Stren #39: The Problem-solving Sentence

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          Today’s stren considers the fourth of the eight choices available to our will power to transform information into action.  I have labeled this stren the problem-solving sentence because it is supported by common sense and our acquired knowledge of the universal law of cause and effect.  It is the most certain choice among the alternative actions available to our will to bring about what we want and avoid what we don’t want.  The “Magical” problem-solving sentenceis our powerful mental resource to wisely manage our life’s experience.  I urge you to regularly use this sentence: 

Given this situation, what is most likely to get what I want, for both my and your benefit (or both our and their benefit), for both now and in the future?  

          While not actually “magic,” this simple, elegant, easy to learn sentence is so effective, it seems like magic.  Notice, no one, no “something” is being blamed.  Energy is directed to resolving and/or making the best deal with the challenging issue.  With repetition, we make the universal problem-solving sentence habitual, virtually automatic, and effortless.  This common sense problem-solving newer way of thinking will gradually displace the six negative action pathways.  Even if we don’t actively work to get rid of the negative action patterns, they will gradually atrophy from disuse.

          The problem-solving sentence applies both...and processing of information that promotes common sense solutions to the challenges we face.  Both...and replaces the either/or thinking we all first learn when our brain lacks the maturity and experience to use common sense wisdom.  Either/or processing of information distorts reality into two opposing categories such as good or evil, right or wrong, my side or not my side, and so on.   Such “dichotomous” thinking biases us to focus on our differences.  Two-category thinking is hardwired into our mental action pathways by instinct as determined by nature, and tradition as determined by our nurturers. Once either/or processing of information is programmed into our intelligent brain through repetition, it persists.  Two-category thinking remains our dominant action pathway until we attain physical maturity and teach ourselves sufficient common sense wisdom.    

          Either/or thinking is characteristic of instinct, tradition, and human dictators who demand that there is a right way – naturally their own – and therefore all others are categorized as unacceptable.  We can hardly expect that nations, religions, politicians, or neighbors will peacefully collaborate for their mutual interests when stuck in either/or thinking.  Bigotry, prejudice, destructive confrontation, and war will persist until we attain a preponderance of the both...and thinking that applies common sense to recognize our similarities and shared interests.