There are thousands of mental models. An example is a model that says that admitting a mistake is "bad" vs. a model that says admitting a mistake is a step towards a better future. The scientific method, and supply and demand are mental models. Thinking that your boss or partner will always get angry when disappointed is a mental model.
Those who are not aware of their own models and how models influence behavior, have less control over their behavior and are less able to be objective.
Understanding that there are mental models, is a great advantage. It enables self-directed change. We can change the way we think to change the way we behave, and we can change the way we behave to change the way we think.
We are not studying the psycho-social habits of rabbits. We are studying and working on ourselves to make a practical difference in the way we live.
Who doesn't want to be loving and kind, competent, successful, free of self-imposed suffering, happy? Neuroscientists, cognitive psychologists and spiritual teachers tell us that we can change our minds. We do that to live optimally in the world. It promotes greater happiness and success by eliminating many of the causes of our pain.
For example, the way one perceives making mistakes makes the difference between being honest vs. finding ways to cast blame and deny. It is the difference between being able to take corrective action to grow from mistakes vs. never admitting fault to perpetuate unskillful behavior.
Sounds so good, so simple. And it is. Just change your thinking, replace or modify your mental models, and break your old habits to be free to creatively live your life.
Ah! But it is not so easy. It requires work with mindful self-awareness, understanding, motivation, intention, and persistent effort blended into an effective process that fits a practical lifestyle.
The work can be challenging as one confronts habits and hard to manage emotions like fear, anger, jealousy, and remorse. Working with models can shake up your life, as you question existing beliefs, values, goals, relationships, and perceptions.
Take the challenge to cultivate open mindedness, greater happiness and a solid platform for meaningful action and healthy relationships.
Mental models influence our thoughts and behavior. Adopt effective ones and use them skillfully.