“We can only achieve quantum improvements in our lives as we quit hacking at the leaves of attitude and behavior and get to work on the root, the paradigms from which our attitudes and behaviors flow."
I had always believed that the heart couldn't be trusted and that the brain was the source of truth - that it guided life based on past evidence and rational thinking... or so I thought. The book 'The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People' has an excellent chapter about this called The Paradigm Shift. What stood out for me the most was that our cognitive biases are directly linked to our happiness. The closer your mental map of something is to reality, the happier you'll be and if your map is far from the truth, you will be forever frustrated at the perceived inequality and irrationality of life.
After reading the book, a particular example they gave resonated with me: 'you are always trying to lose weight and exercise but nothing ever sticks'. The book tells us that a habit or behavior to change yourself can only get you so far and that ultimately you have to work to alter your mental map of something in order to implement lasting change. “Correct maps will infinitely impact our personal and interpersonal effectiveness far more than any amount of effort expended on changing our attitudes and behaviors.” As I'm sure you have noticed, I don't value my health very highly. I used to, but in the last 10 years I cherry-picked evidence in my own life to substantiate my newfound belief that it didn't matter how you lived, illness/death was just luck of the draw. Rational thinking would explain this as an exception to the rule, but because of the emotional weight behind my bias, I decided to have a 'Fuck it' approach to my health.
Now, by examining the research thoroughly and consciously removing my emotion from the situation, I can slowly shift my mental model to more accurately reflect that what I eat and do (exercise) has a substantial impact on the quality and length of my life. Once I fully change my mental map to better reflect objective reality, naturally, healthy eating and exercise would become less of a struggle. I thoroughly recommend reading this book and for you to question your own mental maps of the world.
“We can only achieve quantum improvements in our lives as we quit hacking at the leaves of attitude and behavior and get to work on the root, the paradigms from which our attitudes and behaviors flow.”