Consequences are not positive or negative

"Consequences are not positive or negative. They are just things and we frame them as positive or negative." Harvard Professor of Social Psychology Ellen Langer.

Another deceptively simple but profound insight from Professor Langer today.

Most of us are very quick to judge the outcomes of our own and others'behaviour as good or bad.

Such labels can be unhelpful in the short-term and just plain wrong over the long-term.

In the short-term, labeling closes our minds to alternative ways to view a situation focusing us on data points that confirm our initial frame, i.e. confirmation bias.

In the long-term the label often works out differently to what we expect. For example, many of the biggest blessings in my life emanated from what appeared to be very negative experiences in the short-term.

Langer's research encourages us to become more mindful and aware that we don't see the world as it is, but through the frames that we create, consciously or otherwise.

As Anais Nin famously said...

"it is the 'I' behind the 'eye' that does the seeing."

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