Don’t Believe Everything You Think – JJOL Podcast #23

In this episode Carter and Mo discuss critical thinking. Influenced by the book Don’t Believe Everything You Think by Thomas Kida, they talk about the things that hinder critical thinking and relate this to jiu-jitsu and life. They discuss how we prefer stories over statistics, the trap of confirmation bias and how experts can be wrong.


  • How people sometimes make big jumps in training (01:02)
  • How Carter finds it satisfying to watch his older students gain confidence in their skills and ability (02:46)
  • Carter’s current structure for training (05:09)
  • How it’s important to be a critical thinker (08:27)
  • The 6 main problems which hinder critical thinking (09:50)
  • How we prefer stories over statistics and how this impacts selling and marketing (10:19)
  • How buying is an emotional decision (12:58)
  • How media influences our view of crime and safety (14:22)
  • The importance of watching what the best people in jiu-jitsu actually do in training and competition and not just getting information from their instructional videos (16:18)
  • The trap of confirmation bias (18:47)
  • Examples of confirmation bias in jiu-jitsu (19:58)
  • A checklist for questioning your beliefs (22:54)
  • Giving credence to the impact of chance and coincidence in our lives (24:19)
  • How the development of jiu-jitsu is similar to the evolution of skateboarding (27:09)
  • The story of how chance and coincidence played a part in Carter training at the Rickson Gracie school (28:31)
  • The problem with misperceiving the world and how experts can be wrong (31:06)
  • How we tend to be swayed by the stories of success instead of analysing statistics (32:14)
  • The importance of not getting caught up in moments of success (34:51)
  • The problem of looking for patterns where there aren’t any (36:53)
  • The advantages of building up a hardiness and resilience to unexpected hardships (37:54)
  • How in jiu-jitsu you have to figure out your moves in the moment and can’t rely on past methods (38:48)
  • The problem of faulty memories (41:00)
  • How memories are not set in stone and can change over time (42:36)
  • The importance of being detached and analytical about your training (44:52)
  • How filming can give you a more accurate perspective on your performance (46:31)
  • How detaching yourself from destructive emotional things can make you happier (48:23)
  • The jiu-jitsu of life youtube channel (49:47)




Don’t Believe Everything You Think: The 6 Basic Mistakes We Make in Thinking by Thomas E. Kida

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