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How to escape the tyranny of reason
Tap into your disorderly repository of thoughts
Before I dive into today’s topic which is ‘the tyranny of reason’, I would like to share with you some of my favourite episodes from The Grinders Table podcast this season. Subscribe or search for “The Grinders Table” on your preferred podcast app.
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Let’s dive in!
Last week I wrote about Unconcious bias, and I vaguely mentioned that I will write on the issue of logic and how it can be subjective.
According to Bing, logic is a formal system of reasoning that follows a set of rules and principles to arrive at a conclusion. Reason, on the other hand, is the process of thinking about something in a logical way to form a conclusion or judgment. In other words, logic is a tool that we use to reason.
logic is a tool that we use to reason
While we all ought to reason in a logical manner, we may fall into the habit of thinking and constraining our actions, thoughts, behaviours, expectations etc to a ‘box’.
Is thinking within the box bad? What is the box and why should we abandon it from time to time? I’ll let you be the judge.
We often rely on our past experiences and what is regarded as the norm to make educated guesses when faced with problems, especially those that appear with partial or incomplete information. Instantly, we recognise and create patterns, interpret situations quickly and form a position which may be wrong. This results in us being confined by our own false assumptions—stuck in the proverbial box. By sticking to what’s allowable, believable, correct, or even possible, we constrain our imagination and miss out on other ‘truths’.
by sticking to what’s allowable, believable, correct, or even possible, we constrain our imagination and miss out on other ‘truths’.
How do we escape the tyranny of reason and tap into the disorderly repository in our minds?
The tyranny of reason is the belief that everything can and should be explained by logic, rationality, and evidence. It is the assumption that there is only one right way to think and that anything that deviates from it is irrational, subjective, emotional or plain wrong.
While reason is the source of rationality and logic, reason has its limits and sometimes it can even become a big obstacle to creativity and innovation.
reason has its limits and sometimes it can even become a big obstacle to creativity and innovation.
The most successful people make an extra effort to not be constrained by reason. I dare say that to leave a successful life, you will have to abandon reason.
The tyranny of reason can limit our creativity, intuition, and imagination, and prevent us from accessing the rich and diverse sources of knowledge and wisdom that reside in our minds.
How can we transcend the tyranny of reason?
One way to escape the tyranny of reason is to tap into the disorderly repository in the mind, which is the collection of memories, associations, images, feelings, and insights that are not organized by logic or rules, but by personal experience and meaning. The disorderly repository in the mind can offer us new perspectives, insights, and solutions that reason alone cannot.
the disorderly repository in the mind can offer us new perspectives, insights, and solutions that reason alone cannot.
Let’s get practical, one way to tap into your disorderly thoughts to solve a real-world business problem is “random word simulation”. This technique involves picking a random word from a dictionary, a book, or any other source, and using it as a stimulus to trigger associations and connections with the problem or topic we are working on.
Let me use an example inspired by my wife. If we are trying to come up with a new marketing strategy for our online clothing store, we could pick a random word like "Mango" and see how it relates to our business. We could ask ourselves questions like:
What are the characteristics of a mango? How can we apply them to our products or services?
What are the benefits of eating a mango? How can we communicate them to our customers?
What are the associations or emotions that a mango evokes? How can we use them to create a memorable brand identity or message?
What are the challenges or drawbacks of growing or selling mango? How can we overcome them or turn them into advantages?
By doing this exercise, we might come up with some interesting ideas, such as:
Offering a tropical-themed collection of clothes with bright colours and patterns inspired by mango.
Creating a loyalty program that rewards customers with discounts or free products based on the number of "mango points" they collect.
Launching a social media campaign that encourages customers to share their stories or photos of how they enjoy mangos in their daily lives.
Partnering with local farmers or organizations that support sustainable and ethical production of mangos.
The random word stimulation technique is just one example of how to tap into the disorderly repository in the mind. The key is to be open-minded, curious, and willing to explore new possibilities knowing that as unrelated and disorderly as your thoughts are, they can still lead to clarity if applied in the right manner.
Are you allowing logic to stop you from stepping out of the box?
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