“Life is 10 percent what happens, 90 percent is how we react.” – Psychologist Festinger
Some people are in difficult situations, yet they can turn crises into opportunities for growth and progress. In contrast, others work hard but fail to achieve success due to their limited mindset. This is not a matter of fate or talent, but rather a difference in psychology that creates different outcomes.
If you want to achieve significant progress in life, you must be aware of the following psychological effects:
The Inertia of Thinking
Professor Carl Weike conducted an experiment where he placed bees and flies in transparent bottles and observed their behavior. The bees, relying on past experience, stubbornly tried to find their way out by swooping down on the bottom of the bottle, but they eventually died of exhaustion. In contrast, a fly kept spinning around the bottle and found the exit within two minutes, regaining its freedom.
This experiment illustrates that the real obstacle to success is not difficulties or deadlocks, but rather the inertia of our thinking. We must learn to untie our minds to break free from constraints and continue to improve.
Xiangzi’s story, as described by Lao She, is a prime example of the consequences of limited thinking. Xiangzi was a young man who arrived in Beijing with enthusiasm and determination to succeed. He worked hard and saved money by pulling a cart, hoping to gain a foothold in the city. However, his car was eventually snatched by bandit soldiers during a chaotic period, leaving him with nothing.
Gao Ma, a wise man, advised Xiangzi to deposit his money in the bank or team up with others to pull a car, but Xiangzi refused, believing that his money was safest on his body and that pulling a cart was the most reliable way to succeed. Unfortunately, Xiangzi’s limited thinking led him to continue working exhaustively, only to be cheated of all his savings by Detective Sun with malicious intentions.
The British poet Coleridge once said, “Experience is like the tail light on a ship, illuminating only the voyage already sailed.” We must be aware that our experiences and successes can create a thinking inertia that limits our ability to adapt and grow. We must continue to update our capabilities and embrace new concepts to succeed in life’s ever-changing landscape.
The Zero-Sum Game
In game theory, there is a concept called the zero-sum thinking, where one party’s gain is another party’s loss. This mindset can be harmful when applied to our lives, as it leads to a competitive and adversarial approach to success.
The story of the two stores adjacent to each other illustrates the negative effects of zero-sum thinking. Mr. Wan and Ms. Dai’s competition over fruit and convenience store products led to a decrease in business for both stores. Their focus on profiting at the expense of the other led to a lose-lose situation.
The Donkey Effect
The philosopher Bredan’s story about a donkey that starved to death due to indecision is a cautionary tale about the dangers of overthinking. When faced with two baskets of fodder, the donkey couldn’t choose which one to eat first and eventually died from indecision.
This story highlights the importance of taking action and not being paralyzed by indecision. When opportunities arise, we must seize them without hesitation, as delaying can lead to missed chances.
Ni Ping’s Story
Ni Ping’s story is an excellent example of decisiveness and execution ability. When offered a job as a host on CCTV, Ni Ping had to choose between her successful acting career and a new path. Despite her husband’s opposition and the risk of failure, Ni Ping decided to pursue her dream and became a renowned host.
People face countless choices in their lifetime, and each decision requires careful consideration. We must block out outside noise, follow our hearts, and work hard towards our goals. By doing so, we can avoid regret and move towards the life we desire.
In conclusion, life is full of challenges and temptations that require us to make choices. By understanding the psychological effects behind these choices, we can clear our minds and avoid traps. We must renew ourselves, avoid mental inertia, and embrace cooperation to achieve success.