Confusing Opinions with Learning

An opinion is not the same as a thought. Thinking is the process of generating an original idea or distinction. An opinion is a personal belief of judgment that is not founded on proof or certainty. Thinking requires energy and attention; having an opinion requires neither.

The attainment of awareness and the development of competence are two entirely different processes.

It’s very dangerous to have a fixed idea. A person with a fixed idea will always find some way of convincing himself in the end that he is right. Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything. On the other hand, the mind that opens to a new idea never returns to its original size. The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.

People tend to love their opinions, and this is the danger of using them in decision-making. Assessing a situation can get in the way of learning. Instead of deciding whether or not you like the idea, ask yourself, where’s the power in this for me?

Summing-up: Learning is the key to long-term survival (though it doesn’t guarantee it, unfortunately). Thus, an organization which tolerates the use of opinions in decision-making is making a decision to sacrifice learning.

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