The unexpected

A friend was introducing me to this concept of cognitive flexibility. I must say it is probably a concept I know of before I had the chance to put a name to it but it definitely is a very important skill. But before going further into it, I’d like to introduce the idea that really underlies the ability to be cognitively flexible. It has to do with recognising the probabilistic nature of the world.

We all struggle with uncertainty and the fact multiple outcomes are all possible at the same time. Life is fuzzy and things are subjected to chance; by realising that things are not all-or-nothing kind of binary, and recognising that decisions are bets, we give ourselves the chance for reality to deviate from our expectations. And we learn to react better emotionally, not thinking we have lost because the world went the other way. The world did not reject us; it did not leave without us. It’s just that we had held on to our expectations even when reality came by.

Cognitive flexibility requires that we drop those expectations once reality plays out; that we toss out the lottery ticket once the winning numbers are out. How fast are you able to discard your expectations?

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