Scott’s Thoughts: On Belief

“In some circumstances, the refusal to be defeated is a refusal to be educated.”

-Margaret Halsey, novelist.

Man leaping a gap.In business, as in life, we often hear, “the only constant is change.” It’s one of those soporifics offered by others when we find ourselves facing unexpected shifts, as when technology disrupts the way we think or behave.

Long-held beliefs are the most difficult ones to change. Often we resist change because of fear. Sometimes we resist changing our beliefs because we are heavily invested in benefits we reap from our beliefs. Self-interest can overshadow the truth. After all, a change in belief can require a difficult change in behavior. Sometimes the reinvention of an entire life.

We should question our beliefs. After all, if our beliefs are worthy, they should be able to withstand scrutiny, shouldn’t they? Investigation of our beliefs does not threaten them. Indeed, it can make them stronger. And where an inquiry does not strengthen a belief, it may make way for a clearer and more useful picture of the truth. (After all, the loudly proclaimed belief the RMS Titanic was unsinkable wasn’t much aid when the ship hit the iceberg.)

Some beliefs may serve us our whole lives, but many will mature as we do. Don’t deny yourself the benefits of a flexible mind. There is never shame in growth. Be mindful of those beliefs you’re willing to defend until the end.

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