The definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing over and over and to expect different results. This is especially true in the case of our prevailing ideology: the lens through which we see the world and filter information about it -- both incoming and outgoing.
Why do people adopt different ideologies? Largely because the ideology they prescribe to best reflects their own personal experience of the world. We augment our personal experiences with those of others that we experience indirectly through their words and actions that we access through books, films, plays and other forms of media. But to change and grow, we must first be open to exposing ourselves to different ideological perspectives, to challenge what we believe and examine the nuances of our experience against the premises of our prejudices. In short, we must be open to stretching our belief window at least to the point of self-reflection.
Many are visual learners and the power of film to portray, characterize and otherwise give expression to perspectives is huge. But it is only through the written word that we truly process, reflect and absorb new ideas that stretch our understanding and cause us to modify our prevailing ideology. Leaders are readers.
Charlie "Tremendous" Jones would always say: We are today exactly who we are going to be five years from now, except for the company we keep, what we listen to and the words we read.
To take the individual journey of ideological growth, to determine what ideology truly reflects our best sense of self and to be all we can be, we must:
- first determine that we want to change
- learn to enjoy the change process, our journey to self-discovery
- start to read more, and
- start to read different material than in the past