What Stops You Quitting Your Job and Travel the World?
In order to integrate a new behavior or system in your life you first have to make sure it’s compatible with your model of reality.
Many people do not realize this and are committed to starting projects or adopting habits that go against their beliefs, but they end up frustrated because, despite trying again and again, they always end up leaving halfway.
Although they think they lack motivation or will power, the real problem is that their own mind is holding them back from achieving their goals, since there is a conflict between what they want to do and their idea of how the world works.
This is precisely what usually happens to the majority of people trying to mount an online business .
They say that they want to do it, but in the bottom of their heart they do not believe it.
In his model of reality, the only acceptable way to earn a living is to work “on his own” in an office with a schedule of 9 to 6, so his subconscious is responsible for aborting all attempts to do anything else because Consider realistic.
But … what is the origin of that belief? How did you end up being part of your model of reality even though it is not true, and how can you prevent something like this from happening to you?
That is precisely what I am going to tell you in today’s article.
After reading you will understand why we need a model of reality, how you have been creating yours over the years, what are the limitations of that process of creation, why sometimes you can end up believing things that are not true and what Precautions you must take so that this does not happen to you.
Why we need a model of reality
The world is a complex place.
Each day we have to make thousands of small decisions, and if we had to evaluate all the alternatives available to each of them we would go crazy.
For example, imagine that whenever you were hungry you had to analyze all the objects you have around you to see if they are edible.
“Can you eat this chair?”
“And this stone?”
“Hmmmm, what about what about this TV?”
It would be impossible to live like this!
For this reason, your mind, which is very clever, has been creating a model of reality over the years that allows you to make decisions quickly.
Your model of reality is nothing but a simplification of how you think the world works. If you want you can imagine it as a map: it does not have all the details of what it represents, but it allows you to orient yourself.
Thanks to that map, when you are hungry you do not stop to think if the stones are eaten, but you go directly to the kitchen, the supermarket or a restaurant, because you know that there you will find food.
Similarly, if you finally go to the supermarket, use your reality model to decide which products to buy. It is your map that tells you what an orange tastes, if that taste is pleasant to you and if it is something that should be part of your diet … without having to try it or check your favorite nutrition book.
As you see, your model of reality is a kind of instruction manual that tells you how to act in each situation, just as the map of a city tells you the streets you must take to reach your destination.
However, unlike maps, which in general closely resemble each other, the reality models of humans are often very different.
Hence , it is so common that different people react in a completely opposite way to the same event, such as a failure .
There are those who will regard this failure as proof that it is useless and worthless, and will sink into a depression. But there are also those who will consider it as a learning and as an opportunity to do better in the future, and will launch for the next project with more desire than before.
Understanding this experience in one way or another depends solely on the role of failure in your model of reality, which leads us to ask the million question:
Why do people have such different models of reality? Where do these differences?
If you want to know the answer, read on 🙂
How our beliefs form
Human beings began to construct our model of reality from the moment we are born.
In our childhood we discover the basic functioning of the world and learn about what is right and what is wrong.
Later in our teens, we develop our beliefs about who we are and how we relate to others.
And after that, when we are young adults, we begin to come to our own conclusions about our purpose in life, our professional career or relationships.
This process continues indefinitely, and to this day we are still completing our model of reality and updating it based on the new discoveries we are making.
We are programmed to learn, and we do it in two ways.
The first is through experiences. That is, through all that we live in the first person.
As we interact with the world we receive feedback, and based on that feedback we deduce how things work.
If you put your fingers in a small plug and you get a good squall, the belief “plugs give cramp” becomes part of your model of reality immediately.
In the same way, if every time you tell a joke your friends start laughing, you will come to the conclusion that “you are a funny guy” and that “you are good to make jokes”.
This is the most direct and immediate way we have to discover “new truths”, and we use it continuously. However, it is not always possible – nor interest – to experience everything in our own flesh. For this reason, people also have the cap acity to learn socially.
Think, for example, of the following statements:
“If you throw a tenth floor you kill yourself”
“The earth is round”
“Going out in the street naked is wrong”
All these are not conclusions that you have reached based on your personal experience, but beliefs that you have acquired from others – your parents, your friends, your teachers … but also books, movies or TV commercials – and which are now part of your model of reality.
Thanks to your ability to learn socially, and also to learn from your own experiences, today you have a valuable map of how the world works that helps you make decisions in your day to day life.
The problem comes when that map has errors and does not tell you the way …
The Limitations of Human Learning
What makes beliefs are so powerful it is that, although they are only hypotheses about how you think reality works, your brain treats them as absolute truths and acts as if they were.
Although this is very positive, because it allows you to solve most of the tasks and decisions that you face daily on “autopilot”, it is also a double-edged sword, because if your reality model is incorrect you are going to take the Wrong actions over and over again. And the worst of all is that you will not notice and you will continue to think that you are doing things right!
Unfortunately, it is very easy to end up accepting false or limiting beliefs, since the two learning mechanisms that we use to create our map of reality are far from perfect.
Let’s see below what are the limitations of each.
When you infer how the world works from a series of personal experiences, what you’re doing is to assume that the world will always behave in a certain way just because on several occasions has behaved well.
That assumption is correct in some cases.
For example, if you put your hand in the fire and you burn, it is wise to assume that “fire burns” and that will continue to be so.
The problem is that things are not always so simple:
If one day you get injured training in the gym, does that mean that exercising is dangerous?
If you come to talk to three girls at the club and all three of you reject you, does that mean you’re ugly and you’re condemned to singleness?
If your last boyfriend put the horns on you and treated you badly, does that mean that all men are bastards?
The answer to all three questions is obviously no.
However, in this type of highly emotional situations, it is very easy to rush and find a wrong explanation for what has just happened, and from then on assume that is how reality works.
Imagine, for example, that two equally intelligent children go to the same school and to the same course, but to different groups.
The first child is played by a fantastic math teacher. He explains everything great and makes classes fun. In addition, he is demanding with homework and makes sure that all students do the exercises necessary to get well prepared for the exam.
In school learns, has a good time and approves the subject with a 10, and based on that adds two new beliefs to his model of reality:
“Mathematics is fun”
“I get the numbers right”
The second child, on the other hand, is a horrible math teacher. It explains everything fatal, during the class all it does is dictate what comes in the book and no one hears of anything. Also, he never sends homework or exercises on the board.
The second child suspends the subject and his parents force him to attend private lessons throughout the summer, and based on that adds two new beliefs to his model of reality:
“Mathematics are boring”
“I get fatal numbers”
If you look, none of the conclusions reached by these two kids are objective facts. Mathematics is neither funny nor boring, and surely neither of the two boys is a genius or a useless one with numbers.
However, their beliefs have a profound impact on their relationship with the mathematics, in his notes and the career they ultimately choose, if they decide to go to college .
Humans are continually analyzing what others say and do, and we use that information to build or adjust our model of reality.
When we are young we need to learn quickly, so we take for granted practically everything we observe and what we hear.
However, as we grow we become more selective, and we begin to evaluate the ideas that come from outside based on three criteria:
The credibility that the source of this idea has for us
How well the idea fit into our model of reality
The number of people who believe that idea is true
Only when we see that an idea comes from someone believable enough, that it fits into the model of the world we have at that moment, and that there are more people who support it, we consider it as true.
For example, if you ask a good friend of yours who regularly participates in equestrian jumping competitions to explain how you train a horse to jump better, you will believe everything you tell, because the source is credible, your Explanation is going to have logic (if you have not cheated, of course) and you will assume that there are many more people who follow that same method.
On the contrary, if you see a stranger on the street with bad pints announcing that the end of the world is near, you will ignore him, because he has no credibility and because what he is saying does not make any sense. But even if you had a group of people around you would not believe it either, because it does not meet the other two criteria.
In general, our natural idea filter works quite well, but sometimes it gets strained by some rabbit for several reasons:
Even the sources we believe to be most credible are wrong
That something makes sense does not mean that it is true
The fact that many people create or do something does not mean that it is right
That is why there are still many people who believe that eating more than 5 eggs a week is dangerous.
If you stop to analyze the belief, you will see that it fulfills perfectly the three previous criteria:
You have learned from a credible source, such as your parents or a doctor / nutritionist
At the logical level, it makes sense that if eggs contain cholesterol and have a lot of cholesterol in the blood is dangerous, eating many eggs is not advisable
Millions of people support this idea, and just look at Google or ask your friends to check it
However, is it true that eating more than 5 eggs a week is harmful to your health?
Of course not! But even so, this idea continues to be part of the model of many people’s reality.
How to build a more reliable reality model
As we have just seen, it is very easy to add incorrect beliefs to your reality model without realizing it.
In fact, it is sometimes inevitable.
When you are small, you will believe what your parents tell you and what they tell you at school without questioning their truthfulness. You have no choice.
However, now that you are an adult and have the ability to think on your own, you can use the power of your conscious mind to distinguish between what is true and what is not, and in this way build a model of reality much more Reliable and successful.
Here are some tips for getting it:
1. Be careful when identifying the causes of what has happened to you
When something happens that affects us directly or that catches our attention, the first thing we do is try to identify the cause of what has happened.
Although this may seem simple, not always is, and if we rush can fall into one of the fallacies of questionable cause and conclude that the event in question was caused by a particular cause when in fact it has not.
To avoid this, get used to asking yourself the following questions:
Is this the real cause of what has happened, or are they just two facts that are related because they have happened at the same time?
Is this the real cause of what has happened, or am I thinking that it is the cause only because it has happened first?
Is this the only cause, or can there be more causes that I am not taking into account?
If you make a mistake in identifying the cause of an event, you will inevitably draw the wrong conclusions from it, so it is very important that you do not mess with it.
2. Remember that the world is a complex place
Never draw too simple conclusions from your personal experiences, because they are usually going to be wrong or at best they will be incomplete.
The fact that a person took advantage of you when you dealt well with her does not mean that the same will always happen in the future, and that your last project has gone wrong does not mean that you are useless.
We live in a probabilistic world . Therefore, distrust beliefs with the structure “if I do A always happens B” or “how X has happened I am a Y”. Rarely are they often true.
3. Be aware that others are wrong too
On many occasions, when we evaluate an idea that comes from a source that we consider very credible, such as our parents, an expert or someone we admire, we take it as valid without questioning if it really is.
The problem with this is that everyone – including scholars and Nobel prizes – is wrong, and if we ignore everything that these trustworthy people tell us, we run the risk of believing something that is not true or beneficial to us .
The credibility of a source increases the chances that your ideas are correct, but it does not guarantee it.
That is why, when it comes to important things, it is not enough to corroborate the truth of an idea with other reliable sources before integrating it into your model of reality.
4. Be aware that others also have their own goals
In your day to day you will find people and institutions interested in creating certain things to behave in a certain way, and to check you simply turn on the TV or open any magazine and analyze advertising.
If you look closely, you will realize that the goal of advertisers is to associate having their product with positive qualities and feelings, and / or not having it with negative qualities and feelings.
Because they know that if they manage to convince you that “drinking Coca Cola makes you happy”, “AXE deodorant makes women crazy” and “smart people go to Mediamarkt”, then you will do what they want: to buy.
Obviously, none of those messages is true, and companies are well aware of it. However, they use them continuously because they work.
This phenomenon occurs not only in advertisements, but also in other sources that we usually consider credible, such as scientific studies.
Many papers do not aim to approach the truth, but to change the model of the reality of people to act in a certain way.
For this reason, when evaluating an idea of a third party, always ask yourself:
What interest can have that person I believe what you’re telling me?
If you see some hidden reason for you to accept that idea as true, check it with a magnifying glass.
5. Think rationally
It is very common to accept an idea as true simply because “we feel it to be true” or because we think “reality should work that way.”
A great example of this is what is known as the just world hypothesis , which is the belief that there is a universal force that sooner or later just rewarding people who behave well and punishing misbehaving.
Many people feel that this must be true, that it makes sense that this universal force exists, and following their hunch integrate this hypothesis into their model of reality.
Unfortunately, feeling or wanting something to be in a certain way does not change the functioning of reality.
However much they Hollywood movies in it, in the real world does not always win the good, and if you think about working hard, strive and be a good boy the universe will reward, can you take a big disappointment .
The way to avoid falling into this error and believing something solely based on your emotions and feelings, is to analyze the idea rationally. Use logic to see if it is true, and look for objective data and facts to form an opinion about it.
Jake Desyllas, podcast The Voluntary Life , has several interesting episodes on this topic. The first is the 243 .
eye! This does not mean that you should completely ignore your intuition. Your intuition is a very useful tool when making decisions. However, when it comes to building your model of the world and evaluating what is true and what is false, it is appropriate that you also use your head
6. Think for yourself
My last advice, which may be the most important, is to think for yourself.
Never believe that something is true just because there are many people who believe it (and not because I tell you so).
Always ask yourself: e s true?
History has proven time and time again that society may be wrong, and that what everyone considered universal truths really were not.
Only a brave few dared to question the wisdom and confronted the status quo, and thanks to that uncovered the error and made us advance as a species.
We need more people like them, so you know:
Do not follow the herd. Think for yourself.
The world is a complex place, and to be able to manage in it without blocking or going crazy, we store in our mind a simplified model of reality that allows us to make decisions and evaluate any fact quickly.
In order to build this model, we use two sources of information, the experiences we experience first hand and what others are saying and doing, and although our learning process usually works quite well, sometimes we make mistakes and end up believing something that is not true .
This is a problem, because if your model of reality is wrong, you will make the wrong decisions. That is why it is very important that you always keep in mind the 6 tips that I have given you in this post:
Be careful in identifying the causes of things
Remember that the world is a complex place
Be aware that others are wrong too
Be aware that others also have their own goals
Think for yourself
However, even if you follow my recommendations carefully, your reality model will never be perfect. You will always carry with you incorrect, incomplete or limiting beliefs.
Since your beliefs form your model of reality, and your model of reality determines your results, you should continually update your beliefs and replace them with more beneficial ones.
Unfortunately, substituting one belief for another is not as simple as saying “now I will believe this instead of what I believed before.”
Beliefs reside in our subconscious, and the process is much more complex. Even so, it is possible to change what you think, and in the coming weeks I will explain exactly how.
Until then, I would like you to think about what I just told you today, and to identify an erroneous belief that you had in the past or that you have today that has limited you greatly throughout your life.