The Goodwill Patterns are “mindsets”, literally ways your mind is set. A mindset is a belief about the world; a way of seeing things; and a habitual way of behaving. How we act is shaped by how we see things and how we see things by the beliefs that we hold. It is not possible to operate on the basis of two different “mind-sets” at the same time.
For example, deeply embittered by my experience in a couple of major relationships, I came to believe, as I reckon many women do at some phase in their lives “All men are bastards”. I had ample evidence and detailed stories to support this position and was both attuned to and attracted experiences that confirmed how it was for me. Because this mind-set, as such mind-sets tend to be, was a deeply painful to me, I eventually got to a place where I wanted to challenge it and did so by affirming “There are good men out there”. Initially a difficult idea to entertain – it seemed that my experience contradicted it – I started to reflect on times when men hadn’t been bastards and the fact that all my brothers are good men, and what do you know, I started to encounter men I could respect, and to see the behaviour of the men I knew more compassionately, and find that my experience of the world came to reflect my new mindset.
Learning about the Goodwill Patterns is like having a particular pair of glasses that you can put on to see how they change the look of things. If you, as I do, find these ways of thinking about yourself and the world around you helpful then they are here to be used. The exercises I introduce are all “tried and tested and true” in the sense that they are practices that I’ve used myself and explored with others. Once you’ve grasped the concepts for yourself, you will find other ways of developing them that work for you.