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Do you Check Out what They Say?

How do you Decide?

Man making a choice, deciding
What's your approach to life? How do you make up your mind? Do you think things though for yourself? Or do you look at the person suggesting an idea, and ask yourself how well-known or how famous they are?

Do you assume that their success in acting, becoming famous - or speaking convincingly - strangely endows them with infallible expertise in an unrelated field?

Is a politician automatically an expert in economics? Or do you check to see if they have both expertise and experience in the ideas they are promoting?

Is it their own idea? Or are their ideas directed by vested interests who have a direct interest - usually money or power - in the outcome? The
secret of success is to make sure you investigate their motivation.

Who Benefits?

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Does the person benefit if you accept their ideas? Will you? If so, how?

Will it increase your wealth? Who provides their income, or pays their salary? Is it an entity or a corporation which gains if you buy their story? Will their income be affected if they were to come up with an unbiased opinion as opposed to one influenced by the source of their income?

Can they be relied upon to tell an unbiased story, or will their self-interest prejudice the story they give you? Producing thoughtful, carefully considered answers to all these questions will
change your life, this is how to avoid being manipulated.

Do they know how to create wealth?

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Are they proposing a wealth tax? Governments well know to tax the things they want less of, like cigarettes and liquor. So, unless a politician is economically illiterate, any proposals for taxing the wealthy must mean he wants less wealth. Curious.

Does such a politician have any practical experience in creating wealth? Yet without genuine personal experience, how can he know the policies needed for the whole country - including you - to prosper and become wealthy?
Deception Apple with an Orange Centre
Many people and politicians have decided they prefer power and money rather than to maintain their integrity. So ask yourself if they could have such a large stake in the outcome that they are willing to deceive you to achieve their aims?

Adolf Hitler of Nazi Germany (NAtional soZIalismus - National Socialism) is famous for saying: The broad masses of a population are more amenable to the appeal of rhetoric than to any other force. His evil secret was to become a persuasive speaker and then persuade gullible Germans to believe everything he said, no matter how absurd...

After all, believed Hitler, the end justifies the means. He even said: What good fortune for those in power that people do not think. Does the person or politician wanting your vote also believe that the end justifies the means?

Do the see that unethical behavior is unethical - dishonest - no matter how much they benefit from the outcome. Investing the time to understand this dilemma, and to come to your own conclusion, is a
worth-while effort which will change your life. Wisdom is not parroting another, it lies in appreciating the consequences, which means thinking for yourself and coming to your own conclusions.

Do you just Agree or Disagree?

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Do you want to arrive at the truth? Do you just regurgitate other people's opinions, or do you know how to think for yourself? You should know that many educational systems today seem to focus on teaching students what to think rather than how to think. They don't want them disagreeing with their opinions!

A "good education" leads many people to mistakenly believe they know how to think: You just listen to what someone says. If it agrees with your existing take on the matter then they're right, if they disagree then they must be wrong.

But how much real thinking does this take? How can this get you to the truth?
Isn't it just self sabotage to see if you agree or disagree without exploring the issue for yourself?

How to Arrive at The Truth

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Woman in deep thought thinking
Here's a more empowering way to think: Listen to what someone says. If it agrees with your existing opinion, then you now know that at least one other person agrees with you. Although this does not prove you're right, no more thought is required for now.

But when they disagree with your existing thinking? When it seems to be wrong? Use the scientific method to explore the dichotomy: What they see as true is what you see as false.

Find out why they think they're right. Yet your positions seem to contradict each other, you think they're wrong.
The secret of improving your thinking is for you to find out why you disagree, transcend your current understanding, and come up with a perspective that reconciles your different positions. This will stop you thinking they necessarily have the wrong end of the stick.

Of course, it may be that they - or you - do have it wrong. There's only one set of facts and inconsistencies highlight errors in thinking! Are they deliberately misleading you - or are you mistaken? Then either you correct your previously incorrect position, or you understand more about why they are wrong.

In both cases, you've investigated the matter. You now have a more powerful perspective because you've engaged in empowering thought instead of jumping to conclusions and assuming they're wrong and you're right. Or vice versa.

Food for Thought

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"Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts."

- Democratic Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, 1927-2003, ambassador, presidential adviser, renown for his scholarly intellect

"Education has failed in a very serious way to convey the most important lesson science can teach: skepticism."

- Professor David Suzuki, Canadian academic, science broadcaster, environmental activist, author

This article was originally published at

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