The Weekly Boost - 3.15.2021
Thought for this week:
Focus on the good, and the good will grow.
Focus on the Good and the Good Will Grow. It's a great concept and though it may sound too good to be true, it's something I've noticed seems to really work out.
But how does this work? Here's an idea that my help explain the mechanism here. It's confirmation bias. For those who aren't familiar with this theory, it's the tendency to subconsciously interpret new information to fit pre-existing beliefs. If you hold the belief that good things will happen, when faced with new situations, your brain is more likely to interpret them as positives to fit that pre-existing belief. Pretty wild, huh?
Similarly, another theory that comes into play here is the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon is the seeming appearance of a newly learned (or paid attention to) concept in unexpected places. An example of this is when you first learn a new vocabulary word then somehow see it everywhere shortly after. This is also known as the frequency illusion.
Our brains are funny creatures and they like finding patterns and reaffirming their own thought wiring. When you start to build the habit and the neural pathways of seeking positive thoughts and outcomes, you can start to train your brain to look for these occurrences as patterns too. Confirmation bias and the frequency illusion could mean that subconsciously your brain will start to seek out evidence of positivity and twist new information to be interpreted more positively. So by focusing on the good, it not only becomes a habit, but also will make your brain begin to notice more "good" due to the frequency illusion and also naturally piece together more evidence of the "good" due to the confirmation bias.
Now, a disclaimer, I'm not a psychologist or trained on any of these things. Just drawing some connections and some musings based on a variety of readings because I find these things wildly interesting. I might be making some leaps or connecting things that aren't necessarily proven and therefore I highly encourage everyone to do their own research.
While I do believe in manifesting and the power of positive thought, I also appreciate this more grounded explanation here. When we first talked about including this card, I worried it might be too much in the vein of manifesting and spiritual. It's a little magical, the idea that by simply thinking good things, then good will happen. The cynical part of my brain thinks that is too easy - so for days when I'm feeling a little less magical in my thinking this explanation of how the brain likes to seek things in align with how it already thinks really resonates.
We all have those days where one small bad thing followed by another and another gets us deeming the whole day as "bad". Well when we think that way, of course our brain will be looking for evidence of the "bad". I have a friend who's convinced that they are cursed (no joke here, they actually believe that) so of course in any situation, they twist and interpret things to reaffirm this belief. We can see this negative twisting and self-affirming happen often. So the challenge here is to shift our thinking to the positive. Rather than being cursed or having a bad day, if you view your day as being incredibly lucky, thankful, and filled with gratitude, your brain will then start to look for evidence to affirm this.
And that there is how the good can grow.