Chip and Dan Heath wrote in Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work that we “spotlight” information that supports our existing beliefs. They think we should instead ask ourselves “disconfirming” questions. By doing that, we will be less likely to let our visceral emotions and narrow focusing lead us into mistakes.
Their advice brings to mind how I fish. I‘ll use the wrong bait or fish in the wrong spot. When I don’t catch any fish, I’ll recall the advertiser’s claims made about their sure-fire lure I bought. I don’t want to think that I’ve wasted so much time in the wrong place. I’ll double down and stay even longer. I’ll tell myself I’m not patient enough and need to cast my line out more skillfully. Instead, I should look for a “disconfirming” question. I should ask myself why all those other anglers keep buzzing back and forth across the lake in front of me instead of sitting in one place. How about you, do you fish (think) like this or do you buzz back and forth rethinking all your possibilities?