“Give it five minutes”

31 October 2018

[Richard Saul Wurman] said “Man, give it five minutes.” I asked him what he meant by that? He said, it’s fine to disagree, it’s fine to push back, it’s great to have strong opinions and beliefs, but give my ideas some time to set in before you’re sure you want to argue against them. “Five minutes” represented “think”, not react. He was totally right.

[…]

[He] has spent his career thinking about these problems. He’s given it 30 years. And I gave it just a few minutes. Now, certainly he can be wrong and I could be right, but it’s better to think deeply about something first before being so certain you’re right.

Jason Fried


This comes to my mind every time I face new ideas, laws, structures, products, redesigns, or just a change in my life.

When we talk about politics, for example, it's really easy to dismiss what someone is doing and say "it's so stupid and I would do this instead of that, of course!". Without understanding the big picture, or the keys behind a problem, yeah, for sure we would do differently. This is not a justification for world destruction or horrible legislations, but a mental framework to acquire knowledge about why it's like that and how it could be really improved.

It's hard, and we all fell for it, but each time I try to understand the motivation or the why behind something I would push against, it always makes more sense, whether I liked it or not. Then, I get a better grasp on the problem. And sometimes, it can even change my mind.