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Weston I.

@weston_fii793

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Unable To Change Minds

Most of the people we encounter refuse to change their minds during a discussion or debate, even when provided with hard facts that contradict their stand. As most of us have learnt the hard way in the last few years, it is extremely difficult to persuade anyone with strong beliefs or ideologies.

It is human nature due to ‘motivated reasoning’, which leads to many kinds of biases, as the reasoning process of our mind is akin to a lawyer defending a client.

@weston_fii793

This Is Why It's So Hard to Change Other People's Minds

thriveglobal.com

  • Facts do not change minds is a hard concept for logical people like us to grasp, but it has been long known that human beings are emotional creatures and are not as logical as we assume.
  • We readily accept new information without scrutiny or critical analysis which is in agreement with our existing set of beliefs and assumptions.
  • Intelligence is mostly applied in a one-sided and biased manner, serving our own beliefs and preconceptions.
  • Most of us even prefer to believe in what we have already invested, as it is easier, more comfortable and strengthens our ego and identity.

As most of us have preexisting mental models, it is hard to change one’s mind and completely eliminate the various cognitive biases.

  1. Start with an open mind about people who disagree with you.
  2. Question your own assumptions and beliefs, aiming to understand the big picture and taking a holistic view.
  3. Be critical of sources that support your own belief.
  4. Come into the other person’s shoes and see things from their point of view, deeply and sincerely.
  5. Even if people understand your point of view, they may still stick with theirs due to their status, appearance or position.
  6. If you encounter new information, try to be curious and intrigued instead of defensive.
Self-control

We all possess the ability to develop self-control. 

Instead of immediately responding to impulses, we can plan and evaluate our actions beforehand.

Top 10 Ways To Master Self-Control

forbes.com

  • Eat. Our brains need fuel to run properly, and when that fuel runs low, the brain has difficulty regulating our emotions. Eat high protein foods.
  • Meditate. Devote a few minutes a day to simply focusing on your breath and your senses. You will be calmer and your decision making will be sounder.
  • Sleep. Your brain’s ability to absorb glucose is significantly diminished without rest. Stay consistent with your sleep every night.
  • Exercise.
  • Force Yourself until a new habit is formed.
  • Get Others Involved. Find a support system.
  • Do Your Research. Whatever your struggle, make it your priority to be the master of it.
Tony Robbins
Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” 

6 golden rules to learn anything in record time

thenextweb.com

Know your outcome

Figure out your “why.” Consider these questions.

  • What opportunities will become available by learning that new thing?
  • What would you do if you could use your desired skill right now?
  • Will you have a deeper relationship with your family/friends? Grow your business? 
Model the best

No matter what you want to learn or accomplish, there’s someone in the world that has already achieved what you want.

You have access nowadays to endless resources in the form of biographies, books, videos, online classes and so on. You just have to search.

Immerse yourself in the process

There are no shortcuts.

The 10,000 hour rule is still under debate, but it doesn’t defeat the fact that immersion through repetition of the task at hand is the only way to achieve mastery. 

Get immediate feedback

Seek an outside perspective as soon as possible.

We try to learn everything ourselves, without seeking the feedback of others, only to realize that we were way off-course. 

Drop what doesn’t work

Since our focus is limited, we can maximize our results is to eliminate what doesn’t work.

The easiest way to do this is to use Pareto’s principle to your task: almost every time, there are a few important tasks that give you the majority of your desired results.

Go long

Don’t quit just because you’re not getting the results you desire in this moment.

If you have a clear vision, someone to model, and embrace massive experimentation, there’s no reason not to give up.

The Alternative To Absolutes: The Gray Area

Many of us are practising all-or-nothing thinking, believing that the world is in absolute terms, and assuming that something that is not completely black or white has negative connotations or is murky and confusing.

The often-resisted gray areas, where the answers are not certain, quick or clear, are paradoxically the very places that one can start to experience peace and contentment, and minimize anxiety.

How to Live in Gray Areas

design.org

Thinking in absolute terms is preferred as it appears certain, simple and less taxing on the brain. There is a certain cockiness in thinking in binary terms, as it gives us an illusion that we have everything figured out, and provides us with a false sense of confidence.

Simplicity and insight comes with the understanding that reality is never black or white, but is some shade of gray.

Understanding and embracing the gray area has many benefits:

  • By understanding that things are not black or white, one has fewer expectations and assumptions, leading to less anxiety.
  • Acceptance of imperfections makes life easy, and it is proven that perfection can be dangerous and unhealthy.
  • One leads a better life and is less inclined towards certain addictions, which are symptoms of avoiding gray areas at all costs.
  1. Set boundaries and moderate your tolerance levels towards the bad.
  2. Understand that it is not always possible to score 100 percent, and 75 percent isn’t a bad score.
  3. Embrace multiple options, diverse choices and the for-or-against mentality, refusing to shut yourself in an echo chamber.
  4. Be more curious when you hear something that is not according to your beliefs, assumptions or upbringing.
  5. Challenge your own narratives and assumptions.
  6. Realize that you are yourself a bundle of beautiful contradictions, which make you unique.
Growth Mindset

People with a Growth Mindset believe they can grow, develop, and master whatever skills and abilities they wish in life.

They enjoy learning and overcoming challenges, working outside the comfort zone and growing.

5 Ways to develop Growth Mindset

everydaypower.com

Mindset is a belief system

It includes the ideas we have about ourselves and the world around us. 

These beliefs come from our innate dispositions, childhood experience and/or cultural/societal influence and are often entrenched.

Examine the evidence

If you believe you can’t learn new skills or change the way you work, look at the evidence that supports both your negative and positive beliefs.

This may not necessarily lead to a modification of those beliefs, but is an important start. You can use belief monitoring to keep track of your thinking.

Do a cost-benefit analysis

Look at the costs and benefits of your current way of perceiving yourself and the world around you. Is it worth shifting to Growth Mindset? 

List both the advantages and disadvantages. It will help you see how many great opportunities you let go of because you don’t believe in your capabilities.

Act as-if

Fake it until you make it. Even if you don’t fully buy into the new mindset, try acting as if you were

Don’t believe you can learn a new language? Enroll in the language classes and participate, like everyone else. Watch how your confidence and your perception of your capabilities change. 

Ask others for help

After you’ve experimented a little with the growth mindset way of thinking, ask people from your close circle to comment on how your interactions with the world have changed. 

Ask if they’ve noticed how this has affected your level of happiness, fulfillment or whatever it is you’re pursuing.

Make Better Choices
  • Seek good information. Be skeptic and never just assume that what you’re being told is always true.
  • Avoid common pitfalls, like making decisions without enough time or information.
  • Look at previous mistakes so you learn from them.
  • Check in with yourself and ensure that the environment isn’t influencing your decisions unnecessarily. 
  • Take care of yourself. You are unlikely to make the best decisions when tired or unwell.
  • Make time to think. The multitasking and distraction deluge to which we’re subjected every day can undermine good decision-making.
  • Analyze well. Not getting the outcome you wanted doesn’t necessarily mean the decision was bad. 

7 Ways To Stop Making Bad Decisions

fastcompany.com

Polymaths

A Polymath is defined as one who is specialized in at least two unrelated fields or domains while having a passive interest in other domains too. They are individualists that hold a holistic view of the world.

Polymaths have an interest in many different phenomena and are curious and adventurous by nature, looking to experience and uncover new facts.

Why some people are impossibly talented

bbc.com

Qualities Of A Polymath

When polymaths become interested in something, they don't care which domain or sphere it leads them. Some qualities of a Polymath person:

  • Above-average intelligence
  • Open-mindedness
  • Curiosity
  • Self-reliance
  • Individualism
  • A desire for personal fulfillment
  • Desire to find connections.
Waqas Ahmed
The polymath not only moves between different spheres or different fields and disciplines, but seeks fundamental connections between those fields, so as to give them a unique insight into each of them.
Understanding A Polymath

Genetic and environmental factors, along with curiosity and self-awareness, make polymaths complex personalities.

They have historically been rebels, as society has always encouraged individuals to specialize in a particular field.

Jack of All Trades

The idea of "A jack of all trades, master of none" falls flat when we study the polymath.

Pursuing multiple interests can fuel creativity and productivity, creating connections between domains, leading to cross-pollination.

Feeding Off Diverse Knowledge

Polymathy leads to creativity, as one domain can inspire something new in a different domain.

For example: Having knowledge of geometry can help in painting, or knowing to play the piano, one can apply more creativity in a domain like mechanical engineering, by forming connections.

Switching Subjects

What we can learn from polymaths: we can be better and more productive at our jobs if we keep switching between different skills or subjects, changing our environment, the company we keep and our interests. This is also an excellent tool to solve problems.

The history of "creativity"
  • Creativity, as a power belonging to an individual, doesn't go back very far. The first recorded usage of the word creativity came from the Oxford English Dictionary in the 17th century: 'In Creation, we have God and his Creativity.'
  • In the 17th and 18th centuries, the creative power was thought of as divine. The idea of a secular creative ability in the imaginative arts didn't appear until the Romantic Era when the poet William Wordsworth addressed the painter and critic Benjamin Haydon: 'Creative art...demands the service of a mind and heart.'
  • In the 1970s, writers reflected on the newness of the concept of creativity, that it was valuable and in need of encouragement.
  • Before WWII, the word 'creativity' was then expressed as genius, originality, productivity, or even intelligence.

How did creativity become an engine of economic growth?

aeon.co

  • During the 19th and 20th centuries, categories such as original and productive thought were reworked as mundane, manifestations of ordinary abilities, as competences that do not belong to an endowed individual.
  • French biologist Louis Pasteur said in 1854 on originality as a special gift: 'Fortune favours the prepared mind.'
  • In 1903, American inventor Thomas Edison said of genius that it is '1 per cent inspiration, 99 per cent perspiration'.
  • Albert Einstein thought it intellectually and morally wrong to attribute gifts to people like him. 'It strikes me as unfair, and even in bad taste, to select a few for boundless admiration, attributing superhuman powers of mind and character to them.'

In the early 20th century, original work entered the world of commerce. Chemical, pharmaceutical and electrical companies hired large numbers of academically trained scientists, believing that innovation was vital to commercial success and that science belonged in commercial organisations.

Companies such as General Electric and Eastman Kodak didn't think creative and productive work had anything to do with hiring awkward geniuses but with finding the organisational forms that allowed ordinary people to achieve extraordinary things.

  • In 1920, a reflective director of industrial research at Eastman Kodak acknowledged the reality and value of genius. Well-trained and motivated scientific workers could make valuable contributions even though they were untouched by genius.
  • In the 1950s, employers varied in opinion about whether the organisational difficulties in looking after genius were worth the effort. If you wanted profits, you had to allow intellectual freedom and allow the scientific workers to do just what they wanted to do for some of the time.

The military was a key factor in creativity's Cold War history, particularly American history.

A psychologist wrote: 'In the presence of threat, creativity could no longer be left to the chance occurrence of genius; neither could it be left in the realm of the wholly mysterious and the untouchable. Men had to be able to do something about it; creativity had to be a property in many men; it had to be something identifiable; it had to be subject to efforts to gain more of it.'

In 1950, a leading psychologist lamented that only a small proportion of professional literature was concerned with creativity.

Within a decade, a 'creativity movement' developed. Seminars on 'creative engineering' were held, asking what creativity is, why it's important, what factors influence it, how it should be developed. There was never a consensus about whether particular definitions were right, but sentiment settled around a substantive link between creativity and the idea of divergent thinking. People were thought to be creative if they could branch out and imagine a range of possible solutions.

By its nature, creativity is individual, eccentric, and antagonistic to attempts to plan to organise it. An effort to manage creative people might result in only getting the appearance of creativity.

The categories of being creative, or a creative person, transitioned over time from the sacred power to a secular ability. From the 1950s onward, creativity has been established as something desirable and essential, a value that was the source of many other values.

Marketing expert Theodore Levitt published an essay in 1963, 'Creativity is not enough.' Levitt stated that creativity might be a source of new ideas, but it is not ideal for good business outcomes. There is no short supply of new ideas.

Creativity is having a new idea, while innovation is the realisation of an idea in a specific outcome. It is innovation that really matters. Creative people tend to be irresponsible and detached from the processes of achieving results.

The rise of creativity has continued since the Cold War. Many expert practices have been incorporated into the everyday life of organisations committed to producing useful novelty.

The specific language of creativity has become normalized just as new and useful making has become normalized. Producing new and useful things is not less important than it once was, but creativity has become so invested with value that the meaning and practices of real creativity are at risk of being lost.