The most helpful scientific idea for the mind elevater is the distribution curve.
We’re not all the same height. Some of us are tall and some of us are short and most of us are in between. A distribution curve shows this. It is a quick and easy way to represent the idea that not everyone is of the same height.
The distribution curve is a graphic reminder that average height doesn’t exist as a real thing in the world. Average is a mathematical idea created for convenience. Average is an abstraction. Sometimes it’s a helpful abstraction other times it’s outright misleading.
How does this help the mind elevater?
A distribution curve can help alleviate mental errors when we use words like is and always and never.
That guy is total jerk.
She is a saint.
You never listen to me.
I always mess everything up.
These descriptions are true of only the rarest of people. A select few among us are complete jerks, saints, emotionally deaf or total messups. Most of the time, we’re a crazy mix of all these behaviours.
Of course, we must avoid those who are regularly dangerous and those who often have bad intentions out for us. But we need to develop patience with the rest.
A distribution curve helps with that.
Whenever someone bugs me and I make an unfair, harsh judgement of them, I try to elevate my mind by imagining a distribution curve of their behaviour. Yes, I really do this.
Cindy is always selfish. Is she really though? Maybe she’s being selfish in this moment but she helped me last week when she didn’t have to. Cue distribution curve:
My mother/father/sister/brother never loved me. Did they really never love? What about the times they took you with them to a movie or bought you a gift or quietly took care of things when you couldn’t? Cue distribution curve:
I’m totally incompetent. Am I really not good at anything? Yes I’m amateurish at dance, song, basketball and many other things. But I cook well, I learn to use new technology quickly and I make friends easily. By now you can probably create a distribution curve in your mind with stuff I’m bad at, okay at, average at, good at and great at.
I love the distribution curve because it is simple and graphic. It helps me remember that no one, including me, can really be described with absolutes. It also helps remind me in my most difficult moments, that not ALL my moments are difficult. Bad things don’t ALWAYS happen to me so I should not describe those moment as such. Sometimes bad things happen and it other times GREAT things happen. Most of the time, just average stuff happens.
If you want to elevate your mind then make a distribution curve in your mind.