This may feel crazy to you, but your brain has this reflexive mechanism built into it such that it is constantly looking out for evidence to make your existing beliefs feel right.
Now, I don’t want to paint a horrible picture of the human brain’s most useful features. This reflexive mechanism I just discussed (or cognitive biases as they’re also called), is like keyboard shortcuts on our computers. They simplify routine learning and perception.
But you must guard against these processes becoming your default mechanisms! As if you’re staying loyal to prior belief systems and thoughts just so your brain doesn’t have to “waste energy” looking for new ones – this is self-destructive. And self-deceptive.
Self-deception by way of unexamined faulty thinking is no different than any other buffer that you may be resorting to – food, work, busyness, and what have you – to avoid addressing the real issues in plain sight.
Remember, that’s what we discussed last week – your brain has this exact tendency.
See how Warren Buffet nails it when he says this –
“What the human being is best at doing is interpreting all new information so that their prior conclusions remain intact.”
As if this weren’t enough already, your brain has an affinity to any belief that feeds its pleasure-seeking and pain avoiding tendencies. And you know what, more often than not, you are clueless about any of these tendencies that are always in operation!
By the way, thank you if you’re one of those that wrote in about your beliefs. I’d like you to reflect first and then share with me – what steps would you take to avoid default thinking?