Discussions are always better than arguments because an argument is to determine who is right, whereas a discussion is to determine what is right.

Discussions are always better than arguments because an argument is to determine who is right, whereas a discussion is to determine what is right.

Don’t argue with me about this one, because you know I am right! 

Or am I?

Clearly, a huge component of what is fracturing our democracy is a dire need to prove that one side is right, rather than having an intelligent discussion about what the issues are, and working through them.

From the earliest ages of arguing with siblings, people are trained that an argument will settle the score and solve the issue. But in reality, is that likely to happen in the real world as we grow up?

Arguments usually escalate to louder volume, fist pounding, talking over one another, and potentially into aggressive violence. Whereas a discussion is starting from an entirely different premise altogether. In a discussion, both parties are willing to concede upfront that the other party may have a differing perspective. In that perspective comes thought and consideration based upon whatever supporting information that party may have had access to in advance of the discussion. 

In the discussion, both parties are well served to approach with an open mind. It is an opportunity to potentially learn from one another, and to collectively reach a possible conclusion of merit that both parties might embrace and appreciate.

Discussions give way to progress and new frontiers for both participants. Arguments usually give way to bad feelings, anger, resentment and disappointment between the parties. Arguments are seldom settled, they are abandoned at a point of sheer frustration by one or both parties and the parties part company on bad terms, seldom to find their way back to complete harmony with one another.

One of my favorite parts of running The Illusion Factory has always been the brainstorm period. This is just a fancy term for a group discussion in which all parties are completely free of judgment of others in expressing any idea that comes to mind. There are no right or wrong responses, it is truly an open forum of idea exchange in which everyone has abandoned their shy nature in favor of adding something of value to the discussion. Some of the very best ideas we have ever produced at The Illusion Factory have manifest during a brainstorm. When there is no one around for a brainstorm, I often times will have such a session by myself. At that point it becomes a Brianstorm, but that is just a matter of semantics.

If I may offer any advice…. Have discussions regularly. Keep an open mind. You are most certainly NOT always right in your thoughts or ideas. Allow others to share how they see things, give them open room to express those thoughts, without your judgment or condemnation. Empower the people around you to contradict the way you see things, give them ample room to demonstrate how or why their ideas may be superior to those of your own, and embrace the opportunity you have created for personal growth along the way. If you can readily employ these actions, your life will become considerably richer for the effort!

Happy Sunday!

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Written by Brian Weiner
When I was 5 years old, I discovered that the lemon tree in the backyard + dixie cups + water and sugar and I was in business. I have been hooked on that ever since. In 1979, I borrowed $14,000 to create a brand new product... photographic greeting cards with no text on the inside, called Paradise Photography. That was the start of The Illusion Factory. Since then, The Illusion Factory has been entrusted by all of the major studios and broadcasters with the advertising and marketing of over $7 billion in filmed, live, broadcast, gaming, AR, VR and regulated gaming forms of entertainment, generating more than $100 Billion in revenue and 265 awards for creativity and technology for our clients. When I took a break from film school at UCLA to move to Hawaii, my mother did not lecture me. Instead, she took 150 of her favorite aphorisms and in her beautiful calligraphy, wrote them artistically throughout a blank journal. That is the origin of the Lessons from the Mountain series. Since then, on my journeys to the top of a mountain to watch the sunrise, I have spent countless hours contemplating words of wisdom from the sages of all races, genders and political persuasions, constantly accumulating the thoughts to guide me on my life path. I hope you enjoy my books. Please let me know your thoughts, as I highly value your feedback!