What do we think is possible in life, dictates the direction of effort we are willing to put there. This is in a sense fine, as we progress a bit by bit with the expectations, our world is rather predictable. Yet especially for lets’ say people under 40 years, do not have accurate world view at all unless they’ve been training their mind to it rigorously. Most people are just average in this aspect (that’s what average means, the average of most people).
The better sense of the world we manage absorb allows us that actually start getting somewhere. Without the sense of reality, we do not even know where we are.
Therefore the habit of seeking the truth in the world is really a prerequisite for any conscious growth effort. When I first grasped a glimpse of this idea, I labelled that most of my assumptions, thoughts and knowledge about the world and of other people were not tested. What the not tested means, I was just operating on them, without really questioning my thoughts.
Results in my life were at that time (2007) really poor so I decided to try something else. First well, since my beliefs didn’t work I started to research for more interesting beliefs and try those. With most of my thoughts, assumptions and knowledge, I would test them. I.e. I was socially anxious so almost any social interaction was a good place to actually see if what I feared would happen. It turned out my fears were exaggerated one or two hundred fold.
After some experiences I made a tool out of my fears and pessimistic thinking that brought those worst-case scenarios so easily alive: writing down the worst case and asking is this really the worst that can happen. Next I would devise a plan how to work and handle this worst case if it indeed does happen. With this proactivity in mind, I gained the peace of mind as well as really valuable confidence as I knew what I would do if the worst case would in fact realize itself.
World isn’t what we think. We simply know too little to make so accurate world view, we rely upon too many generalizations and shortcuts. In time it’s possible to train the mind at least to the process of seeking the truth, although understanding the truth takes much more time and effort.