It is time for a consciously fresh perspective.
I have always been extremely curious about what is happening in the world around me.
In college I mixed that curiosity with scientific analysis when I majored in Cognitive neuroscience, the analytical combination of Neuroscience, Philosophy, Psychology, Linguistics, and Artificial Intelligence. If that wasn’t enough, I then minored in Philosophy as I enjoyed solving deep and challenging logic problems.
Fast forward to today and I work with startups. As a result over the years, I tend to have a habit of early adopting new technology before the majority of people get it. Some of which I have written about before such as Fitbit, Google Glass, Apple Watch, Boosted Boards, and several innovative companies. I do this because I believe there is an advantage while working in Venture Capital to experience and understand new technology first hand in order to be able to accurately see future trends.
Also, I live in New York City, which means that anything I can think of is literally accessible within walking distance of me every day.
Combining all of the above, if I were to describe myself today I would say I am an extremely curious, analytically scientific, deeply philosophical, and optimistically futuristic person. Side-note: I still like having fun too 😉 .
The reason I have been thinking about this and am sharing it with you, is that along with 47.9% of America that went blue I did not see the U.S. election results coming. Brexit and the rise of populism have caught me by surprise as well.
The point of this post is not to dive into political waters though. So putting aside specific political candidates, echo chambers, inaccurate polling, my own personal beliefs, and more; what this post is really about is me reconciling that I failed to empathize with the other 47.2% of red America.
To be clear, empathy doesn’t mean you need to agree with someone. It means you understand another person's experiences and emotions; the ability to share someone else's feelings. I have not done a good enough job of that in recent months. Last week was a sobering reminder for the need to stay constantly aware of the lens that one views the world through.
It is important to keep a clear and honest perspective that balances the past, present, and future at the same time. To force oneself to take a step back and keep a consciously fresh perspective. To grow the personal self awareness to be able to see that at times there are differences between how your own experiences cause you to perceive the world, how other people are perceiving the same situation, and what is really happening.
Lastly, while personally working to view the world through that unbiased lens it is important that we talk to more people. Including those who disagree with our viewpoints. Exposure to the opinions and beliefs of others is the only way to gain a wider and more accurate view of the world.