Who keeps telling you that you are special, you are unique? A diverse array of self-help book authors. They allege they are motivating readers. The truth? They are selling. They know readers love to be told so. Then why do most people so easily fall prey to such an absurd lie?
unique ≠ outstanding
That should be obvious, but is it? The fallacy is prevalent in daily life, and it even has a name: fallacy of false equivalence. No doubt that high school teachers have explained the mechanism of this fallacy to students one generation after another, however, it’s still one of the most popular fallacies, and remains the most potentially detrimental.
Concomitant with the fallacy of false equivalence is another one: the fallacy of confusing causes and effects:
Not that some are outstanding because they are unique/special,
but that they are special/unique because they are outstanding.
This is a nice topic to elegantly demonstrate the importance of logic training and the power of critical thinking skills. Thinking determines choices, choices trigger actions, and actions forge the course of life. What if thinking itself is flawed? A point worth noted is, flawed experiences cultivate bad thinking habits, which in turn will damage future experiences.
Understanding merely being unique doesn’t guarantee anything not only prevents one from doing silly things, but also helps one focus on the right things to do. Perhaps you’re unique, but just because you’re unique doesn’t mean you can get anything for nothing. Each one of us has to trade what we want with what we have, and perhaps that’s what “No gain without pain” exactly means.
at February 06, 2012 at 05:00AM