It’s been a while since I’ve hopped on here and just shared thoughts from my personal growth journey. I’m breaking that streak because I have stumbled upon some information that was so transformative I just can’t keep it to myself.
If you’re anything like me you’re probably wondering if such a word even exists having never heard of it before. I’m going to lean us into what Factfulness is by framing it in a way we can all identify with. Know it alls; I’m certain we all know at least one. Well in this case think of your favorite Know it all, and imagine a time you knew for a fact they were incorrect about something, but they stayed glued to their jaded perspective.
Now I want you to consider for a moment that elements of their argument during that time was sprinkled with little truths; (emphasis on sprinkled). The truthful elements are the small pieces that kept you engaged in that argument believe it or not. Why you ask? It’s simple, it’s because in those moments you connected to the factual elements of their argument. In this moment it became less about the actual topic, and more about how you have grown to understand the SAME subject in your own realm of truth.
Not fun! How could this possibly have happened? How could this person know such foundational information on this topic, yet get it wrong when they process it? It’s because they have misinterpreted the facts. Believe it or not, it’s actually better to have the wrong answer, than to process the correct information incorrectly. Consider this; someone with the wrong answers, can be shown the correct answer, whereas having the right information but understanding it wrong forces the correcting individual to bring that person to terms with the fact that they’ve simply understood it wrong.
Factfulness breaks down to seeing things as they actually are. To accurately frame it, I could say it’s a plug-in for how you see the world, but it’s more a system that forces you to recall the whole picture. That is where our resident know it all falls short ignoring that voice challenging them to get more information. Not doing this causes these individuals to literally get it right and wrong at the same time.
- Cake contains sugar and can lead to obesity
- Obesity leads to disease
- Disease leads to death
Everything mentioned there is true, but let’s look at the different takes. Someone might see this information and conclude “Obese people will get sick and die if they keep eating cake.” Of course there are elements of here that are true, this would be a far reach from the reality. Taking a moment to pause and dig deeper one would know that there are now cake options that don’t contain harmful sugars that those getting serious about their health can turn to. So now, when that topic comes up in conversation, this same person can offer a different frame.
Like anything, practice makes perfect. Challenge yourselves to do this in your everyday lives. If it’s bumming you out, simply ask more questions.
~ Leo Croft
Rosling, H., Rosling, O., Rosling, A. R., & Zuppet, R. (2018). Factfulness. Milano: Rizzoli.