A Coffee Cup of Kowledge….Puzzling Limitation of Our Mind

During the course of my reading, I come across ideas and thoughts on a wide range of topics that may occasionally be of interest to others.  In passing some of these along, perhaps one or two will make a contribution to your thought process.   –  Bill Dinnebeil


Quick Hits:

  • “The more selfish you are, the less satisfying life is. Your life is only enriched when you live it for a purpose bigger than yourself. ”           – David Thomas, “Remember Why You Play….”

I was reminded of this thought when I was present at the service for a very close friend who was a life long educator.  Over 600 people were at his service, many of which credited him in large and small ways for making a difference for them.

  • “All great people exercise the law of subtraction,” he concluded. “They commit to a few things, and they’re better than everybody else at those.”    –  David Thomas, “Remember Why You Play….”

Lots of different examples of this type of focus and execution in all walks of life, but a vivid sports example comes to mind.  Vince Lombardi said about his famous “Green Bay Packer sweep,” “we know we are going to run it, they know we are going to run it, but it makes no difference because we do it so well.”  A corollary thought is to choose those few things in life that are most important to you and do those exceptionally well.

  • “Success is  peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.”  – John Wooden,  “They Call Me Coach”

This is the most concise, elegant description of success that I have come across, weighted for each of us individually according to our talents, measured by ourselves and independent of external factors.

Puzzling Limitation of Our Mind:

A puzzling limitation of our mind: our excessive confidence in what we believe we know, and our apparent inability to acknowledge the full extent of our ignorance and the uncertainty of the world we live in. We are prone to overestimate how much we understand about the world and to underestimate the role of chance in events. Overconfidence is fed by the illusory certainty of hindsight.

Kahneman, Daniel (2011-10-25). Thinking, Fast and Slow (pp. 13-14). Macmillan. Kindle Edition.

This is one of the most informative books that I have read regarding the human thought process.  Kahneman, a Nobel prize winner in economics, spent a lifetime studying decision theory and judgment.   Whether overlaid on business, economics, politics or daily  dialog,  excessive confidence combined with a lack of understanding of what we don’t know, compounded by chance, inhibit our ability to learn and make decisions.  Hindsight fools us into thinking we are smarter than we are.  Viewed in the rear view mirror, few events are as certain and predictable as they may seem.