Lessons for Living
How logical are you in your approach to daily life?
|The study of logic
is all about the fundamental principles of reasoning, and when you were in school, it may
have seemed a tedious subject. Logic, however, is vitally important to living a happy life
because being logical helps us to create a realistically, hopeful outlook.
Our daily psychological reality is created by what we think about the events that happen to us and not solely by the events themselves. Errors in our thinking - logical errors - can create unnecessary misery.
Three of the most common errors of thinking are: over-generalization, magnification, and minimization.
Over-generalization is the drawing of global conclusions on the basis of a single fact. For example, you are turned down when you apply for your first promotion and as a result decide that you're a failure and your career is over. Or, when your favorite teacher criticizes one item in your twenty-page report, you fall into despair by convincing yourself that she hates all of it. Over-generalizing creates more misery than is needed.
When you magnify something you exaggerate its importance. Magnification is the error of making whatever is "small and bad" into something that is "big and terrible." It's when you notice a small blemish on your face and decide that you look hideous, or you gain a pound and decide that you're grossly obese.
Minimizing is the opposite error. Minimization makes whatever is "big and good" into something "small and worthless." So, if someone compliments you on the good job you did in your presentation at work, you decide that they are only trying to flatter you and, besides, they don't really know what they are taking about. Through minimization you rob yourself of the compliment.
Over-generalizing, magnifying, and minimizing create unhappiness by distorting your view of what's happening.
Don't think yourself into misery. Learn to avoid these common errors of logic, and you will become a happier person.