Upon the recommendation of The Great Tim Ferris, I read a super interesting essay today entitled:  Keep your Identity Small.   Billionaire investor/philospher Paul Graham great job with this interesting title.  Though the copy writing of the title pales in comparison to the opening paragaph-and-a-half:

I finally realized today why politics and religion yield such uniquely useless discussions.

As a rule, any mention of religion on an online forum degenerates into a religious argument. Why? Why does this happen with religion and not with Javascript or baking or other topics people talk about on forums?

What’s different about religion is that people don’t feel they need to have any particular expertise to have opinions about it?  [read the rest at Keep your Identity Small]

Though what I really liked about this article is how it made my brain think about another great lesson:  Have a Mind that Is Open to Everything and Attached to Nothing.  Your attachments are the source of your problems.  The need to be right, to possess someone or something, to win at all costs, to be viewed by others as superior – these are all attachments.   And they are traps.   They trap your mind in a box that blocks you from happiness.

And one of the biggest attachments in society is the need to be right.  The need to show people how much you know.   To correct people when you have decided that they are wrong or if you think they are potentially being offensive to someone.    Now, I’m all about being helpful and helping people learn.  I even created a blog about it.

Though stop and think about why you have the need to tell people they are wrong about something.  Especially if it’s something that isn’t fact based.   And Graham makes an excellent point in regards to religion and politics.  Is this to build your ego?  To show off and show dominance.  Is this an attachment that is preventing happiness?

The science of Neuro-Linguistic Programming has 14 core principles and one of them is “We Respect Each Person’s Model of the World.”   Though don’t take that to mean that we we have to buy into it.   Though we should respect that fact that THIS is their model.  That their entire life experience has led them to believe this, right now.  Since there is no way to know that – if you had the exact same life experience – you might feel the same way too.   You cannot be sure.

The interesting part of this practice is that respecting their model of the world allows you to get rapport.  Which is actually the most powerful way to connect with someone and change their mind.   Aha!  Diabolical.

Then let me present another weird side point:  What exactly would happen if you just……let……them…..be…..wrong?   Let’s say they just love their point that you COOOMMMPLEEETELY disagree with and you just let it go.   Let’s say you give be the bigger person and give them the gift of letting them be “right”.  They are happy that they are “right”, you are happy that you did something nice.

Odds are the world will end up with 2 happier people than if you have a knock down name calling argument.