“This is the true athlete-the person in rigorous training against false impressions. Remain firm, you who suffer, don’t be kidnapped by your impressions! The struggle is great, the task divine-to gain mastery, freedom, happiness, and tranquility.”
Epictetus, Discourses, 2.18.27-28
It is statistically shown the more educated you’re about a topic or issue, the less confident you become. The deeper you go into something, often the more stipulations and problems are uncovered.
Facebook is full of angry and naive first impressions. But who are you helping by giving your first take on something? You must, like an athlete, train yourself to not accept your own first take on something seemingly shallow. Because often something is not how it seems until start digging deeper.
The ability to override your emotions in many cases so you can get to the bottom truth is not just incredibly important for yourself and the people around you. But it is a tough skill you must practice in order to deploy it regularly so you can straighten out your own thinking and way you look at anything.
I implore all reading this to develop a habit of running past your first impression and get to the most accurate truth you can. This involves seeing an issue from both sides and drawing connections to why each side thinks the way they do. Yes, it takes time, effort, and willpower. But if you’re not willing to find the truth out for yourself, someone else will tell you their version of it. Then it is very easy to partake in a cycle of flawed and biased thinking.
Rise above first impressions.