Reading is an important part of my morning ritual. Some time back, my e-reader stopped functioning properly. One day it was fine and the next it wasn’t.
I was anxious to get the device back up and running quickly, so I checked the battery and attempted a restart. Unable to resolve the problem, I searched online for troubleshooting techniques. When those didn’t work, I contacted the manufacturer’s tech support line.
After multiple calls and attempts to restore life to the device, the problem was identified. The e-reader was running on outdated software because I failed to install updates as they were released. The software version on the machine was so outdated, it wouldn’t accept the newer versions.
Imagine my surprise to find I was the source of the problem. As a result of my negligence, the e-reader stopped working and was now pronounced beyond repair.
When Our Lives Run on Outdated Software
I couldn’t help but notice a similarity with how our own internal programming works. Our thoughts direct our behavior.
With the e-reader, the hardware’s capability was significantly diminished because the program driving it limited its ability to do what it was designed to do.
Humans are very much the same way. Our thoughts are the control center of our activities. Healthy, expansive thoughts motivate us forward while limited thinking prevents us from reaching our potential.
If we never update our way of thinking, we can fall behind. We stick with what we know, or think we know, never believing things could be different. Yet if we operate from the perspective that change produces growth, we are better able to respond to challenges.
We update our software and our minds run better. We change. We improve. We become a better version of ourselves.
How Limited Thoughts Hold Us Back
1. Limiting thoughts keep us stuck in old programming that no longer serves us.
Just as updated software offers improvement and additional options, growth thinking leads to opportunities we couldn’t see before. Fresh ideas build upon our knowledge base. Sometimes, a new concept is so profound, it shifts our trajectory completely.
When we place restrictions on our thinking, we stay locked in place. The old beliefs prevent us from being open. Only when we allow ourselves to be open do we have room for expansion.
Albert Einstein said, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” We are where we are because of our thoughts, good or bad. If we’re stuck, a sure fire way to get unstuck is to adjust our thinking.
2. Outdated mental software leaves us vulnerable.
Software updates often strengthen security reducing the likelihood of a harmful virus infecting the machine. Necessary updates lessen exposure to outside risks.
With limited thinking we can find ourselves unprepared when a crisis hits.
For example, consider someone who’s been in the same job for twenty years. She never increased her skills. Never sought to add more value by extending herself. She thought the company would always take care of her. They paid her salary and promised a pension.
No need to change. No reason to think differently. Then one day the company went under and it was all gone. Suddenly, she found herself completely unprepared and in a workforce where her skills were obsolete.
To believe we can keep things as they always are places us at a greater risk.
The Good News
We are responsible for the way we think. Sure, we’re influenced by other factors, but in the end, we are in charge. We get to choose.
I chose to ignore the manufacturer’s update notifications and assumed everything would be fine. As a result, the e-reader failed because it didn’t receive new information that would have equipped it perform at a higher level.
Had I downloaded new versions when they were released, the device would still be operating properly. I would have invested my time more efficiently, still have the cash I dropped for a replacement, and experienced no inconvenience.
We can choose today to let go of old programming and install new software. By doing so we’ll save ourselves time, financial resources and wasted energy.
If you have a few limiting thoughts holding you back, what are they costing you?