Monday, June 6, 2011

Mental Flexibility

Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so. Douglas Adams, Last Chance to See

I can completely understand people who don't want to take unsolicited advice about their personal life, but I don't get people who prefer to fail at their desired goal rather than incorporate pertinent information that has been passed on to them. Even more inexplicable are the people who feel it is their right to drag a whole bunch of people along on their failed trip while withholding the fact that they have information that would virtually guarantee success.

A woman I know recently attempted to get to the top of one of our local mountains via the south side and was unsuccessful. A week later, she planned to go back again with a similar group of people and try again to get to the top via the south side, but this time, starting slightly (perhaps 200 metres) to the west. Undoubtedly, it's clear to the reader that 200 metres either west or east is insignificant, as both routes are essentially the same.

Having been up this local mountain - it is very easy as a road, clearly marked on the map, passes within a half a kilometre of the summit - I, with some trepidation, offered her route beta. In fact, I knew this beta would be completely ignored - as it was - because some people, and you know them as soon as you meet them, just will not hear anything.

The issue isn't really that any of us should immediately discard our plans the moment someone else offers a contrary position. None of us would ever achieve anything if we adopted that tactic, but we should at least have the mental flexibility to consider additional information, and, if warranted make a change in our plans.

And, no, they didn't make it.

 I'd hate to be doing this simply because I couldn't rethink my plans in the light of new information

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