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Mindset Is Everything: Autopilot Thinking

KADIMA village is a catalyst and socially conscious firm. We create the conditions and help navigate an unknown future and constantly changing present, to look for what’s not there yet.

‘An impossibility is a possibility that you don’t understand yet.’ ~ Matt Haig, Author of A Boy Called Christmas.

As we wrap up 2021 for the Christmas Holidays, and brace for the looming climate crisis, while closing in on year two of co-existing with a pandemic. I’d like to leave you with this quote and thought below. Something to think about over a glass of eggnog or a mug of smooth mulled wine…

I spend most of my day thinking. When I’m not thinking about a client’s opportunity or challenge, we’ve been engaged to help with, I’m thinking about how I’m thinking. I know…nuts?? Who goes around thinking about thinking??

In the academia world, they call this ‘metacognition’. It’s a process of intentional thinking about how you think and learn. Since I’m not an academic, nor do I claim to be one, I am going to leave it at that. If there is an academic reading this, I invite you to add your wisdom in the comments section below.

My point is, as an information junkie, the knowledge I’ve acquired from reading cognitive science and metacognition papers/studies and entering into meaningful conversations, with academics and experienced practitioners in this area, has led me to believe…

How we think – is more important than what we think.

I believe this is the only way we will get on the other side of the pandemic and climate challenges. How we think is also popping up on many leaders’ radars. Why?? Because the pandemic and climate crisis has changed everything. Specifically, the context (circumstance) in which leaders find themselves making decisions and the direction the world is heading towards.

With this in mind, let me ask, how do you think? Is there something that is not working? Have you considered thinking another way about it? Have you asked yourself, how has my thinking shifted these past 21-months? Has my thinking shifted…at all?? If you’re not asking these queries, you may be on ‘autopilot’ thinking. Or the academic term ‘conditioned thinking’.

In a nutshell, autopilot/conditioned thinking is an algorithm our 'brain goes through when it's being trained, repeatedly, to think in a certain way'. A great example of this is what colour is a yield sign? If you said, yellow you would be wrong. It’s actually red and white.

Another example is many people want things to go back to how it was before the pandemic. Why?? Because it’s familiar. It’s what they know. It’s safe. It’s how they think. As a result, they will continue to do what they did and the way they did it then.

Here’s the thing. The context that was the table setting, pre-March 2020, Covid19 changed completely. And continues to change it with its Omicron variant. Yet…many peoples' thinking remains the same.

It’s not I’ll believe it when I see it. It’s I’ll see it when I believe it.

To transform what you do, you first must shift how you think. The former seeks certainty – what we know and see. While the latter leads with possibilities – what’s not in front of us. Therein is the opportunity and challenge.

Let’s not waste this pandemic anymore. Let’s make 2022 the year we all look for what’s not there yet to #BuildForwardDifferent for tomorrow, today. You game??

A personal and grateful comment, thank you very much for showing up here. For sharing how you think. For your ideas. For respectfully voicing your frustrations, concerns, and hopes. For challenging my thinking. And most importantly for your curiosity.

May all that is beautiful, meaningful and brings you joy, be yours this holiday season and throughout the coming year! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


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