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Becoming addicted to one’s own ideas is both dangerous and paralyzing

I recently read the story of a woman who had to travel to New York for business reasons for three days and, therefore, used the services of a well-known short-term rental company. But when she got to the apartment she had rented, she found that it was nothing like what she saw on the web page promoting that place.

To her great amazement, the apartment she rented was next to a restaurant and one of the apartment windows was also a window for the restaurant, so the woman had to cover that window to avoid being seen by the diners. And while she tried to sleep, a few inches on the other side of the wall people could be heard eating.

The woman took numerous pictures of her challenging situation. and she posted the images in real time on social media. Then, after leaving the apartment, she filed a complaint with the rental company, asking for her money back for those three nights at the apartment.

Only then the woman discovered that she had mistakenly gone to the wrong apartment. The apartment she had rented was only one door away from where the woman entered. Seeing her arriving late at night and tired, and asking for a place to stay for a few days, the owners of the restaurant decided to give her a place to sleep without asking any questions.

The strange thing about it is that despite the fact that the apartment next to the restaurant was undoubtedly different from the one she had rented, the woman never thought that she had been wrong and that she had gone to the wrong place. Even more, she was so angry with that place that she ignored the messages sent by owners of the apartment that she had actually reserved.

In other words, the woman was so sure of the authenticity of her own actions that she never doubted of her actions, preferring to blame others for her situation, despite having numerous indications and even undeniable proof that she was wrong and at the wrong place.

Clearly, the woman had become addicted to her own ideas, so addicted that this addiction prevented her from seeing reality. And although in this case and happily for the traveler everything ended well, in many other cases the addiction to one's own ideas (the most serious of all addictions because it is the one that is least seen) leads to catastrophic circumstances.

For example, a few months ago a man went hiking alone in the Colorado Rocky Mountains and got lost. Rescue teams found him 24 hours later, safe and sound. They had been calling him on the phone the entire time, but the man did not respond to calls because, he said, he does not respond to numbers he does not know. Had he answered, the rescue would have taken less than an hour.

This is yet another example of how dangerous and paralyzing is to become an addict to one's own ideas.

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