Health is wellness of the body, the mind, and the soul; their alignment with one another is the art of living well.


Wisdom is understanding of the self, others, and the nature of things; it is essential to  living as if everything is a miracle.
Wisdom from the Presidential Election

Have a reverse mindset

Life is a learning process, which continues throughout the life journey until the destination is reached. That is to say, one can always learn something from almost anything, provided one has an empty mind, which is a reverse mindset.

Many of us think with a preconditioned mindset, that is, the mind is already loaded with data that has become the subconscious mind directing the conscious mind. Remember, we are living in a assumptive world. Once we begin with an assumption (just any notion), that assumption may generate a presumption. With the human ego thinking that we are always right, we begin to develop a prediction that our assumption would become a reality in the future. Accordingly, the mind anticipates the expectation to be fulfilled somehow. That is how the human mind operates, but not how the reality may turn out.

To illustrate, in a presidential election, people made an assumption that a certain candidate would be the ideal candidate for president. The notion then became a presumption, reinforced by the media and the polls, turning it into a prediction that finally became the expectation of the voters. The devastating outcome was the ultimate frustration of the voters supporting the candidate.

What would be the scenario if the assumption is a negative one to begin with?

Say, you were introduced to someone you didn't like at first sight. That became your initial assumption that the individual was disagreeable to you. The more you get to know that individual, the more you would see only the negative, instead of the positive, side of that individual, and thus reinforcing your presumption, leading to your prediction. The net result will be your negative expectation, that is, you simply don't like that individual and will never be able to get along with him or her.

In summary: assumption + presumption + prediction + expectation = frustration

A reverse mindset is the antidote to the above. Before your assumption becomes a presumption, rethink your assumption: remember, there are many exceptions to any assumption. Wisdom is thinking about the exceptions rather than the norm, instead of the other way around. Focusing on the norm often leads to hasty presumption, and then natural prediction and ultimate expectation.

Likewise, in the presidential election, voters readily jumped from their assumption into their presumption, prediction, and expectation without questioning the authenticity and reality of each. The outcome of frustration was the inevitable norm, and not the exception.

TIPS: Understanding that there are many exceptions to the norm may enlighten you and help you have better relationships with people around you, which is one of the essentials of human happiness. The bottom line: never expect and never predict; always have an empty mind with reverse thinking.

Stephen Lau
Copyrightę by Stephen Lau