Did you see the Sex And The City movie?
There was a scene in which Miranda, one of the main characters, had to deal with her husband Steve admitting that he had cheated on her.
Miranda and Steve separated and eventually attended counseling to see if they could save their marriage. The marriage counselor suggested an exercise that would allow both partners to see if they both really wanted to make things work again.
Miranda was a trial lawyer, and she had her own, career-based way of deciding the best option.
On a yellow legal pad, Miranda created two columns: Reconcile with Steve, and Break Up with Steve.
On each side, Miranda laid out the pros and cons of each option.
Hopefully, you’ve seen the movie by now, because here’s a spoiler: Miranda and Steve reconciled and decided to make it work.
What I’ve always remembered about that scene was how Miranda was able to weigh both sides of her decision. It’s the exact opposite of how many people think and converse about subjects.
Most of us make a decision about something based on what our parents taught us or what our friends think or what our favorite actor/athlete/politician says.
We settle on that belief and never consider the other sides of it. Our ideas and beliefs harden into dogma, and we’re not open to examining them.
In fact, we are so often surrounded by people who think the exact same way, that our ideas and unchallenged opinions become beliefs, and with nothing to ever make us think that our beliefs could be inaccurate, those beliefs become “facts” — because we’ve never heard nor seen anything that could show us that it’s NOT a fact.
I’ll share a quote with you. The original quote has been attributed to many, so I’ll just share it plainly:
“If you can’t intelligently argue for both sides of an issue, you don’t understand the issue well enough to argue for either.”“If you can’t intelligently argue for both sides of an issue, you don’t understand the issue well enough to argue for either.” Click To Tweet
In sports, there are scouts and scouting reports and game film for one reason: to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of an upcoming opponent, which gives you a better chance of defeating them.
No professional outfit goes into battle completely ignorant of their opponent.
The next time you hear someone making really strong arguments for some belief they hold, ask that person,
“Surely there are people who believe the exact opposite of what you believe. So, what’s the case for the other side of this argument? What are their strongest points?”“Surely there are people who believe the exact opposite of what you believe. So, what’s the case for the other side of this argument? What are their strongest points?” Click To Tweet
Nine times out of ten, you’ll break people’s brains with such a question.
That’s because most people have never considered that the “other side” of any belief may actually have some good, valid points. For the most part, people see the “other side” as plainly wrong, misled or uninformed, foolish for believing anything other than the “correct” belief.
But enough about them. For how many of your own beliefs could you make a strong argument opposing it?
For how many of your opinions could you see and accept someone having the exact opposite opinion — AND credit them for having strong, valid points?
How well could you argue against yourself?
Seeing both sides of an idea is a mental discipline. That’s why I’m shipping you a FREE copy of my book The Mirror Of Motivation: The Self-Guide To Self-Discipline while supplies last.
Remember: You’re Just One Bold Move Away…