Identity and Opinions

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Miscellanous / Thursday

If you ask most people, they will say that their opinions and beliefs are who they are. Through my conversations with people, it looks something like this:

This is highly problematic.

Why? Because it means that when someone challenges your opinion, it’s an attack on you. This also means that you are much less likely to change your opinions and belief. And there is good reason for you to not to trust your beliefs.

For me, this mental model helps:

So, you can see that some core values have connections to beliefs. But not all of them. It’s also not a 1:1 retention. And your core values is jut a part of your identity.

Over the past two years, I have changed my opinions on many things including what a leader is, my limits on how much I can work, interactions vs. actions, etc. Some of those changes have been topics of my Thursday posts. Others have trickled into my notes on books.

But you might ask – doesn’t that mean that I don’t stand for anything?

Not quite. I think Marc Andreessen says, “Have strong opinions, loosely held.”

Let me be clear, this is very difficult to do in life. The line between your core values and your beliefs can be blurry. It’s difficult to draw that line in general. But thinking about the distinction is helpful.

This is a shorter post than usual but I hope that it’s helpful. This is an idea that has helped me lead a calmer life. So I hope you take some time to ponder on it.

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