The Path to Clarity: Ask Yourself One Question

I’m one of those people who thinks ideas are sexy. I am a high-concept sensualist. But lately, it seems that falling in love with our ideas or theories can be deadly. It can actually make us stupid.

Having decided something, we become partially blind to evidence which challenges our choice. Social psychologists call this a “confirmation bias”.

I’m slowly learning to be more skeptical about my own ideas and more open to the ideas of other people. Lee Clow, the famous Chiat/Day ad man noted for his path-breaking work with Nike and Apple brands, used to keep a slip of paper in his pocket that said, “The other guy may be right.”

The world is filled with stubborn problems. Digital culture is a lightning-fast vector for raising issues. But what happens then? Without a course of action we are doomed to a relentless churn cycle of posturing. We become convinced about things that should be questioned.

We may be entering a time when it’s better to be wrong than blindly convinced.

In a culture undergoing profound change, is self-doubt the new wisdom?