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Ego Check: Congratulate Yourself Mentally

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.

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