Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘self-help

Special cases? Discarding evidence to fit your Confirmation biases model

Confirmation bias maybe the mother of all misconceptions.

Once we believe that a program, a product, an idea… is successful, we refuse to let go, even if we are presented with tons of proofs to the contrary.

This is basically the paradigm shift problem with all disciplines

If we are unable to insert a new piece of intelligence or information in our existing worldview model as a compatible element, it is hard to accept the new addition or understand it. This is called the Disconfirming Evidence tendency.

Although facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored, “what the human is best at doing is interpreting all new information so that their prior conclusions remain intact”  Warren Buffet

And Charles Darwin found a method to circumvent this confirmation bias: Any observation that contradicted his theory, he took it seriously and noted it down immediately. The more correct he judged his theory, the more actively he looked for contradicting aspects.

We deal with all kinds of assumptions. The more nebulous they are, the stronger the confirmation bias.

You may utter prophesies so vague that any event can substantiate them.

Religious and philosophical system of beliefs represent an excellent breeding ground for this bias.

Economists fall prey to this bias by predicting the economic trend.

Business journalists suffer most from this bias: rarely the journalist seeks out disconfirming evidences to what he formulated on a company’s cause for success or failure.

Self-help and Get-rich quickly books are excellent examples of blinkered storytelling.

Axing beliefs that feel like Old Friends is hard work, but it should be an imperative task.

When you hear “This is a special case”, you better tend your ears and be on your guard. Most probably, your consultant refuses to alter his model.

Actually, all laws are special cases. Why?

Laws are valid within certain restrictions, constraints, conditions and range of application.

If you neglect or ignore these limitations of the parameters that a law is supposed to function within, your solution is out of bound and erroneous.

This behavior is typical to most novices in any field of practice, and they keep falling into these traps and generate dire consequences until they learn to become professionals.

 

Nothing on your blog works? Do you have this one habit

william choukeir posted this May 14, 2014

why nothing on this blog works; unless you have this one habit

…and not just on this blog. i’m also referring to all advice, self-help blogs, books, and anything remotely related to personal and professional development.

let me explain through a story.

jake is the co-founder of vimeo. After selling vimeo, he found himself unproductive and unhappy.  Throughout the next year or so, he came up with a simple system that has helped him re-find his productivity and happiness. he posted this system online and called it ‘standards‘.

like most systems out there, if you try using ‘standards’, it’ll likely not work for you; unless you have this one habit. here’s why.

‘standards’ is a simple list of things you want to do (or avoid) daily. each day, you mark with a check the items you succeeded with, and with a cross those you failed at.

jake tried it the first week and failed. he tried it the second week and failed a little less. after a few months, he was accomplishing everything on his list on most days. his life started turning around.

jake had, whether knowingly or not, acquired a valuable habit that allowed him to make his system work for him.

Through my two years of research and experimentation with habits, i’ve come to the realization that this one habit is the father of all habits. it’s the habit that breeds habits. and habits, in my experience, are the most efficient tool to create the life you want for yourself.

this habit isn’t perseverance. it isn’t grit either.

if you keep on doing what you’ve been doing,
you’ll keep on getting what you’ve been getting.

you need to change something, not just persevere. let’s call this habit: ‘the habit of planning for banana peels.’

you’re walking happily. suddenly you feel lifted off the ground and are falling back in slow motion. before your ass hits the ground you realize you’ve slipped on a banana peel.

an expectation of yours is unmet—banana peel.
you try some advice and fail—banana peel.
you loose a project—banana peel.
your client refuses a design—banana peel.

‘the habit of planning for banana peels’ looks like this.
Every time you slip, you ask—and answer—two questions:
1• how will i respond the next time i slip?
2• what can i do differently to avoid slipping next time?

With this core habit, even if you try some advice and it doesn’t work the first time, you’ll automatically choose what’ll you do differently next time.

if you don’t already have this core habit, then even this article won’t help you acquire it; without you getting some pre-requisites.

These pre-requisites can be in the form of skills, habits, or knowledge (i.e. awareness of your thoughts and emotions.)

if you eventually do succeed at building ‘the habit of planning for banana peels’, maybe then, you’ll be able to make some of the valuable advice that’s out there (or here) work for you.

now you’re aware. the rest is up to you.


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