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Use Empirical Faith to make good decisions

One of the key elements to confidence that I’ve learned about over the last couple of years is what I call empirical faith.

This is where you take what feels like a leap of faith, but it’s actually based on solid evidence.

Oftentimes the things you should be doing are actually well backed up by evidence but it feels terrifying to do them, like starting conversations with strangers, experimenting with a new business idea, or cutting processed sugar from your diet. These things align with your values and are proven to improve quality of life, and yet your fear has a misfire and freaks out about doing them.

And yet you’re quite happy and comfortable to do things that have evidence that they’re a bad idea! For example, getting back into a relationship with your ex who’s a bad fit for you. It will feel like the right thing to do, but statistically it’s stupid.

Spending more time with your children rather than working hard is statistically verified as a good idea. You won’t actually feel like doing it at the time because you’ll be all stressed out about work.

If you can learn to take steps that are proven to be good and align with your values, rather than sticking to what feels comfortable or is approved of by others, then you’re making a leap of empirical faith.

And that’s what a good life is based on.

2 Responses

  1. This often means going against what is popular – I’ve found that usually the best approach to anything is only practiced by a minority of people

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