We go through our lives, constantly making choices, ans going through life experiences, where we are continuously falling back onto our belief systems. The foundation of those Beliefs, for a large part, are based on things we saw, things we were taught, and values we learned through what we saw. All of those developments, most usually happened many years ago, early in our lives. Some of it are rational, while others are Irrational. It isn’t always easy for us to see, or know the different ourselves. Especially when they are really on that subtle line around the midway point of rational, irrational.
Of course, for the majority, we are the last ones to see that our irrational beliefs and thinking are that. We usually, are blind, and don’t want to think that any part of us is irrational. There are some points, that we can use to test our beliefs to see if we’re thinking in a rational way, or if our beliefs are irrational.
Smart Recovery says, first, ask yourself, “Does my Belief help me or hinder me over the long run?” The reason for that question is connected to what the definitions of each of the different beliefs are. Irrational beliefs are ones that hurt us, can hold us down, stop any type of forward motions towards success, and contentment. Rational beliefs, are just the opposite. They can keep us headed into a constructive direction, towards our values, and they keep us on a continual motion away from things that are wrong, and immoral. They keep us better connected to the innocent things that make us happy, and they are beliefs that are not connected to hurting other people.
The next point that they say to ask ourselves is “Is my Belief consistent with known facts and reality?” Rational thinking is connected to things that make sense. They are connected to things that accompany, or travel the same road as “consistent facts.” Irrational on the other hand, are connected more with things like opinions that are not backed by logical facts. They may seem like they are more related to fantasy, maybe even delusion. If we are believing things in a comic book, there is a good chance, that it may be irrational beliefs. If we are believing things from an encyclopedia, there’s more of a chance that those beliefs are rational.
The last point, simple enough, is the question, “Is my Belief logical?” Logical thinking is thinking that makes sense. Rational thinking is thinking that goes alongside logic. Comparisons can’t summarize as one things being both logical, and irrational, and vice versa.
The Smart Recovery Program has a section about Rational vs Irrational, and they use this question/quote- “if you said you would very much like to succeed at something, does it logically follow that therefore you must succeed? No, the necessity for success does not follow logically from the fact that success would be beneficial. Or does it make sense to think: “Because something is bad, I can’t stand it?”
So, a summary of that is stating that, it may be rational, and logical, to want success, and to naturally go on the hunt for both. It is however not logical, and it is irrational, that a person should just instantly deserve, and be entitled to that success, without putting any work into it.
If we want to face things like the pursuit of success, in a logical sense, then sit down, plot, plan on paper, an honest, reasonable, and moral way to obtain which ever type of success it is that you are yearning for.
You Just Might Be Irrational was originally published in The Ascent on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.