I find this question to be uniquely powerful. I have encountered very very few people in this world (thus far in 21 years on earth) that have voiced to me incredibly strong views rooted in absolute beliefs.
An “absolute belief” is really just a powerfully strong point of view. These are purposeful perspectives – developed through thinking, experience, and belief. I subscribe to the idea of “strong opinions, weakly held.”
I find most people fit their views into one of the two buckets:
- Strong opinions but super super stubborn about them
- Weak opinions that are also weakly held
We can choose to be water and just flow between topics, ideas, people, and places. And I think that is powerful.
But sometimes you have to be a tree. You have to stand.
Most people have generic, surface-level views on most topics. Their perspectives are largely, for better or worse, shaped by media headlines and quick takes. Most people do not take the time to meditate – write – think about hard opinions.
This scarcity may come from two reasons:
- People may not trust me or want to tell me their absolute beliefs.
- Very few people have absolute beliefs
I think the reality is a combination of both of these reasons. One challenge I face when in conversation is I am often trying to understand the other person quickly, and really get a knack for what this person really cares about.
So how do I answer this question…”what do I absolutely believe in?”
Ironically, I think there are very few absolutes in the world. There is math. And math is the truth. And then there are the abstracts. I have strong opinions about lots of things – the world would be better in VR, for instance – but I am not sure I am “impossibly” stuck on anything.
In other words, I do want people to change my mind. But, at the same time, I often come in with strong points of view. This is both positive and negative.
You can ask certain types of questions to evoke powerful responses…but you can also meet some types of people – perhaps more extroverted – who will give you the interesting content without even asking. Are those people better? Worse? Not necessarily.
I am the type of person who generates a point of view about something quickly…and that can have serious consequences.
I try my best to purposefully and honestly fight for the truth.
Also published on Medium.