Two Words That Will Change Your Life

“Change your life” is a big promise for two such small words as: counter-intuitive & counter-factual. So I better explain.

The first is frequently used these days as we read how things happen despite every intuition telling us they couldn’t. Syria agreeing to have their chemical weapons eliminated by the UN…. Congress actually settling on a bi-partisan budget…Justin Bieber still selling out concerts…New York City basking in the seventies for December.

That second word, counter-factual, is not used nearly as much, because we live in a culture which takes enormous pride in being fact based. I mean, there isn’t a week that goes by without some spanking new brain research explaining to us that what we do and feel and wear and marry is mostly based on the fact that some brain lobe or circuit or chemical is at work inside us.

Now here’s the point. Lately, even the fact-based researchers are admitting that strictly following the facts may not be the best route to take after all. In other words, it is often those people who reject the facts — who say to themselves I-don’t-accept-things-the-way-they-are — who are the scientists and artists and leaders who leap the farthest. jump the highest. achieve the most.

Like another dreamer Robert Kennedy once said: “Some people ask why? I ask why not!”

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