Charlie Munger
“I never allow myself to have an opinion on anything that I don’t know the other side’s argument better than they do.”

CHARLIE MUNGER

@evan_yy15

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Problem Solving

MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE

We build our lives around certain core beliefs. And discussing them will most likely yield anger and indignation (i.e discussing religion or politics).

We usually fail to adjust to the evidence put before us regarding these beliefs. Because to have them torn down would be to admit that a large part of our reality is false.

Rather than be opinionated, we should strive to be informed.

We should know the other side’s argument better than they know theirs. Instead of attacking a straw man, aim to knock down the strongest version of an argument you disagree with.

The best way to keep your identity small is to enter multiple domains.

Diversifying means that you won’t commit and defend a position simply because it’s so tied to your identity. It stops you from attaching a label to yourself.

Seek out disconfirming evidence. Challenge the status quo. Have strong opinions, but hold them loosely. Avoid becoming a prisoner of your own expertise.

When you know it’s likely you’ll be wrong over time, you’re less likely to attach your identity to a fixed position.

Paul Graham
“When experts are wrong, it’s often because they’re experts on an earlier version of the world.

Conversations are supposed to generate new ideas, not to turn into heated arguments. 

But that will most likely be the result when we discuss anything that’s central to our identity.

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RELATED IDEAS

Difficult to convince

It can feel impossible to persuade someone with strong views. This is in part because we look for information to confirm what we already know and avoid or dismiss facts that are opposed to our core beliefs.

However, it is not impossible to sway someone. 

4

IDEAS

Take the time to gather facts that support the opposite point of view.

Ask yourself, “What if I’m wrong?”. This will strengthen your argument by anticipating questions, or you’re going to learn something new and take a more nuanced position.

  1. The best and fastest way to change your identity is to do it intentionally and consciously.
  2. Visualize yourself as the person in the new identity, like a writer, a minimalist, a non-smoker or a vegan, and write down the same to reflect on it.
  3. Get into action mode and see yourself being the new person, like getting up in the morning and witnessing yourself wearing the running shoes and going out for a run. See yourself in your new identity while in action.
  4. Appreciate and reinforce your new identity on yourself and be the change. See how easy it is to be an early riser or a runner or a writer.
  5. If you miss a day or two, don’t give up and visualize yourself as the new identity handling the disruption.

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