I recently went to my favorite used bookstore to get a copy of a couple of books I wanted. Although I didn’t find the ones I was looking for, I left with 4 others that I didn’t know I wanted until I saw them, and then couldn’t figure out how I could have lived without them.
One book I picked up is titled “The 10 Dumbest Mistakes Smart People Make” by Dr. Arthur Freeman and Rose DeWolf. I especially like it because the preface was written by Aaron Beck, whose work, like that of Albert Elllis, focuses on self-talk, irrational beliefs, and changing one’s perspective with techniques like neuro-linguistic programming and such.
Anyway – for the next 10 days, as an effort to stay on top of this blog, (while also exercising my writing muscles), I will be covering the Top 10 Mistakes that Smart People (like you) Make, and How to Avoid Them.
Today we focus on WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO IDENTIFY OUR THINKING MISTAKES (also sometimes called “stinking thinking”)
Aha! Alhtough this is not officially one of the 10 dumbest mistakes, I do consider it one, and one I make a lot. I often find myself thinking that because I KNOW better, I should be incapable of acting inappropriately or making any kinds of mistakes. Dumb mistake, in and of itself. I have countless times experienced situations in which I knew better than to say, do, or act the way I did, and yet did it or said it anyway. How could I? How could I be so dumb? I know better than to do that! What was I thinking?
Unfortunately, as we all must realize at some point, at certain times, and in certain circumstances, it is virtually guaranteed that your SMARTS will desert you, and that knowing better won’t make one iota of difference.
One time that this may happen is under duress. We all have different threshholds of tolerance for stress and anxiety; but when the brain’s chemistry is altered by being under a significant level of unmanageable sensory overload, the effect can be complete abandon of all sense. You might even say that your brain is not within your voluntarycontrol.
Identifying those times, and working to lower one’s stress threshhold will help; in the meantime, just follow this blog for the next 10 days, to start to identify how, where, and if you are a smart person who makes dumb mistakes, and start to work on avoiding them.
Tomorrow: Mistake Number One