While watching the annual Kennedy Awards presentations last year, one of the recipients, world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma, commented (and I’m paraphrasing here) that every day he seeks new understanding. Part of his greatness is learning new musical styles and ways of making music, and seeking understanding obviously contributes to that process. It may even be one of the factors that makes it possible.

How can a mindset of seeking understanding help you resolve your eating problems, that is the question? Do you awaken every day without judgment about yourself, eat without self-condemnation, engage in self-reflection as naturally as breathing, lead with curiosity about yourself and the world? Or do you keep a closed mind and mull around only what’s in it—often negative thoughts about your relationship with food?

Imagine awakening every day like Yo-Yo Ma and making it a priority to seek new understanding. You’d look at your family/neighbors/co-workers differently. You’d have more compassion for strangers on the street and people you hear/read about in the media. The focus of understanding is uncovering new information which can be a breath of fresh air swishing through our shuttered, fettered, stale minds. Think of it, however old you are, those same thoughts have been swirling around inside your head for decades. When you seek new understanding, your viewpoint changes. Even one different slant or bit of information can alter your entire perspective. You know the ecological saw (paraphrasing again) about the beating of a butterfly wing changing the world in myriad ways.

Here’s how seeking new understanding will help your eating. Making an effort all day, every day to understand your motivations will provide you with amazing information. You’d be focused on understanding what is happening when you have the urge to eat when you’re not hungry. You’d learn to identify emotions you never dreamed you had. You’d look to recognize what’s going on inside your body and mind when you reach a point of satiation and want to keep going til the foods all gone. Your eternal question would be, “What’s going on here?” Imagine having a string of moments each day—and living a life—that answers that question correctly!

Many of you push yourselves forward to change your behavior and then revolt. Instead see what happens if you, like Yo-Yo Ma, seek new understanding every day. I know it will take you to a better place, eating and other wise!