No. 38 – Rethinking

No. 38 – Rethinking

Dear One,

To be of service to you in discovering what’s possible in improving your life, my intention remains to share what aided my traversing adversity and resulted in fruitful health, relationship, and work outcomes.

‘Rethinking’ was another aspect of my rising as it opens the mind to grow, change, and evolve.  Merriam-Webster simply defines Rethink as “to think about again.” 

Prior to intense difficulty, I generally achieved results via what I thought were decently smart, perfectionistic ways –shutting myself off to other options more than I cared to admit.

Rethinking was necessary, though, to change and let go of what was no longer useful such that I could move towards good health, whole-i-fying, and a more fulfilling life.

Alvin Toffler summed this well; “I’d been humbled, eyes’d been opened.  The time had come to unlearn and re-learn”.  

Wharton professor, Adam Grant’s thought provoking book, Think Again describes that intelligence and Rethinking sometimes conflict.

“No matter how much brainpower you have, if you lack the motivation to change your mind, you’ll miss many occasions to think again.  Research reveals that the higher you score on an IQ test, the more likely you are to fall for ste­reotypes, because you’re faster at recognizing patterns.  And recent experiments suggest that the smarter you are, the more you might struggle to update your beliefs.  The curse of knowledge is that it closes your mind to what you don’t know.  Good judgment depends on having the skill — and the will — to open your mind. A hallmark of wisdom is knowing when it’s time to abandon some of the most cherished parts of your identity.”

Although Rethinking sometimes went – and goes – against beliefs, habits, and identity (Sigh…), it created tangible progress and was achievable when I tried it and took it Incrementally

For some Rethinking ideas, perhaps consider:

• Reading – A near-daily habit for Rethinking and improvement, I read at least a book page, paragraph, or, occasionally, 1 sentence to bathe my brain in new information.  Listening to Audible books when driving, while brushing teeth, or during meal prep works too.  Sitting a book on the bed stand where I reach over to turn on and off the light each night makes it visible and nearly unavoidable.  A book placed on the bed after rising such that moving it in order to get in is another way to make it less easy to skip,  

• Ponder Confident Humility – “Humility is often misunderstood.  It’s not … having low self-confidence.  It’s about being grounded – recognizing that we’re flawed and fallible” per Adam Grant.  Think Again notes arrogance can blind and doubt may paralyze.  “What we want to attain is Confident humility:  having faith in our capability while appreciating that we may not have the right solution or even be addressing the right problem.  That gives us enough doubt to re-examine our old knowledge and enough confidence to pursue new insights.” In one experiment, students who read the pros of admitting what they didn’t know instead of being certain had a 65% to 85% increase in seeking out additional help per Grant.  And, US and Chinese leadership effectiveness studies indicate “the most effective leaders score high in both confidence and Humility.  Although they have faith in their strengths, they’re also keenly aware of their weaknesses.  They know they need to recognize and transcend their limits if they want to push the limits of greatness.”  To do this, Grant suggests “assessing ourselves like scientists looking through a microscope…  [and] we’re sometimes better off underestimating ourselves.” With confident humility, alternative perspectives, suggestions, or solutions are considered.  Recently, I asked for help from someone wiser than moi which resulted in an improved business decision.  (Kudos to my better half on this one),

• Try what seems a stretch or even wholly impossible – Starting to write Rising from Falling felt uncomfortable and big time outside my box.  Internally balking and squawking nearly stopped me; I thought I would write 1 email at first as a test.  Then another and another followed.  Before I knew it, what I’d initially felt was an unlikely endeavor (ahem – at best), became a website, podcast, course, and more.  Which keeps growing.  As I keep Rethinking.  With effort, time, and openness to stepping outside my comfort zone, my mindset shifts, my belief in myself positively alters, and my abilities beyond what I had imagined increase, and/or

• Doubt.  Yep, it may spring from crushing unworthiness however that’s not the overwhelming doubt I mean.  Grant refers to a “less crippling sense of doubt” as having benefits.  He notes that doubt can motivate us to work harder, work smarter, and Rethink strategies with beginner’s mindset, and to be better learners willing to seek others’ insights. My having non-consuming doubts, feeling a bit imposter-ish, and/or leaning into fear(s) were and are useful to Rethink better ways to move forward.

As Yoda sagely suggested, “you must unlearn what you have learned” in order to grow. Rethinking aids the process of becoming what you dream about and can be utilized to grow in novel directions of your choosing.

With heartfelt adoration for Rethinking and deep faith in your ability to Rethink – and thrive,


Original Email Date:  February 26, 2021

Click to listen to audio podcast of above post