Note: If you realise you didn't learn something from this blog, then you need to read it again.
Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by it's ability to climb a tree, it will live it's whole life believing that it is stupid. - Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein was without a doubt the most genius scientist that ever existed. So when Albert Einstein says something, you must listen and pay attention to it. This quote is so simple but still sends across a beautiful powerful message to us. Each one of us is different and has different natural genius inside, it's only a matter of finding that and using it to our advantage. Simple secret of success.
But there are a few problems in this. Let me list them down -
The quote at the top of the blog is not written or said by Albert Einstein
The photo in the blog is fake and photoshopped
Albert Einstein was not a poor student, in fact he was a topper in school
There is no scientific proof or logic that says we all are geniuses. We are definitely not.
And to be fair, there have been many other geniuses like Newton, Ramanujam etc
Oops. This means almost everything I just wrote above was false and baseless. But I know you were reading it attentively and expecting some solid advice to live a happy and successful life. Sorry to disappoint you till now but I promise not to lie again and that there is an important advice for you that follows. Here it is -
Human brain is always trying to simplify the information it gets. And while processing and interpreting information, it can make systematic errors in making judgements and decisions. These errors are called Cognitive Biases and most of the times you don't even know you made an error.
What are Cognitive Biases?
Just for a moment, think about this - when you started reading the blog, why did you not question the accuracy of the content? Why did you believe that wrong quote and the wrong advice that followed?
There are 3 major reasons -
The title of the blog promised you the best advice for a happy & successful life and so your brain was looking for that advice, ready to absorb it
Since I am your teacher so your brain expects that whatever I tell you, must be correct information
Albert Einstein's name in the quote carries an even stronger authority which makes your brain absolutely sure that the quote must be very useful
Point 1 is called Framing Bias (I made it look like it's good advice). Point 2 and Point 3 are called Authority Bias (i used Einstein's and my authority as a teacher to deceive you into believing it). But there are many many more types of biases and we fall prey to them everyday multiple number of times. Like when you -
a. forward fake news or information on WhatsApp without even checking,
b. read a blog, watch a video and accept wrong advice or information,
c. want to ask a question in class but end up staying silent because everyone else is silent,
d. mentally discriminate people based on their height, skin-colour, sex, school marks,
e. judge people as rich or poor based on the clothes they wear,
f. start liking a girl / boy just because he / she visually looks good or wears nice clothes
It's a long list and it happens to you everyday. And the risky thing is that your brain does not even give a warning that you are making an error in judgement or decision making. Sometimes these errors can be costly in life.
What's the advice then?
The advice is just that you need to be aware of existence of cognitive biases. And just being aware of this will help you be a little more careful and help you make better decisions. And when that happens, those small small better decisions add up for each of the 24 hours in a day, 365 days in a year and make you a better person. Small wins, remember? And when you keep doing it for years and years you accumulate happiness and success in life. Your life is always the sum total of the decisions that you take.
PS: Don't worry. This quote unlike the first one is absolutely accurate and true. I highly recommend you to always remember it. Maybe stick it on your study table.
The Six Influences
Cognitive biases happen because your brain is always trying to find ways to simplify its own work by depending on shortcuts. And the brain does not even tell you when it uses a shortcut.
To simplify things for you, there are 6 major influences (or shortcuts) that you should be extra careful about because these are the most common cause of errors in judgement and decision making. CLARSS is the acronym you can use to remember them.
Commitment when we give a commitment, we don't think enough before fulfilling it Example: you committed 100 marks in Maths and get sad if you get 95
Liking when you like someone, you accept what they say without thinking carefully Example: your friend asks you for money, you give it without asking the reason
Authority parents, teachers, seniors have authority which we don't question Example: teacher writes a wrong quote in a blog, you believe it immediately
Reciprocation in anger and in pleasure, we mindlessly copy the reaction of the other person Example: in a fight someone slaps you, you want to slap them in return
Social Proof we copy behaviour of others around us because we don't want to stand out in a crowd Example: you don't ask a question in class even when you did not understand the topic because nobody else is asking, you think others understood & you will look stupid
Scarcity when something is less available, we want to grab it immediately & thoughtlessly Example: You read "Limited Time Offer, 99 Rs only" and think that its very cheap
Take 15 seconds & remember CLARSS whenever you make an important decision. That's it.
There are 2 bonus videos for today's blog -
1. is from a pickpocket who became a scientific researcher by tricking human mind
2. gives you interesting common examples of cognitive biases from everyday life
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