Given the mass of opinions, biases, reasoning, memories and locked up emotions that individuals have, modifying or transforming mindsets looks like a near-impossible task.
However, if we view mindsets as cognitive structures that (i) give validity to opinions and biases, (ii) provide axioms for the reasoning, (iii) content and frames for our memories, (iv) contradictions and interactions that give rise to these emotions, we can immediately recognize that modifying cognitive structures can help create the conditions for rapid change in our mindsets.
The challenge of transforming cognitive structures means two things:
One, transforming the paradigms and “theories of the world” that we hold as axiomatically true, and which shape our opinions, choices, reasoning, and even our reactions/ responses to life.
Two, transforming our “theories of self” that we use to define who we are, where we belong and where we don’t, what we can do and what we cannot, and so forth.
These two types of theories that we hold – theories of the world, and theories of self – are distinct and yet interact with each other. The dynamic interaction between these two sets of theories or “models of reality” impact many of our behaviors and engagements with life.
Therefore, if we seek to change how humans behave and engage with each other, we will need to design ways in which these two types of theories, and the dynamic interaction between these two theories, are appropriately modified.