Warren Buffett once said that people are best at interpreting new information in a way that holds all their previous conclusions intact.
Know what I mean? We all have our assumptions, beliefs, firm ideas that we know what we know – and those “things” we know are right. It will shake us to have it otherwise. It’s convenient, comfy, easy, and it saves the energy to go learn and un-learn all that we think we know.
More widely known as confirmation bias, the tendency gives us comfort yet doesn’t do anyone any good – and on top of that leads to bad and unwise decisions. Taking it to extremes, people tend to believe lots of things. For a trip down the funny lane, all you have to do is visit http://literallyunbelievable.org/
Dan Gilbert, the Harvard Psychology Professor who wrote “Stumbling for Happiness” puts it quite succinctly: “When our bathroom scale delivers bad news, we hop off and then on again, just to make sure we didn’t misread the display or put too much pressure on one foot. When our scale delivers good news, we smile and head for the shower. By uncritically accepting evidence when it pleases us, and insisting on more when it doesn’t, we subtly tip the scales in our favor.”
As information technology moves in the speed of light, how you behave because of belief, dogma, politics and ideology seems unchanged. In a world blossoming with new knowledge, exploding with scientific discoveries in all aspects of human existence, like most people, you still pick and choose what to accept even when it comes out of a lab and is based on 100 years of research.
So, go against the tide: dare to be uncomfortable – doubt what you know. Only then, you may leave room for magic.