The Five Cognitive Distortions of People Who Get Stuff Done

In Michael Dearing’s The Five Cognitive Distortions of People Who Get Stuff Done presentation, the five distortions are:

  1. Personal exceptionalism
  2. Dichotomous thinking
  3. Correct overgeneralization
  4. Blank canvas thinking
  5. Schumpeterianism

last one sounds difficult to understand, so he outlines Schumpeterianism like this:

Definition: sees creative destruction as natural, necessary, and as their vocation

Benefits: fearlessness, tolerance for destruction and pain

Schumpeterianism means the ability to let go of old ways and embrace teardowns and criticism as a way to improve the way you do things.

The processes that lead to change and innovation can never happen without at times criticizing and tearing down the old standard ways of work. On a personal level, this means that learning to embrace criticism well, even if it means an utter teardown of your work and a new approach. Ideally, that new approach will inevitably lead you to better things.

If you can embrace that kind of creative destruction as a natural, necessary part of work, you won’t be so bothered by criticism, and you won’t feel personally offended if you know the natural path to better results involves tearing down things that don’t work. Keeping this in mind will help you put your personal feelings aside about your work and take a more analytical eye. You’ll be more willing to watch your work be ripped up if you know the feedback is for the best.

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