"The Work Required to Have an Opinion: Combining Charlie Munger's Insights and Novak Djokovic's Unconventional Beliefs"

Alessio Frateily

Alessio Frateily

Jul 11, 20233 min read

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"The Work Required to Have an Opinion: Combining Charlie Munger's Insights and Novak Djokovic's Unconventional Beliefs"

Opinions are something we all have, but how many of us actually put in the work required to have a well-informed opinion? Charlie Munger, the renowned investor and business partner of Warren Buffett, believes that true opinions can only be formed after doing extensive research and understanding the arguments from the other side. It's not enough to simply hold a belief without putting in the effort to back it up.

Munger emphasizes the importance of doing the reading, talking to competent people, and understanding their arguments. He suggests that we need to think about the key variables and how they interact over time. This requires us to actively seek out different perspectives and consider arguments that run counter to our own views. We must be willing to challenge ourselves and be open to the possibility that we may be fooling ourselves.

Rabbi Moses ben Maimon, also known as Maimonides, once said, "Teach thy tongue to say I do not know, and thou shalt progress." This quote perfectly encapsulates the idea of doing the work required to hold an opinion. It means being able to argue against yourself better than anyone else can. It means being able to consider the arguments on the other side and understanding them deeply.

Novak Djokovic, the world-famous tennis player, has recently come under scrutiny for some of his unconventional beliefs. In his web series, "The Self Mastery Project," Djokovic suggests that people's energy can change the state of the world around them. He goes on to claim that humans can even change the molecular composition of water with their emotions. While these beliefs may seem far-fetched to many, they highlight the importance of being open to different ideas and perspectives.

One common thread between Munger and Djokovic's insights is the idea of challenging our beliefs and being open to new information. Munger emphasizes the need to destroy our ideas rapidly when necessary, while Djokovic encourages us to be mindful of the energy we bring into the world. Both of these ideas require us to be intellectually honest and willing to consider alternative viewpoints.

So, how can we apply these insights to our own lives? Here are three actionable pieces of advice:

  • 1. Seek out diverse perspectives: Make a conscious effort to expose yourself to different viewpoints and arguments. This could involve reading books or articles from authors with differing opinions, engaging in thoughtful discussions with people who hold different beliefs, or even attending lectures or seminars on topics you're interested in.
  • 2. Challenge your own beliefs: Actively question your own assumptions and biases. Look for evidence that contradicts your beliefs and be willing to adjust your opinion accordingly. This can be a difficult and uncomfortable process, but it is essential for personal growth and intellectual honesty.
  • 3. Practice intellectual humility: Embrace the idea that you don't know everything. Be open to learning from others and acknowledge that there is always more to discover. Cultivate a mindset of curiosity and a willingness to admit when you're wrong.

In conclusion, having an opinion is easy, but doing the work required to have an informed opinion is much harder. Charlie Munger's emphasis on research, understanding opposing arguments, and challenging our own beliefs aligns with Novak Djokovic's unconventional beliefs about the power of energy and emotions. By incorporating these insights into our own lives and following the actionable advice provided, we can become more intellectually honest, open-minded individuals who are capable of holding well-informed opinions.

Resource:

  1. "The Work Required to Have an Opinion", https://fs.blog/the-work-required-to-have-an-opinion/ (Glasp)
  2. "Novak Djokovic suggests you can change water's molecular structure with your emotions in bizarre livestream", https://ftw.usatoday.com/2020/05/novak-djokovic-psuedoscience-babble (Glasp)

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