Your Mind is a Mixing Bowl, Not a Mirror

Scott Leonardi

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How can we become better at absorbing the world around us instead of just reflecting it?

So many people seem to live their lives as walking mirrors, showing the people they pass and interact with what they want to see. Basically, distorted projections of themselves.

When we remain closed off to change, to the influences and alterations that the world offers us, we become stubbornly reflective. We’re unable to take in new information and allow it to alter our perception of reality because we’re too scared to accept that we might be wrong about how we currently see the world.

Instead, we show people what we think will be more acceptable. We show them what we think will make them more comfortable, something they’ll recognize as being similar to themselves. We might call this something like “relating” or “finding common ground”, but it’s really just an attempt to be accepted by others by changing who you are to the extent that will accept you.

Not enough people see their minds as mixing bowls, open to new ingredients and empty of presumption.

The world is constantly changing. We are constantly receiving new and better information with each passing day. How then, can you assume that you’ve already acquired everything you’ll ever need to truly understand the world?

The whole point is to take your experiences, to take your influences and interests and joys and sorrows and throw them all in the bowl. You’re suppose to be able to mix everything about yourself, who you are and everything you’ve experienced, into one utterly unique concoction. Sure, not everyone will enjoy the taste, but not everyone has the same tongue. Your flavor is your own and shouldn’t be a bargain brand version of someone else.

I’ve noticed that it seems like the more insecure the person, the more often they feel the need to be the one to explain something to you. Regardless of if they know what they’re talking about is 100% fact, they will explain some detail or factoid or snippet of a sentence they heard somewhere else to you as if they are the original possessors of this knowledge and you should feel lucky for them to have bestowed it upon you. They reflect what the world shows them as if they are the ones who created the pictures in their mirror.

Why do so few people understand the benefits of accepting what you don’t know for sure? That, instead of hearing an opinion and relaying that opinion to someone else as if it’s your own, you sit with what you’ve heard and form no personal take on it until it’s able to mix itself fully into everything else about you, and only then look at it from a personal point of view and decide whether or not it’s even worth sharing.

You are not the internet. You are not your parents or politicians. You are not the article you read and barely remember. You are not your favorite actor or musician. You are not your friends or your coworkers. You are not your holy books and you are especially not a parrot for the positions of other people.

If you watch carefully, you can see people doing this all day. Their voices aren’t their own, they’re merely saying things they’ve heard other people say and claiming it as a personality. It must stem as a defense against a loss of control. People need to feel as if they understand the world and are in control of it, at least to some extent. It’s understandable, but it’s not the best method for overcoming the adversities of life and the constantly changing landscape of experience and information.

The idea of constructing something entirely unique from a lifetime of personal experience may seem obvious if you were to ask a person what they thought about it, and yet you’d still see them doing the exact opposite. They claim originality as they puppet the words of someone else’s mouth.

Your life is like a cake, and it shouldn’t be baked prematurely. Only when we’ve lived a lifetime’s worth of ingredients can we finally put a life well mixed into the oven of a contented death . Why would you want to spoil your recipe by deluding yourself into believing that you, of all the people in existence, have the real answers to life’s great questions? That you, who has most likely experienced nothing absurdly better or worse than any other average person, has the authority to speak on behalf of objective reality?

You are a cracked mirror, nothing more. You reflect and refract the ideas and opinions and perceptions of the world around you and skew reality in the process. You parrot a poor version of the truth for the sake of your own sense of control over an uncontrollable world.

Stop doing this.

Stop acting like you know things you don’t.

Stop speaking as if someone else’s tongue is trapped behind the prison bars of your own teeth.

And stop convincing yourself that everything’s okay because you know something they don’t simply because you heard a statistic on the wind.

Accept that everything is not okay, and that that is okay. Everything isn’t supposed to be okay all the time. Information evolves and grows and changes as time goes on. You need to remain open and humble of what little knowledge you have about the world so you can continue to mix new information into the bowl of your being.

Allow yourself to be in constant combination. Continually mix and mash your experiences and insights into a singular substance that you can confidently call your Self.

The recipe is a lifetime long. Be patient, and when the time finally come to bake your cake, smile at the fact that you can guiltlessly eat it too.

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I write a lot about self-development and personal growth. I want to help people uncover their authentic selves through creative expression and in the process understand their place in the world a little better. I also enjoy writing screenplays, short stories, and poetry. All of which can be found at

Imperial Beach, CA

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