We’ve all seen it before: someone who becomes deeply entrenched in their beliefs and refuses to consider any alternative viewpoints. As a result, they’ve put their brain in chains, limiting their ability to think critically and objectively.
Charlie Munger said, “It’s very important not to put your brain in chains too young by what you shout out.”
This over-commitment is a dangerous mentality, and it’s all too common in today’s society. With the rise of social media and the proliferation of echo chambers, it’s easier than ever to surround ourselves with people who share our views and filter out any opposing opinions.
Confirmation bias leads us down a dangerous path of self-reinforcing beliefs, blinding us to alternative perspectives and the possibility of being wrong.
The problem with this is that it prevents us from truly understanding and engaging with the world around us. When we only expose ourselves to information confirming our preexisting beliefs, we end up living in a bubble. We become entrenched in our ideology and resistant to change.
Enslaved in chains of our own making
Young people are especially vulnerable because they are still in the process of developing their beliefs and worldviews. When they become too committed to a particular ideology at a young age, it can be difficult for them to break free from it later. As a result, they risk missing out on valuable experiences and perspectives that could broaden their understanding of the world.
So what can we do to avoid putting our brains in chains? Here are a few tips:
- Seek out diverse perspectives: Make an effort to expose yourself to a wide range of viewpoints. Read books, watch documentaries, and engage with people who have different backgrounds and beliefs than you.
- Be open to changing your mind: It’s okay to have strong beliefs, but it’s important to be open to the possibility that you may be wrong. When presented with new information or perspectives, be willing to consider them and revise your beliefs if necessary. Adopt the adage, “Strong Opinions, Weakly Held.” — Technology forecaster and Stanford professor Paul Saffo.
- Be bold and ask questions: Asking questions is a crucial part of the learning process. Feel free to challenge your beliefs and seek answers to questions you may have.
- Practice critical thinking: It’s easy to accept information confirming our beliefs blindly, but it’s essential to critically evaluate all information sources. Look for evidence and consider multiple sides of an argument before making a decision.
By following these tips, we can avoid putting our brains in chains and instead embrace a more open-minded and critical approach to understanding the world. It may not be easy at times, but it’s worth it in the long run.