And The Importance of Uncertain Believing
“The belief system of a person is the set of beliefs that they have about what is right and wrong and what is true and false,” Dictionary
“What we believe is the most powerful option of all,” Norman Cousins
“A belief is an idea, a hypothesis, a theory, or a way of looking at the world which forces us to look at the world in a way that supports that belief,” Edward de Bono
“Your beliefs are cause maps that you impose on the world after which you ‘see’ what you have already imposed,” Karl Weick
During my career of writing about decision making, I have learned to focus on belief. Beliefs become behavior. The quotes above explain the importance of beliefs.
Today it is accepted that “believing is seeing and seeing is doing,” but it is often ignored. This well-know quote explains: “the eye sees in things what it looks for, and it looks for what is already in the mind,” The Scientific School of Police, Paris. What is already in the mind, of course, are beliefs. Beliefs determine what we look for to decide what we do.
The way we see things of course, should be full of wiggle room — room for further interpretations. However, this is not true of most beliefs. Most people believe with certainty. What we believe to be true IS true, no doubt, no wiggle room.
This importance of beliefs suggests that we should know what we believe. But do we? I believe a major solution to many world problems today is belief awareness and the willingness to change what one believes.
We are what we believe. If we believed with uncertainty, we would be capable of change. Remember, “it ain’t what you don’t know that gets you in trouble, it’s what you know for sure that ain’t so,” Mark Twain. What you know for sure has no wiggle room.
Believing is seeing and seeing is doing. That’s how powerful beliefs are. Remember, what the eye sees is what it looks for, which is already in the mind. And what is already in the mind is beliefs. If we didn’t have beliefs, we wouldn’t know what to look for.
Wiggle room saves us from dogmatic believing. We need room to rethink, reconsider and to change our minds. This helps us to avoid knowing for sure what ain’t so. Wiggle room implies uncertainty. And my beliefs about positive uncertainty provide wiggle room.
If as Edward de Bono says: “a belief is an idea, a hypothesis, a theory, or a way of looking at the world which forces us to look at the world in a way that supports that belief,” then our beliefs determine what we see. This clearly is powerful.
The way we see things is the way we see things. It is nothing more, it is nothing less; but it is the beginning of everything.