacles and develop more receptive viewpoints. We may learn from this and start to appreciate the value of questioning, imagination, and self-reflection in our quest to comprehend the world more fully.

I'll start off by quoting from "Some Notes on Attunement," an essay by Zadie Smith. "I will admit that in the past, when I have met connoisseurs, I’ve found it a bit hard to believe in them entirely. Philistinism often comes with a side order of distrust." (Some Notes on Attunement, Zadie Smith) Smith explores the idea of philistinism, which may be summed up as "a particular form of closed-mindedness, an unwillingness to be open to new ideas or experiences" in this context. She continues by saying that those who are trapped in this constrained style of thinking frequently lack imagination and creativity to some extent and find it difficult to consider the notion that the world may be different from what they have known. This may cause individuals to overlook crucial chances for development and transformation as a result. Because their opinions are so firmly held and unbending, it might also prohibit them from forming deep connections with others. This remark originally caught my attention because it resonates with my own experience of being "trapped in a narrow way of thinking" for a significant portion of my life. Now, I'm working to cultivate an openness that will let me investigate novel concepts and viewpoints, forge deeper bonds with those around me, and unearth opportunities I had never considered. Additionally, Smith uses beautiful and potent language; her writing has a way of cutting through the clutter and getting to the core of a problem. This quotation relates to a number of themes and categories that I have looked at in my commonplace book, including development, change, and perspective-taking. I have grown to value Smith's insight even more as a result of my further research on philistinism and its impacts on society. I can understand now how detrimental a narrow way of thinking like this can be if it goes unchecked; for this reason, it's crucial to have an open mind to fresh information.

I found myself pondering my own life and philosophy after finishing this portion of Zadie Smith's essay. The sensation of being constrained by one's own views and the challenges that may ensue are something I can identify with. I've discovered that if I make an effort to be receptive to fresh viewpoints and ideas, I may investigate and learn about possibilities I never would have thought of previously. Smith's writing is affecting and potent; reading it has made me more aware of how important it is to keep an open mind and be willing to shift my opinion.

The second quotation I'll address is from Why Fish Don't Exist by Lulu Miller: “My dad won’t give up the word “fish.” He says he likes it too much. He understands that it’s scientifically inaccurate, but he finds it useful. When I ask him if he cares that in using it he is imprisoning himself in a limited way of experiencing the world, he groans and says, “Eh. I’m too old to be freed of anything I haven’t already been freed from.” (Lulu Miller, Why Fish Don’t Exist). The comment by Lulu Miller illustrates how, if we become too invested in strict classification, we risk becoming trapped in a constrained manner of viewing the world. Since I frequently feel like I don't fit into established categories or boxes, I am familiar with this. The value of this idea has become clearer to me as I've learned more about it, even though at first it seemed abstract and difficult to understand. I have learned to understand how crucial it is for us all to maintain an open mind and welcome differences while engaging with others by researching related concepts in my commonplace book, such as growth and change. It is simple for each of us to become mired in our own ways of thinking, but by stepping back and giving ourselves the chance to think more widely about things that may not at first make sense or fit into our preexisting view of the world, we may learn a great deal from these experiences. It can be challenging to break out of a habit when we allow ourselves to become ingrained in constrained patterns of thinking. We could have mental blocks where we are unable to contemplate alternate viewpoints or concepts. This can be detrimental as fresh viewpoints and ideas provide us chances for personal development, progress, and comprehension. When we are unable or unable to leave our comfort zones and consider things from a variety of viewpoints, we restrict our own potential and miss out on these chances. So that we do not prevent ourselves from having new perspectives on our experiences, it is crucial for each of us to be able to notice when our cognitive patterns have changed into a limited style of thinking. After all, having access to many points of view frequently contributes to what makes life fascinating and important by enabling us to perceive the world with wider eyes.

I had a lot of time to think about this paragraph because it was so thought-provoking. It emphasizes how important it is to have an open mind and be willing to push oneself outside of one's comfort zone in order to learn new and insightful things about experiences in life. I totally agree with this viewpoint and believe it is important for everyone to make an effort to have an open mind and value individuality. We lose ourselves the chance to develop fresh viewpoints and novel ideas when we let ourselves become overly mired in strict classification and entrenched in constrained ways of thinking. I try to keep myself open to diverse points of view so that I may profit from the information and understanding that comes with them. I am quite aware of this in my own life. I will continue to work to maintain my open-mindedness and value uniqueness in my life since this has reminded me of the value of viewing things from many perspectives in order to get fresh insights and knowledge.

The third quote I will discuss is from Blaise Pascal: “All of humanity’s problems stem from our inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” (Blaise Pascal). Pascal addresses the propensity for many of us to surround ourselves with noise and distraction in this quotation in order to avoid meeting our true selves. We restrict our ability to discover our own ideas, convictions, and emotions when we do this. A life spent avoiding silence and reflection might have significant negative effects. Limiting our ability to examine our thoughts and feelings prevents us from exploring our inner workings and gaining a greater grasp of who we are and the world around us. This form of avoidance can also result in emotions of loneliness, isolation, and disconnectivity, all of which can hinder our ability to be receptive to new ideas. Because we are obsessed with our own internal turmoil, these unpleasant feelings might lead to a cycle of avoidance. Furthermore, when we don't take the time to think about our lives and our ideas, we are unable to identify the underlying causes of our issues and come up with effective remedies. We get entangled in a web of self-imposed restrictions and are unable to see our full potential or the strength of our own voices. By setting aside time for quiet reflection, exploration, and growth, we may end this cycle. We may develop fresh viewpoints, connect with our deepest selves, and widen our brains to new possibilities by doing this.

Blaise Pascal's insightful comment emphasizes the need for solitude and reflection in our daily lives. We frequently surround ourselves with noise and diversions in order to avoid addressing ourselves, but this may create a vicious loop that prevents us from discovering our own ideas, beliefs, and feelings. The effects of this can be severe since we become trapped in a narrow style of thinking and are unable to delve deeper into our inner workings and comprehend ourselves and the world more fully. But it may be really helpful to set aside some quiet time so that you can think, research, and develop. Taking this time will help us see things from fresh angles, connect with our genuine selves, and widen our minds to new possibilities, finally enabling us to realize our full potential and the strength of our own voices.

The themes of being trapped in a constrained way of thinking"are mentioned in the works of Zadie Smith, Blaise Bascal, and Lulu Miller. Smith warns against philistinism, or the inability to be open to new ideas or experiences, whereas Miller advocates welcoming and respecting persons who do not fit preconceptions or restricting classifications. Education and inquisitive minds may help us see the world and get fresh perspectives. The overriding idea of these quotations is that our worldview is dynamic, and that personal progress demands an open mind. Understanding how our worldview changes through time and the need of being open to new ideas in order to progress as humans is critical. The words of Zadie Smith, Blaise Pascal, and Lulu Miller serve as a gentle reminder that, despite the problems that may emerge, it is worthwhile to broaden our minds and discover fresh perspectives on the world around us. We have the capacity to transcend our own prejudices and get a more wider view on the world if we are exposed to new ideas, develop critical thinking abilities, and are open to various perspectives. This has the ability to increase the quality of our lives while also increasing our global impact.

©joseph semrai 2023

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