In Anti-fragile, Nassim Taleb talks about our tendency to find multiple reasons to justify our actions.
He argues that one reason is enough. If you need more that one reason, you’re lying to yourself.
Why do you want to start a company?
Can’t get a job?
Want to get rich?
Want to build a big company?
Have a great idea?
Pick one. If one isn’t enough, then you’re lying to yourself.
A good entrepreneur can sell ice to an eskimo. A great entrepreneur can sell a refrigerator.
The dark side of being a great salesman is that you become so good at selling the dream that you can fool yourself.
Clever words can rationalize any behaviour, even when you know deep down that it’s a bad idea.
The magic rule for avoiding lying to yourself is the “One Reason Rule”.
If you ever need more than one reason to do something, stop. Don’t do it. You’re rationalizing.
If one reason isn’t enough, don’t do it.