Beating our bias and tendency to use logic and reason to support our preexisting beliefs

I love Mark Manson’s articles.  Mark Manson and Jeff Brown have (very different) rare wisdoms and writing styles.  Jeff Brown talks about love (self help and sacred sexuality) and Mark Manson in an instigator.  In Mark Mansons’ latest article called Why You Can’t Trust Yourself he discusses 8 reasons.  While I can relate to all 8 of the ideas, number 4 caught my attention and I want to discuss it a bit below.

4. YOU GENERALLY ONLY USE LOGIC AND REASON TO SUPPORT YOUR PREEXISTING BELIEFS

I feel inspired to address this immediately.  I ran over to 130words.com to start writing as honestly as I could.  I prepared myself to be disappointed with facts.  I prepared myself to be honest.  But I honestly couldn’t find a sturdy foundation to start from.

Certainty

As a kid, I had a rock.  I was certain of math and science and as a result I excelled in the system we’ve built around our youth – academia – which in return reinforced my certainty.  But math and science don’t give humans a purpose.  I had to find that by opening up to my subjective experience and I’m still searching for anything as remotely sturdy as my childhood rock of math and science.

Purpose

Some of the other points Mark makes further validate my feeling of instability attempting to source purpose from the experience of self.  It is certain that there is no human purpose in math and science, so I’m better off here in the subjective but I’m still not standing on anything reliable.

Mark’s points:

  1. You are biased and selfish without realizing it
  2. You don’t have a clue about what makes you happy
  3. You are easily manipulated into making bad decisions
  4. You generally only use logic and reason to support your preexisting beliefs
  5. Your emotions support your perceptions way more than you realize
  6. Your memory sucks
  7. “You” aren’t who you think you are
  8. Your physical experience of the world isn’t even that real

This list sets off so many trains of thoughts I’m having a hard time sticking to one point.  Fortunately I don’t need a memory to scroll back up and see why I’m writing this article.  Let’s get back to how our personal brands of logic and reason are generally used to support your preexisting beliefs.

Pigeon Hole Self

We pigeon hole ourselves.  In a way, this helps us maintain a stable identity.  On the other hand, it prevents us from making breakthroughs.  And if there was ever a time for breakthrough in my life, it is now.  Actually, it is often, but why not start now.  Avoid tangential thought trains and get back to breakthrough.

Vulnerability

I’m resurrecting a word from the diluted and fading New Cage self-help movement.  And if you disagree that it’s fading, double check how old you are and go checkout what the new generation cares about.  Notice another tangent.  Great, one step to personal growth, but what the heck to do with it?

Own it.  Openly.

Tangential Trains of Thought

I am inspired into tangential trains of thought that derail me from my initial goal.  Antidote?  Focus and notice.  Notice when I get derailed and come back to the initial goal.  Finish the job before moving on.  Recognize that I’m drastically over emoting about the importance of these inspired thoughts.  They are all just thoughts.  I was married to one a moment ago.  Bring the relationship to completion – a concept I heard several times at an introduction to Landmark Forum.  Or was it World Works… I can’t remember.

Meditation and Noticing

Note, this noticing muscle can be most directly trained in mindfulness meditation.  Someday soon I will begin sharing my experiences with meditation at meditationtimenow.com.

Trust Issues

If I trusted that I would edit this article, which I should because a few more appropriate headings would be helpful for everybody, then I would.  But I would rather complete this goal than leave it hanging.  But this brings up another issue.  I have trust issues… with myself.

What’s my point?

What have I done here?  I’m demonstrating how a rambling writing process can help you expose yourself to yourself.  I’ve openly admitted to us all here that I get (1) derailed by tangential trains of thought and (2) can’t trust myself.  We’ve come to some helpful conclusions including (1) use noticing to bring myself back to my original path (2) train noticing with meditation and (3) this kind of self discovery can be practiced with writing.

Beating Our Bias

This is all an effort to fight back against our use of logic and reason to support preexisting beliefs.  They may be small steps outside of my box but it’s a start.  A daily practice like writing at 130words.com can be beneficial to growing our self awareness, fighting through ruts and making breakthroughs.

How to Align Your Life for Success

I want to do the work I was put here to do.

I’ve been researching what my favorite bloggers do and recommend.  Jeff Goin’s best advice on blogging is to be yourself.  Steve Pavlina says to let your audience see the real you.  There’s no debate about getting personal.

I’m tired tonight.

I’m tired tonight but not sure why.  I didn’t get enough sleep Sunday night but I made up for it last night.  I worked all day but work has been boring as usual.  It’s a great time for research, coding, and thinking about what to write about tonight.  But I feel too tired to get excited about anything tonight.

I feel a bit depleted and I’m concerned that I may not have the resources to refill this part of my soul faster than it’s being drained by my job.  I’m an engineer that wants to be a web developer that wants to be financially free so I can write, travel and change the world.  There are so many things I wish I could do with my time, but I’m stuck at work for most of the week.

What do you want from life?

Life is about discovering yourself, embracing your true purpose and doing your life’s work.

Anyone that seems like they’re happily living an aimless life is a good actor or accomplishing absolutely nothing with their lives.  It’s not that I don’t want to work anymore.  I want to do the work I was put here to do.

I remind myself that my circumstances are intentionally chosen steps on a path towards my vision for an ideal future.  My future has never been more clear than now.  And I don’t mean I’m stuck.  I mean I finally know exactly what I want.  I finally know how I’m going to get there.

Self Discovery

We’ve all achieved and function at different levels of self-awareness.  All of us can benefit from time alone, but those just beginning their journey will benefit most from experience, isolation and self-reflection.  If you’ve lived a sheltered life it’s time to break away from your parents, get out and see the world and try new things.  Your assumptions will be challenged, your ignorance exposed, and in learning about the world you will actually be discovering yourself.

For those with a wealth of experience, it’s time to get in touch with yourself.  Find time to be alone and get sensitive.  Block out the world for a while.  Turn off the TV, tell your friends and family you’re going away for a while, then don’t go anywhere.  Be with yourself.  As the constant barrage of propaganda and imposed assumptions fade to distant echoes you will be left undeniably with yourself.

You will feel empowered with a confidence that comes from knowing yourself.

When you return to your normal routine you will feel anything but normal.  You will feel empowered with a confidence that comes from knowing yourself.  This is your first step on the path to discovering your life’s purpose.

Alignment

Now that you’ve developed a sense of true meaning for your life, your real work has just begun.  You will be confronted by challenges and demons but you will be motivated like never before.  You will face opposition and upset.  Now is more important than ever for a healthy lifestyle, personal development and support from your friends and family.

I’ll spare you a million cliches about sharpening your axe and preparing for battle and invent one about a lab.  You’re a scientist and you’ve discovered your life’s work.  It’s time to acquire the tools that you need for the job.  You’re going to need capital resources and suppliers, lab assistants and a plan.  So much to do, so little time.  Invest wisely.

Now that you’re more in touch with yourself you may be less susceptible to distraction and social pressure.  You may notice that you feel more connected to some of your friends and less tolerant of others.

Some people may energize and inspire you while others leave you drained.  It’s time to recognize that you have a calling and not everyone is going to support your dreams.

Positive Influence

Never is it more important to surround yourself with positive people than when you need the reinforcement.  Most of us already have jobs and responsibilities and habits that fill our days.  Embracing your calling and transitioning into alignment with your purpose will involve a lot of changes.  It will be stressful and tiring.  You have no time for vampires, nay-sayers and toxic personalities.

At this point in my journey, I’m spreading myself too thin – I admit it.  I have a full-time job, a part-time consulting gig, web development coursework and projects, a committed relationship and now this blog.  The friends I’ve left behind would say I’m crazy.  The close friends I have commend and support me.

It’s nights like these when I’m feeling overwhelmed that are best for self-reflection.  I make sure my priorities are in order.  I consider my habits and the people in my life.  I align myself with my purpose.  And the article writes itself.