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Challenge Your Opinions
How often do you run ideas by people whose viewpoints differ greatly from yours? Do you aim to find the truth or, like most people, do you aim to be right?
Further, how often do you seek information to validate something you already believe? Do you try to mold the data to match your thoughts, or do you go in with the goal of picking apart your biases?
Now more than ever it's easy to surround yourself entirely with others who think the same way you do. Your immediate community likely consists of people from similar socioeconomic backgrounds, similar educational backgrounds, and even similar career backgrounds. When having group discussions within these communities, you'll likely hear a lot of the same opinions.
Even when you venture online, social media algorithms are designed to show you more of the things you already believe, not confront you with different viewpoints. It's easy to find ourselves in an echo chamber, receiving constant validation even if what we believe is incorrect.
You owe it to yourself to challenge your opinions. Seek out conversations with those who have different beliefs. Test your ideas with someone who is willing to disagree with you. Most importantly, fight the urge to get defensive in these interactions. It's more important to battle-test your opinions than to stroke your ego; seeking to be right at all costs is a guaranteed way to stray further from the truth.
The most interesting things I've encountered this week
What I'm reading: "The Importance of Embracing Friction" by Sahil Bloom
As many of you already know, I am a firm believer in seeking out discomfort as a means of self-improvement. One of my favorite quotes in this article is, "In a world of steadily decreasing friction, it will be those who are willing to embrace friction that will thrive." He ends by saying, "It's about reclaiming our ability to choose the hard way." (emphasis mine)
What I'm listening to: "Understanding sleep and how to improve it" from The Drive with Peter Attia
Dr. Matthew Walker is the guest on this particular episode of Peter Attia's podcast. I love Dr. Walker and the incredibly useful insights he provides about sleep. Definitely worth listening to for any performance-minded individuals.
On opinions: Think Again by Adam Grant
I've linked this book in the past, but I thoroughly enjoy how Adam Grant breaks down his process for seeking constructive arguments. It's a great treatise on actionable ways to challenge your own thinking.
Quote of the week:
NOTE: Last week I misattributed the quote to Thucydides when, in fact, it was from nineteenth-century soldier and author Sir William F. Butler!
Focusing on how you can make each day better is a true hack for leading a great life. Too often we dwell on what we want down the road, or we stress about the mountain in front of us. Focusing on making this day good is a great way to build positive momentum.