Automatic Reject Mode

Minds are like parachutes. They only function when they are opened.
Sir James Dewar
1842 – 1923

Do you have an automatic or instant “reject mode”? That is, when you hear a new idea or suggestion, do you automatically reject it?

Most people will answer, “Of course not.” They immediately dismiss the idea that they could have such a reaction — thus illustrating my point rather nicely.

Many people are guilty of having an instant reject mode. That trait may not be all bad; we can and should reject certain ideas and suggestions right away — ones that may be harmful or unjust, for example. But it doesn’t take much research to find moments in history where entire societies refused to consider certain theories. In the first century, suggesting that the world was round would trigger an automatic rejection. And for many centuries, the idea that the Earth revolved around the sun was subject to instant denial. The same was true for the concept of machines that could fly; people wouldn’t even consider the possibility.

But that’s not the point I really want to make. I’m asking you to consider how often you go into automatic reject mode. When someone suggests that you could accomplish more, what’s your normal reaction? When someone suggests ways to improve your life, your business or your health, do you dismiss the idea without giving it fair consideration?

If you’re honest, you’ll admit that, on occasion, you respond with automatic rejections; we all do. And as I said before, sometimes this reaction isn’t bad. But when we cut off discussion of important, relevant issues without fully considering the possibilities, we hinder ourselves, limiting our potential.

If you truly want to achieve your goals in life, you must learn to rein in your instant reject mode. Learn to give careful consideration to different ideas and different ways of thinking.

If you keep doing things the way you always have, you’ll get the same results you always do. If you’re happy with your results in life, then obviously this message isn’t for you. But if you’d like to make improvements in your life, you must be open to seeing and doing things differently. Get rid of your instant reject button and open your mind to new and different possibilities.

Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.
Isaac Asimov
1920 – 1992

Copyright © 2018 John Chancellor


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