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We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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Ego Check: Congratulate Yourself Mentally

May 4, 2013, 8:00 AM

One of the most important things you can do is just accept your need for ego validation.  So just accept the fact that you get satisfaction out of being right in an argument and that you're never going to be completely Zen and completely free of the desire to feel satisfied and proud of yourself. That's a very natural, very universal human impulse, but you can redirect that impulse in a much more productive direction.

So instead of congratulating yourself when you turn out to be right or when you get the other person to back down, instead congratulate yourself mentally when you notice yourself weighing an argument objectively or when you notice yourself thinking a person's argument sounds potentially plausible. Think "let me try to think about it as fairly as I can."  

Those are habits that you want to incentivize to encourage in yourself because those are the habits that help you and help you as a team at work arrive at the right answer in the long run. So you want to reward yourself for doing those things, not for winning arguments.

60 Second Reads is recorded in Big Think's studio.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock. 




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