Making Smart Choices When You Can’t Decide (Or, Why the UFO Never Came)

Why We Don't Make Smart Choices (Or, Why the UFO Didn't Come)

This is about a UFO, magical animals, and why we don’t choose wisely.

Remember the Chronicles of Narnia?

Narnia is a place with magical, talking creatures.

We get to Narnia through a wardrobe.

In one part, four kids find Narnia.

The kids bring their Uncle Andrew to Narnia, but he can’t hear the animals talk…

He convinced himself that they don’t talk.

Aslan explains it with something like:

“People believe what they want to believe.”

And it’s one of the most profound things ever (double awesome coming from a lion– Aslan is a really big lion) because it describes how people work.

What do magical animals, UFOs, and choosing wisely have in common?

Read on… will you choose wisely? ;)

The “Real” UFO and Why it Didn’t Come

In the mid 1950s, a doomsday cult rose; they thought a flood would destroy the earth and the faithfuls would be rescued by a UFO.

These people quit their jobs, left their families, and gave away all their possessions to prepare for their journey, generally avoiding the media.

Meanwhile, a guy named Festinger, a psychologist, had infiltrated the cult mainly because he was curious.

On December 20th, when the UFO doesn’t come and the world isn’t destroyed by disaster, a curious thing happens.

The doomsday cult returns to society with renewed determination and approaches the media… to tell the world that they had “spread so much light that God had saved the world from destruction”.

Keep in mind that they’d given away all their money and posessions expecting a UFO to come for them. They had nothing left.

The Money Lies

Afterwards, the same psychologist did an experiment that changed the way we see people and their behaviour.

He had two groups:

  • group A was paid $1 to tell a lie, and
  • group B was paid $20 to tell the same lie.

People in group A ended up believing in their lie. Group B did not.

To justify lying for such a small sum of money, people in group A convinced themselves that it wasn’t a lie after all.

Group B’s lie was justified because they figured that they were paid to do it, so there was a reason to lie.

That’s how powerful our minds are– it’ll go out of its way to protect us.

Why We Don’t Choose Wisely

This is the funny thing– your mind will adjust to the world around you, so that in the end, you’ll believe what you want to believe.

You probably don’t even see that you’re not making the smartest choices.

To most people, there never was going to be a UFO; but the people who actually believed in the UFO had to explain why the UFO didn’t show up…

Both of these show how your mind will do some pretty crazy things to adjust itself.

Why We Care

This is a quick reminder to keep an open mind, be accepting, and to keep your humour with you.

You’re not always right, but sometimes it’s okay.

If you meet a student who plays with a different sort of technique or interprets a piece differently…

Or if anyone tries to be ‘disrespectful’ and ticks you off…

Or if a young student won’t sit still

Remember to stay open, don’t stress, and laugh things off.

You can choose to see all the good things, or the bad things to each situation.

Remap your thoughts so that the good things shine through.

Coming up, I’m going to share a game that’ll show you if you’re making smart decisions (or not). :)

Don’t forget to join the conversation below:

Tell me about one time when you made a choice that ended up better than you’d expected.

And if you know someone who can use a wiser choice, send this to them and tell them to look out for my 5 Whys game that’ll help smart decisions. :)

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