Some thoughts on Flexible Thinking:
One of the most popular ideas about flexible thinking is that it is “thinking outside of the box.” But what if you are thinking outside of the box and what you need is precisely to think “inside of the box?”
I personally think, that this is what flexible thinking is all about. Sometimes you have to think outside, and sometimes you have to think inside. In other words, flexible thinking is about adaptation.
One of my favorite explanations of flexible thinking comes from Walter Riso, an Italian Doctor in Psychology who resides in Europe and South America. He explains that we can have a flexible mind, a fluid mind or a rigid mind.
The rigid mind does not allow an individual to accept new ideas, even if the new ideas are characterized by logic. These are individuals with a strong sense of autocracy and dogmas. Their point of view is the only valid point of view, even when presented with evidence of the contrary.
The fluid minds, basically flow. Sounds optimum, but in reality, this type of mind does not allow one individual to compromise. Like water, they adapt to any space but not because of a conscious choice, but because of their state of being. They just are. No compromises, no opinions, no decisions, no disciple, just flow.
The flexible mind has ideas, just like the rigid mind but flows like the fluid mind. It has the capacity to present ideas but also to accept ideas from others. They key of the flexible mind is that it improves our lives through adaptation.
If I were hungry and I wanted to eat a chicken sandwich as soon as I got home, but there was no chicken, some of the possible scenarios would be as follow:
- I could be upset because I really wanted a chicken sandwich, I would not eat and starve and die (this is an exaggeration, but explains it from an adaptation perspective)
- I could be fluid and eat anything I find on the fridge. With no care on the world, I could end up eating a three-week-old shrimp kung-pao and get really sick. (another exaggeration, to explain it from an adaptation perspective)
- Or I could be flexible and think of many different but logical options. I could go out and eat. I could order delivery, or I could fix me a ham and cheese sandwich.
This week, you have to discuss flexible thinking with your child(ren). You can use simpler examples to explain this concept.
This part is assignment. Look at the cartoon below, and add in the comment section your answer. How would you explain flexible thinking to Calvin instead of forcing him to do homework?