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Week 4: Question Everything (Part 1)

  • This weeks posts will de delivered in 5 parts.  1 each day of the week.  Leading into the the New Year, when we will begin our journey of discovery.

Question Everything!

(Part 1)

I have taught my kids this premise.  When learning anything, “Question everything!”  You have heard the expression, “Don’t believe everything you read.”  This is demonstrated by the definition website Wikipedia.  This website prides themselves on being a source for information, yet any user can update their data at any time.  This means that what you read may not be absolute fact.  That is not to say that there is no validity in the statements and facts that you read or hear, but there may be some doubts about their factual certainty.

It stands to reason then, when we read or hear something, is this information a fact or fiction?  Where did you get this information?  You should question what it is you are actually hearing, what the actual message is behind the statement and why they decided to pursue this information.  Question too, the motives of the source.  Who are they and what is the motivation behind passing on this information?  Most importantly, question whether there is no other means of achieving results for the query.  Is this the only way?  Just because it has always been done this way does not mean it is the only way, or even the best way.  Is this information something that many have taken for fact or generally accepted by all?  Because of that we might not have looked at other alternatives.  Can you find that alternative?

The reason I put these thoughts in your head today is to give you a new tool, a new way to think about every bit of information you assimilate.  A stronger and more defined way of utilizing the information you are being given.  My goal for you is to be able to quickly decide on the validity of the information you see or hear, then decide how to best use those details to your advantage.  Finally, apply this new information to your existence.  As I mentioned, this is a tool that with practice, you will learn to be able to dissect information quickly and easily.

How do you do that?  How can you tear apart this information to reach the important parts that matter to you?  What method or system will allow us to calculate the degree to which this information matters to us?  Why would I even want to question everything?  These questions and more will be answered as I break down the Question Everything method.  So where do you start?

Like any good reporter you begin by asking impertinent questions.  Who?  What?  Why?  When?  Where?  How?  These basic starts to all questions will lead you to the facts.  That is why reporters are taught to use this method, to get at the truth, the heart of the matter.  The above leading questions are designed to pull out the information that the distributor might not want to give to you, the little details that they might be desperately trying to hide or possibly haven’t even considered.

Now that I have you seriously reconsidering the statements you hear, what is it you are looking for?  Start with what you are hearing.  What information are you being fed, and why?  In each and every instance you must question the validity of the statement.  Inside of each bit of “fact” you may find either truths or untruths.  It is our job to discern what these are.  If they are true, what do they mean to me?  I must know the reason I am hearing this information.  If they are untrue, why I am not being told some false piece of information?  What am I not being told?  What is the correct or missing information?  Is there some misinformation there, or perhaps misdirection? Why?

Every time you are fed information, new questions arise.  Question the individuals that are feeding you the information.   What are the motives behind the delivery of this information?  You would want to know if they are genuinely imparting you with knowledge for knowledge sake or if they have some other reason for what they are telling you.  Most importantly, is this a fact or fiction?  If it is fact is this the only possible answer for this query?  Are there other possibilities?  Is there other information you need to know?  Better yet are there other solutions to this equation that other people might not have considered, yet?  Can we reinvent the wheel?  Thought is the real parent of invention.  This is why you question everything.  You never know what new information may be hatched by a simple question.

 

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