One of my favorite websites, Brain Pickings, recently turned 13. The reason it’s a favorite is because it offers content that is challenging intellectually – but not to the point of not making sense to humble minds like mine. The logo creeps me out a bit, but the breadth and depth of subject matter is amazing. To commemorate that anniversary, Maria Popova authored a post on 13 lessons from the 13 years.
Two of those lessons, the somewhat-related numbers 1 and 11, connected with me more than the others.
Allow yourself the uncomfortable luxury of changing your mind. Cultivate that capacity for “negative capability.” We live in a culture where one of the greatest social disgraces is not having an opinion, so we often form our “opinions” based on superficial impressions or the borrowed ideas of others, without investing the time and thought that cultivating true conviction necessitates. We then go around asserting these donned opinions and clinging to them as anchors to our own reality. It’s enormously disorienting to simply say, “I don’t know.” But it’s infinitely more rewarding to understand than to be right — even if that means changing your mind about a topic, an ideology, or, above all, yourself.
Question your maps and models of the universe, both inner and outer, and continually test them against the raw input of reality. Our maps are still maps, approximating the landscape of truth from the territories of the knowable — incomplete representational models that always leave more to map, more to fathom, because the selfsame forces that made the universe also made the figuring instrument with which we try to comprehend it.
Continue reading on the Gemba Academy blog…