June 20, 2022

I believe, therefore I see

smorgasbord for a festive meal with a many dishes hot and cold on a table

It’s long been known that when presented with a smorgasbord of evidence, we select only the dishes that we like.

In the words of Warren Buffett: “What the human being is best at doing is interpreting all new information so that their prior conclusions remain intact.”

The psychologists call this tendency to confirm existing beliefs ‘confirmation bias’.

Usually, we don’t even notice that we are doing it, and that’s what makes it so pernicious. Indeed, we see it played out daily where people cling to their beliefs about stories in the news. Did I hear someone say ‘fake news’?

Consider some belief you hold – something like ‘dogs are better than cats’. Find someone who has the opposite belief, even if you just Google ‘cats are better than dogs’.

Notice how you react to being presented with information that opposes your view of the world, opposes your current belief.

Notice how the word ‘should’ jumps into your mind.

This week, monitor your thinking: whenever you find yourself using the word ‘should’ in your mind, be careful 🙂

My best wishes, Paul

Paul Matthews

CEO and Founder of People Alchemy

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