“Give me a fruitful error any time, full of seeds, bursting with its own corrections. You can keep your sterile truth for yourself.” ~Vilfredo Pareto
As the last days of the positivity quest dwindle to a close, I thought I would use as many of the remaining posts as possible to outline the foundations of creating a positive life. I will be looking for the major thematic units that have woven the days together and will probably make up the chapter headings in the book version of the quest. Who knows how long that will take, but it will keep me busy refining and refocusing on the ideas that have worked to change my mind.
Perhaps the first and most important lesson in positivity questing starts with the courage to see the world in a new way every day. The thing that most people don’t realize is that real learning also sometimes feels like losing something. Thomas Szaaz wrote: “Every act of conscious learning requires the willingness to suffer an injury to one’s self-esteem. That is why young children, before they are aware of their own self-importance, learn so easily.”
Keeping a child’s mind active is a clear path to finding new ways to see not only our beliefs and judgments that keep us bound to our thinking patterns but to our ideas about who we are ourselves. As soon as you are sure you know how things are, you start defending those beliefs, usually unconsciously. You choose to be around people who support those beliefs and you close off to people who challenge them.
Deep learning that has the power to change how you approach the world can come from people that we might not particularly like or often expect. The first 82 days of this positivity quest I spent working to unlearn what was untrue in me. It took a lot of vigilance and willingness to let go of any ideas that I knew what was best for me.
Wanting to learn means accepting that what you know is bursting with seeds requiring continuous corrections. It is literally a garden that grows in you if your goal is creating a positive relationship to life.