“If knowledge is power, knowing what we don’t know is wisdom.” —Dr. Adam Grant (organizational psychologist)
I recently listened to one of Brene Brown’s podcasts in which she interviews Dr. Adam Grant, an organizational psychologist at Wharton. It’s thought-provoking and inspiring to hear them talk through the power of knowing what we don’t know and the ability to rethink what we know…or think we know.
Some of the key points that I took away:
- So many people prefer the comfort of conviction over the discomfort of doubt.
- It’s vital to have mental flexibility. We should all accept that we are imperfect and we are all learners. We are not here to be right, but rather, here to get it right.
- We should be guided by curiosity and always seeking to get closer to the truth even if that may mean changing your opinion or view about something.
- All of us should be able to make a list of areas in which we’re ignorant. As Dr. Grant says, “Mine include art, financial markets, fashion, chemistry, food, why British accents turn American in songs, and why it’s impossible to tickle yourself.”
Dr. Grant also discusses how we need to think like scientists, always challenging even our own thoughts and opinions. He goes on to explain that we spend a disproportionate amount of our time thinking like preachers, prosecutors, and politicians. I won’t go into each one of these, but he talks through them in the podcast. If you want to hear just this 5-minute section of the podcast (which I recommend at the very least), start listening at 35:06 to 42:40.