Why Isn’t the Whole World Fasting? James Clear’s explanation of why facts don’t change our minds.

Written By Katherine O

Why Facts Don’t Change Our Minds 

Author: James Clear

Why isn’t the whole world fasting? #1 New York Times bestseller, James Clear’s explanation of why facts don’t always change our minds.


I don’t know about you, but I really don’t get it sometimes. 


Fasting is so good for our health from reversing insulin resistance, inflammation, and type II diabetes, to decreasing your chances of getting cancer, to extending your lifespan, to decreasing your waistline… And, this isn’t hyperbole, this is hard science and FACTS. 


So, why isn’t everyone doing it?!? 


I came across this article from James Clear, author of Atomic Habits — a book I really enjoyed, and I think it really sheds some light on why fasting hasn’t taken off more widely… yet.  As he writes, “When confronted with an uncomfortable set of facts, the tendency is often to double down on their current position rather than publicly admit to being wrong.”


Decades of misguided public health information has hardened our nation’s position. The Calories In Calories Out theory of nutrition has been doubled down on repeatedly by our government, healthcare, and popular culture. Changing minds is going to require more than just the facts being on our side. 


Because, facts don’t change people’s minds. Friends gently coaxing do. 


I know many of us have friends, family, and loved ones that we WISH would adopt a fasting lifestyle, because their behavior are likely going to shave years off the time we get with them. A diagnosis of type II diabetes takes on average 12 years off a loved one’s lifespan. If they develop kidney failure (like the patients I used to serve had), the outlook is far worse. 


This article is all about how we can help persuade others to being more open to hearing what you have to share. And, if fasting is what you have to share… well, it may be adding precious years on to the time you get to spend with loved ones. 


A few of my favorite quotes from the piece:


  • The economist J.K. Galbraith once wrote, “Faced with a choice between changing one’s mind and proving there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy with the proof.”


  • Convincing someone to change their mind is really the process of convincing them to change their tribe. If they abandon their beliefs, they run the risk of losing social ties. 


  • The way to change people’s minds is to become friends with them, to integrate them into your tribe, to bring them into your circle. Now, they can change their beliefs without the risk of being abandoned socially.


  • Perhaps it is not difference, but distance that breeds tribalism and hostility. As proximity increases, so does understanding. I am reminded of Abraham Lincoln’s quote, “I don’t like that man. I must get to know him better.”


  • Arguments are like a full frontal attack on a person’s identity. Reading a book is like slipping the seed of an idea into a person’s brain and letting it grow on their own terms. There’s enough wrestling going on in someone’s head when they are overcoming a pre-existing belief. They don’t need to wrestle with you too.


Is there one friend you can start gently sharing some of your learnings about fasting with? Someone who might just be receptive due to your close relationship and who’s life might be changed materially for the better if you succeed? You might just add decades on to their life and the time you get together. 


Would love to hear what you find works best! 


Read the full article here: https://jamesclear.com/why-facts-dont-change-minds

Purchase James Clear’s Atomic Decisions on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0735211299/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=jamesclear-20&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=0735211299&linkId=abf7be794d09b977a31cce5f2315697f

Purchase James Clear’s Atomic Decisions audio book here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07RFSSYBH/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=jamesclear-20&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B07RFSSYBH&linkId=e147c3247100ade2767cf242ab22cdfb

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