Generate several theories to keep the mind flexible and receptive

I find it helpful to generate as many theories as possible about anything that seems relatively important. I often do it in my own life, and I also do it when it comes to the topics of this post. It helps me not get stuck in one specific interpretation or set of assumptions. It helps my mind stay more flexible and open to different possibilities. It also helps remind me that different explanations may be valid in different cases.

When I generate different theories, I check to see how well they fit the data. And I also make sure to generate different theories about the data itself. Nothing is given or set in stone.

– from a previous post

This is essential in science and very helpful in daily life. A friend or partner may act a certain way. I may not know what’s going on, so instead of landing on one set of assumptions I intentionally generate different possibilities. In this case, I can of course also ask!

I do this partly because I have made assumptions about others and situations which I later realized were not accurate, and I have had this happen when others have made assumptions about me. Remembering these instances is a good motivation for me to continue to generate a richness of possibilities.

One thought to “Generate several theories to keep the mind flexible and receptive”

  1. I like this approach of generating different theories. It’s something I’ve been doing too for some time. It’s as if I even feel compelled to do it so as not to cling to views – even seemingly good views. I don’t need to have the answers to important things – actually the multiple possibilities feels more truthful somehow.

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