Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Everyone is better than average

Over 90% of us think we are better drivers than average. Most people think they are better than average at pretty much everything they do. Not you of course, but other people, are mostly wrong.
This is a fundamental human weakness which holds us back. Because we think we are each better than average, we do not listen to others enough. We do not continue to learn once we have learned "enough." The only people who do not suffer from this are those who are in constant, objective, competition with others, such as athletes. But academics, politicians, businesspeople, doctors, and most of us do not have this comparison. So because we are over-confident, we make mistakes. Often, we do not even realize that we made a mistake. This is something to guard against, but is very difficult to do.

1 comment:

Jonathan said...

You may well be right, in general, but I've never thought of myself as a better-than-average driver. (I learnt to drive in Italy at the age of 34...)

Excessive confidence can be a problem, but insufficient confidence can also be a problem, and I think it's held me back in my life up to now. Having an accurate assessment of your own capabilities is useful but seems rather difficult.