You Can Change Your Mind
A good friend shared a wonderful story about his strong-willed daughter and how one day in response to a potential family drama, she simply said, “I could change my mind.”
Wouldn’t it be great if, as an adult, when faced with drama and struggle, you could simply choose to change your mind and let the struggle go? The truth is you can always, always change your mind in the moment. What a genius way to avoid the drama in the first place!
Here is our friend’s delightful story and what he learned from his daughters:
Change Your Mind
“When our daughter was about 3, I was with her and her 5-year-old sister at a neighborhood playground. My younger daughter was in a swing and enjoying herself. I had agreed to pick up my wife at a certain time, but the location was across town and rush hour traffic was approaching. My wife had not been feeling well that morning and forgot to take her phone with her, so I couldn’t alert her that we might be late.
When I nicely told my 3-year-old that we had to go, she frowned, her jaw set, and her knuckles turned white as she gripped the chain on the swing. This was not going to end well.
All pleas were rebuffed. She even tried to wind her legs around the swing seat to make it clear she was going nowhere. The resolute look on her face was clear: ‘I am strong. Resistance is futile.’
At one point, fully defeated, I said out loud in a soft voice and to no one in particular: ‘What can we do? If I try to make her let go of swing, she will scream, cry and be very angry. If we don’t pick up my wife soon, she will worry about us.’
At that moment, my genius 5-year-old daughter said, ‘I know, Dad! She could change her mind!’ To my utter amazement, my 3-year-old said, as if on cue: ‘Yeah! I could change my mind!’ She let go of her grip and jumped from the swing and ran to the car.
I have not tried to attach too many interpretations to this, but it occurred to me that a mild miracle had occurred here. I first admitted powerlessness, and then emitted what some might see as a prayer. I certainly was asking for help.
My 5-year-old channeled wisdom that I lacked, and my 3-year-old had a paradigm shift, if such a term can be applied to a precocious toddler. The event became a family story about the capacity to change our minds in a moment. Myself, I rarely know how to change my mind, but I have learned to ask myself: What if I allowed my mind to be changed.”
This powerful story points to the fact that, while forces outside you (like an older sister) might spark a shift, the reality is that nothing outside of you can force you to change your mind. You, and only you, have the power to change your thinking, and you can choose to do so in an instant.
If you do not recognize that your thinking is the foundation of your life you may fall into the belief that your life depends on outside circumstances. This is the one of the greatest myths of life.
You will begin to realize that your experience of life will change when your thinking changes.