Viktor Frankl, the brilliant psychologist and Holocaust survivor, cured patients suffering from phobias or neurotic habits using a method he called “paradoxical intention.” Let’s say a patient couldn’t sleep. The standard therapy would have been something obvious, like relaxation techniques.
Frankl instead encouraged the patient to try not to fall asleep. He found that shifting focus off the problem deflected the patient’s obsessive attention away from it and allowed them to eventually sleep normally.
The larger point is that sometimes our instincts or habits get stuck in a bad pattern that pushes us further from our natural, healthy selves.
Now you shouldn’t immediately toss out everything in your life- some staff is working. But what if you explored opposites today? What if you broke the pattern?