Every mind has a bias, because everyone’s beliefs and worldview are shaped by their own unique experiences within a particular environment.
So no single person has a perfect view of reality. Instead, we each have our own window into reality. And everyone’s view is going to be a little bit different.
Therefore, every person you meet knows something that you don’t know. And you know something that they don’t know. That’s a powerful insight to keep in mind.
When you accept your bias, it actually puts you in a better position to learn new things and expand your perspective.
You recognize that everyone has something to teach you, so you should be willing to listen to all perspectives, and try to find a grain of truth.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that all truth is subjective, or just a matter of opinion. It’s the acceptance that your knowledge is limited – you know some things, and you’re ignorant about others.
Intelligent people recognize that they are always coming from a particular perspective or bias, and that they never have all the answers to everything.
In a healthy mind, every belief is flexible and subject to change, as long as you are open to new information that may contradict those old beliefs.
Balancing your bias in the real world
- Accept your bias. – First, you have to at least recognize that you have your own biases, just like everyone else. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it just means your worldview is dependent on your particular experiences and environment.
- Explain yourself. – One way to get at the root of your biases is to practice explaining your beliefs and why you believe them. This is why I recommend the healthy challenge of explaining your own beliefs.
- Seek diverse sources of information. – We often reinforce our biases by only consuming news and information that confirms those biases. You can counteract this by exposing yourself to new sources of information, especially ones that represent views you often disagree with.
- Engage in healthy debates. – One of the best ways to sharpen your beliefs is to engage in conversations with intelligent people of different ideologies who are also willing to debate you in a healthy and polite way. That can be hard to find, but when you do it’s invaluable.
- Admit it when you’re wrong. – The hardest thing for many people is to simply admit it when we are wrong. It shouldn’t be, because of course we are all going to be wrong sometimes. But very few of us can accept this, because we are often too worried about protecting our egos.
- Be willing to say, “I don’t know.” – You don’t need to have an opinion about every single subject. If you’re not familiar with something, or your completely ignorant about it, just be willing to say, “I don’t know.” There’s a great power in the wisdom of ignorance.
Remember, you’re never going to completely get rid of your bias – it’s part of being human. But these are helpful tips and advice to help balance your bias and keep it in check.
The most important thing is that you keep your mind open to new perspectives, and you’re always willing to adjust your beliefs in the face of new information.
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