Nobel-prize winning economist Herbert Simon calls this Bounded Rationality.
As humans, we make 'reasonable' decisions based on the information we have.
But we don't have perfect or complete information.
And even the information we do have is filtered through our experience-dependent predictions and filters from our past.
Too often, we bind ourselves to points of awareness that are too narrow and small for us to figure out how to make a situation better in the long-term.
Instead we try to relieve symptoms and get a 'hit' of a short-term gratification.
But the symptoms* just keep coming back.
*symptoms can include: anxious thinking, self-doubt, depression, relationship problems, lack of clarity)
Many times, the reason symptoms keep coming back is because we have focused too much on current events and situations and not on long-term behaviors, patterns, beliefs and mindsets.
One of the ways we do this on a personal level is by looking at something not going well in one of our relationships and not seeing the patterns of behavior and deep-rooted mental models that are based on our past.
Late psychiatrist R.D. Laing poetically sums up the idea of bounded rationality:
We are all looking for ways to 'feel better' - better about our life choices, internal state, and relationships.
AI expert Eliezer Yudkowsky speaks about how this ability to 'fine-tune' our ability to reach higher and higher levels of preference is an aspect of complex intelligence.
I'll be going more deeply into these ideas in upcoming podcast episodes and accompanying articles.
I'll offer some ideas and insights about how we can use our awareness of our past to create new experiences - ones that fulfill us and align with our deepest desires of how we want our life and our relationships to feel*
*how something feels to us is key and is more important than its 'features'