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What will it take to change your mind?

A scientific theory makes predictions that anyone can try to disprove through experimentation and real world observations. And the theory grows stronger as more experiments are made with results that are in line with the predictions coming from the theory.

Our minds work the same way, albeit not with the necessary scientific rigour.

We come up with theories all the time and make predictions based on that theory:
I will be happy when I make more money.
I will be appreciated by my peer group if I get a promotion.
I have to move across the world and take up that new job to progress in my career.
I have to spend less time being distracted to achieve more in life.
I have to lose weight in order to look good.

We make tens of predictions like that each day. And we go about spending our days believing that these predictions are absolutely true.

It is a good exercise to engage in every now and then to design experiments that will question our theories and our predictions.

However, actual experiments to control for only the variable that we are interested in is impractical and impossible in many scenarios.

What we can do instead is to ask ourselves what it will take to change our mind about the predictions that we are making or the theories that we have. That is, if my current theory says "I have to move across the world and take up that new job to progress in my career", I can ask myself what it takes to change my mind.

This will lead me down a thought process where I outline what aspects of my current job make me feel I'm not progressing as much as I'd like. I can then come up with alternate predictions on addressing that. Something like, "I have to spend more time getting better at skills A & B to progress in my career and I can do it in my current job".

Our minds are not wired to make decisions from first principles. A good way to force ourselves to do that is by asking what it takes to change our mind.

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