Jun 23, 2017

There’s a broader point here. From inside their rigid mindset, participants were unable to see they were in a rigid mindset, just as a fish can’t see water, and many psychological states seem to work the same way. Take anger: in the very moment that you feel utterly furious about something minor – someone jumping the queue, say – your disproportionate rage feels proportionate. Loneliness makes people want to retreat from socialising, when the opposite would help. When you’re demotivated, you can’t see that doing whatever you’re avoiding is the route to feeling motivated. And so on. The trick is not blindly to trust your own thoughts and feelings, but learn to second-guess them. A plan can be one way to do that, because it’s a guide to action that doesn’t rely on what you feel like doing. Which is why – not to bang on about this – schedules are a good idea.