The hardwired demands of instinct would have us direct our creative power to survival of the fittest and the fight or flight behavior prescribed by our genes. The hardwired action pathways of tradition would have us direct our creative power in the successful ways our ancestors and nurturers managed yesterday’s problems. Neither instinct nor tradition is well-suited to wisely problem-solve the many side-effects that accompany current knowledge. Instinct too often assigns blame and demands instant harmful confrontation. Tradition too often acts to restrain destructive aggression by teaching self-putdowns, what we call “guilt.” Our culture is so indelibly programmed for guilt that we call individuals who act without remorse “psychopaths.” Blaming others or blaming our selves is unlikely to problem-solve current issues that require a newer way of common sense thinking.
Recognize that “should” is the most common of a limited number of prescriptive trigger-words in our language. Learn these equivalents: have to, must, ought, it is predetermined, I am compelled.
Recognize that “could” is the most common of equivalent descriptive word-switches in our language. Learn these equivalents: “[I] choose, am wise when ..., like, desire, wish, prefer, decide, elect, opt, think, fancy, determine, take responsibility, originate, cause, when this occurs then likely ...”
Summary: Substitute when reasonable “I could” for “I should” or equivalent descriptive word-switches such as “could, choose, prefer, I am wise when …” for prescriptive trigger words such as “should, have to, must, ought.” Prescriptive words convey the dependency of childhood responding to the commands of a dictator. Descriptive words stimulate creative thinking.
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