How the world actually works and how we would like it to work can many times be two very different things. This difference can create an uncomfortable reality. When it comes to addressing problems or overcoming challenges, many of us suffer from what is called "first conclusion bias." This causes our brain to shut down and stop thinking after the first idea comes to mind that seeks to address a problem as we understand it. Here are a few thoughts on how to quickly and deliberately overcome this tendency:
1) We must become aware that our first thoughts usually are not our own. They typically come from somewhere else and will not truly become our own until we take the time to stop and do some real thinking. With so many forms of technology tugging on our attention, this must be a very intentional step.
2) While thinking through a problem, we must contradict our first conclusion. We must play devils advocate with ourselves to validate our thought process.
3) We must ask "then what?" What will be the intended and unintended consequences of our actions? What will be the cause and effect?
4) We must ask ourselves if there is a more optimal solution. Although our first conclusion may be sufficient, is there a better way?
Although reality can sometimes be uncomfortable, it is much better to face it than to ignore it and hope for the best. We will make much better decisions if we overcome the "first conclusion bias" and learn to quickly and deliberately work through our problems and challenges. An uncomfortable problem solving session will always be better than dealing with uncomfortable consequences.