In the end, your goal is to identify and pierce through to what makes people unique, to understand the character and values that lie at their cores. The more you can fathom about people’s pasts and their way of thinking about things, the more deeply you can enter into their spirit. In this way you will be able to understand their motivations, foresee their actions, and recognize how best to win them to your side. You will no longer be operating in the dark. You will encounter thousands of various individuals in your life, and the ability to see them as they are will prove invaluable. Keep in mind, however, that people are in a state of continual flux. You must not let your ideas about them harden into a set impression. You are continually observing them and bringing your readings of them up to date.
Rigidity: The world has become increasingly complex in many ways, and whenever we humans face a situation that seems complicated our response is to resort to a kind of artificial simplicity, to create habits and routines that give us a sense of control. We prefer what is familiar—ideas, faces, procedures—because they are comforting. This extends to the group at large. People follow procedures without really knowing why, simply because these procedures may have worked in the past, and they become highly defensive if their ways are brought into question. They become hooked on a certain idea and they hold on to it, even if that idea has been proven repeatedly to be wrong. Look at the history of science: whenever a new idea or way of looking at the world is introduced, despite all of the proofs behind it, those who are entrenched in the old ways will fight to the death to preserve them. It is often against human nature, particularly as we get older, to consider alternative ways of thinking or doing things.
Mastery by Robert Greene
“We all are learning, modifying, or destroying ideas all the time. Rapid destruction of your ideas when the time is right is one of the most valuable qualities you can acquire. You must force yourself to consider arguments on the other side.
— Charles T. Munger”
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