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Think Smarter: Critical Thinking to Improve Problem-Solving and Decision-Making Skills by Michael Kallet

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19 Beliefs

Beliefs—Your Value System

At an international distance race in Spain in late 2012, Kenyan runner Abel Mutai was in first place, followed by Spaniard Ivan Fernandez Anaya. For some reason—perhaps the way the course was marked—Mutai thought the end of the race was about 10 meters before the actual finish line, and he slowed to a stop. The Spanish crowd attempted to point out the error, but Mutai didn't understand the foreign language. Anaya could have overtaken Mutai and claimed first place but instead came up behind him. He guided Mutai to the finish line, preserving the outcome as if Mutai had not made his mistake. When asked why he didn't overtake Mutai, Anaya explained that he wasn't the rightful winner and if it weren't for Mutai's confusion, he would have not won. The conclusion Anaya made—to help his competitor—was heavily influenced by a belief about doing the right thing.

We all have values. Many are shared; some are different. Not everyone has a strong do-the-right-thing value; some people have an every-man-for-himself value. Some people believe that their job takes priority over their personal life, whereas others feel the opposite. Some think it's perfectly acceptable to take a few office supplies home for personal use, but others consider it stealing and would never do so. Being on time is extremely important to some people; others think it's perfectly okay to be late. Regardless of the stance, these are all beliefs.

Beliefs are your core values. They are ...

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