Scott’s Thoughts: Hang a Question Mark

“In all affairs it’s a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.”

Bertrand Russell, British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, writer, social critic, political activist and Nobel laureate.

Question mark on a chalk board.With the holidays upon us, you may find yourself connecting with friends and extended family you haven’t seen in some time. They may be from more or less conservative communities. They may be older or younger than you are, and come with their own generational perspective on the world. Their beliefs may not quite align with your own.

While this can lead to arguments, I would suggest that it’s a good opportunity to investigate your own beliefs. It is easy to question what we disagree with, but much harder to question what we accept as fact.

As Bertrand Russell suggests, hang a question mark on what you take for granted. Consider breaking down your beliefs with first principle thinking to see things in a new way. There are many benefits to this exercise. For example:

1. You may be more receptive to others’ ideas and find yourself with more empathy for others’ perspectives.

2. Testing your beliefs can often strengthen them, reinforcing your faith and confidence.

3. Breaking down assumptions may lead to new ideas and breakthroughs.

Don’t be afraid to test yourself and stretch your thinking this year. Hang the question mark with an open and curious spirit.

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