Category: Cognitive Bias

The age of enlightenment has brought us incredible technological advancement and an incredibly useful way of exploring the world. The scientific method has rightfully displaced the dogmatic religious viewpoints that served no one except the patriarchy. However, this new way of thinking has also dis-proportionally shined a light on just a specific part of reality. We must ask ourselves, what more is there to explore?

Many different philosophies and religions alike all have the concept of a divine gift. It can be called sacred inspiration, an all-knowing presence, following your heart, the word of god or simply intuition. This gift is often denied but is also incredibly powerful and wielding it properly can completely change the direction of life in an instant.

From the cradle of humankind, we have been huddling over campfires to tell stories. Stories are an everyday part of our life. Inspiring stories about heroes, explanations on esoteric phenomenon and false narratives on our own shortcomings help us make sense of a complex world. How can we harness the power of a story?

An often repeated maxim regarding self-development is that you should learn from your past. I vigorously disagree. Your past experiences – and even those of others – are mere faded footprints on the sandy path to personal growth, not conclusive evidence of truth. In fact, I believe greatness comes from ignoring your past.

Meditation and other practices of the mind still have the public image of an esoteric, supernatural pursuit with no practical use. It is, however, very much a practical tool to shape your mental health that is now rooted in science. A lack of a spiritual or religious belief structure does not impact your use for it in any way. Let’s dive into the depths of the mind.

We human beings are not rational. Our mind is flawed with shortcuts and biases. A common bias is the confirmation bias, where we tend to assign more value to evidence that supports our existing belief system and are more likely to disregard nonsupporting evidence. Being aware of the bias is already powerful, but this flaw in our mind can also be exploited in a great way.

Fear should – by definition – be a guidance of our natural state to avoid death or serious injury. Unfortunately, more often than not, we feel absolute terror in situations where there is no real risk. We experience crippling anxiety before having to come on stage or before meeting a person you want to impress – while this is completely unnatural and illogical.

In my quest for rationalism, I always attempt to guard myself against logical errors that arise from noise in perception. Whenever a problem presents itself, one first needs to know the facts, as complete as possible and as unbiased as humanly possible.