Why Facts Don't Change Our Minds
Welcome to Self-Mastery — a place for timeless ideas to help you be the architect of your mind, create yourself, and do less, better.
Don't waste your time with explanations: people only hear what they want to hear.
― Paulo Coelho
By James Clear
Convincing someone to change their mind is really the process of convincing them to change their tribe. If they abandon their beliefs, they run the risk of losing social ties. You can’t expect someone to change their mind if you take away their community too. You have to give them somewhere to go. Nobody wants their worldview torn apart if loneliness is the outcome.
The way to change people’s minds is to become friends with them, to integrate them into your tribe, to bring them into your circle. Now, they can change their beliefs without the risk of being abandoned socially.
The British philosopher Alain de Botton suggests that we simply share meals with those who disagree with us:
“Sitting down at a table with a group of strangers has the incomparable and odd benefit of making it a little more difficult to hate them with impunity. Prejudice and ethnic strife feed off abstraction. However, the proximity required by a meal—something about handing dishes around, unfurling napkins at the same moment, even asking a stranger to pass the salt—disrupts our ability to cling to the belief that the outsiders who wear unusual clothes and speak in distinctive accents deserve to be sent home or assaulted. For all the large-scale political solutions which have been proposed to salve ethnic conflict, there are few more effective ways to promote tolerance between suspicious neighbours than to force them to eat supper together.”
Perhaps it is no difference, but distance that breeds tribalism and hostility. As proximity increases, so does understanding. I am reminded of Abraham Lincoln's quote, “I don't like that man. I must get to know him better.”
Facts don't change our minds. Friendship does.
What’s on My Mind
Deep down, we’re all just kids in grown-up bodies. Maya Angelou thought the same. This was on my mind as I watched a group of Australian news anchors splash dough mixture on each other while laughing and running and hiding on national TV.
“Most people don’t grow up. It’s too damn difficult. What happens is most people get older. That’s the truth of it. They honor their credit cards, they find parking spaces, they marry, they have the nerve to have children, but they don’t grow up. Not really. They get older. But to grow up costs the earth, the earth. It means you take responsibility for the time you take up, for the space you occupy. It’s serious business. And you find out what it costs us to love and to lose, to dare and to fail. And maybe even more, to succeed."
This week’s reads
“A lack of mobility can often result in compensatory movements. Many people want to fly through their core programme but don’t often focus on the quality of movement — which matters way more than how many reps we do.”
“These are my guiding principles and the light of my intellectual life. All of them will help you think better, and I hope they inspire curiosity.”
A Quote to Think About
People who delay action until all factors are favorable do nothing.
— William A. Feather
My Favourite Things This Week
Tweet - A reminder that you can stay very fit and healthy to a much higher age than you might think.
Tweet - For people who struggle to stay cool through the summer, this might help.
Blog - The hidden power of boredom.
A Question for You
Are you proud of what you’re doing or what you’ve done?
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Until next week.
P.S: Medium announced me as a top 1,000 writer on their platform (for May, at least!). I’m chuffed about that. It drives me to write more and help more people.