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The Broccoli and Anchovy Sauce Trap


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We humans have a lot of biases.

Most of them are widely known.

Like confirmation bias, for example.

We tend to find things in our environment that verify what we already believe to be true.

Or we watch TV news that matches our pre-existing outlook.

However, one thing many people don't take into account is why these are called "biases."

If you say somebody is "biased," that is a negative label.

Nobody strives to be "biased."

So the general idea when thinking in terms of human "biases" is they are "errors" in thinking.

But are they?

When you go to a new school, or work at a new company, or move to a new neighborhood, confirmation bias works in your favor.

The typical process of "making friends" specifically means finding people with whom we share similar ideas and beliefs.

If you are a Mets fan, for example, you wouldn't make any friends with Yankee fans.

In this case, these "biases" are not really "biases." They are "friend making strategies."

Or what if you went into a pizza place, and looked up at the extensive menu.

One way to describe what you were doing would be, "trying to find something that looks good."

But HOW, exactly do you do that?

If you were to explain to an alien the process of "finding something that looks good," how would you describe it?

You look up at all the choices, quickly imagine (based on whatever experiences you have in your brain) which one is best.

Without having any kind of "biases" that would be impossible!

Some people have horrible brain conditions where they have amnesia after a certain point.

Usually due to an accident.

(This was the plot of the Adam Sandler move, "50 First Dates")

What if your brain couldn't store any food memories?

What if every single time you ate anything, it was always the first time?

You could never guess beforehand what was good, and what wasn't.

"What's that? Raw broccoli covered in wasabi-anchovy sauce? Sounds interesting! Lemme try some!"

That would suck!

Luckily, our brains are filled with sorting techniques (sometimes called "biases") that help us make effective decisions.

However, there IS one thing that will KEEP you from making effective decisions.

And that is not having an outcome.

Deciding what to do ONLY makes sense if you have an OUTCOME.

Then you can decide what to do to get you there as quickly as possible.

When you are moving toward something YOU want, your biases can be your best friend.

Learn More:

Seven Disciplines

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