Why Trust is important?

An astronaut trusted a mathematician to calculate his flight path instead of a computer. What makes a person trust someone with their life?

Anmol Mohan

Before we jump into what is trust and how to generate it, it is essential to understand WHY? What makes trust so crucial that it requires a deeper understanding? Why are you investing your time in reading this and figuring it out? Why is it worth writing about?

Katherine Johnson was a mathematician at NASA in the 50s and 60s. She use to calculate the flight paths of the spacecraft BY HAND in an era before electronic computers were in use. But eventually, these manual calculations were replaced by computers. When it happened for the first time, John Glenn, an American astronaut was supposed to into the Earth's orbit. He specifically asked for Katherine to validate all the calculations done by the computer.

I won't go into all the achievements of Katherine Johnson here. But I think gaining John Glenn's trust should be one of the top ones on the list. How do you trust someone with your life?

Let's try to analyze the WHY of trust from John Glenn's eyes and then try to generalize.

What did John Glenn gain from this trust?

  • You don't have to do everything yourself

A product needs to have a front end and a backend. Frontend or Backend alone does not make money. Only when they are together, they solve a problem for someone which gives the developers to make money.

That means if you are an exceptional backend developer, you also need an exceptional front-end developer to make a product that works.

In any complex system containing multiple players, you rely on each other for something. Each person can produce their limited human output which may be ordinary. But all these ordinary outputs when arranged through focussed effort can be extraordinary.

We want that extraordinary outcome but we cannot do everything needed on our own.

John Glenn doesn't have to be an expert in flight trajectory calculations to have the most enriching experience of his life in space.

Life is richer because of trust

  • You don't have to worry about everything

When you go to a restaurant, you don't have to worry that the food that you are eating will be disastrous for your health. There is enough trust between you and the restaurant brand that you are able to enjoy your date without fear of diarrhea. It helps free up your mind to worry about other useless things like politics in an alien country.

When you work in a team, you need to focus on your work. That focus cannot come if you are constantly worried about how others are screwing up. Trust allows you to focus on your problems and if everyone is doing the same, the output will be near perfect.

John Glenn didn't have to constantly worry about dying while he was going to the space. He had peace of mind so that he can concentrate on his job and keep his mind open for other uncertainties.

Life is simpler because of trust.

  • It motivates others to go above and beyond

Remember the time when your mom asked you to turn on the lights for the first time? Or that time when your teacher asked you to help them with a problem? You felt proud and decided to do your best to them proud as well.

When you are willing to trust others, you appeal to their intrinsic motivation. They see your action as an invitation to build something extraordinary together. It drives their passions to reach their actions.

John Glenn motivated Katherine to be at her best. His willingness to trust Katherine so much would have propelled her to be careful with the calculations and find the most creative solutions. It would have paved the way for their long-term relationship and even for Katherine to give the same willingness to others.

Life is beautiful because of trust.

Hope I am able to convince you that trust is something worth investing time and energy in. How trusting people and environments can benefit us. Why you should continue reading and I should continue writing.

Thanks for reading.

Mental Strength

Anmol Mohan

I am just trying to make sense of this world. I am interested in the hardest puzzles like Consciousness, Humanity and Multiverse. Sharing my honest learning during this journey.