A clean mind is not always a healthy mind.
Nor is an empty mind.It pays to be able to recognise and understand social programming (the new term for good old-fashioned brainwashing), and more importantly, how to deal with it.
Decrypt media spin.
The media uses many different tools and angles (hooks) to sensationalize things that aren’t even that special. “Experts generally agree” can mean a community college ‘professor’ and “recent surveys find” can mean the polling of 10 people or less in some cases. Be very wary of any claims where the sources aren’t specifically and clearly laid out.
Do you know that the most genuinely talented people never feel the need to convince you of their ability? Real talent does not need pretty packaging or constant reminders, it advertises itself. Hype isn’t all bad, but having some idiot scream at you from a TV Screen or Computer Monitor is more than likely an attempt to scare you into believing something.
Don’t buy into scare tactics.
This approach is most popular among the armed forces. For this reason: to make one conform and adhere to the purpose of the larger whole. On one hand, you may understand why they have to do what they do.
But it is also important to remain wary of any group that discourages any questioning of the command structure. If you do not think the purpose of your troop’s mission is ethical, or even legal, sorry, you don’t get an opinion. If you don’t agree, tough.
Schools and governments instil in the individual that there is no other choice, but to follow the leader with your head dutifully down. But if you just look a little further, open your eyes and maybe stick your head above the parapet, there is nearly always another way you didn’t really see while your head was down.
Surveys and statistics are often skewed to support the agenda of the presented information. Just because a survey says something, doesn’t mean you have to believe it, as it’s highly likely to be inaccurate anyway. Even if it’s from a supposed reputable source, keep in mind that everyone has an agenda.
Advertisers have cleverly discovered that they can sell you something much easier if it’s associated with a certain lifestyle. A Mercedes equals luxury and high class; a Jeep means you’re rugged and adventurous. Cut through the Bullshit. You alone should define the way you live.
Your lifestyle should not define you.
The word “authority” derives from the word author, which simply means the one who originated the idea.
It doesn’t mean however, that, that particular author is right, or that they offer the only option.
Get as many different opinions as possible before making a decision, most importantly, trust your instincts and common sense.
Have you noticed that extremely pushy and enthusiastic people have an ability to sway others? Their unshakeable certainty lures others into following their train of thought or their teachings, simply because they don’t have a strong opinion one way or the other.
If you don’t know for certain, don’t let someone else’s certainty and perceived confidence force you to make a choice. Do your own research and draw your own conclusions.
Trust your instincts, trust your gut feelings and pay attention to your intuition. If you think something’s iffy, the chances are it is. Your mind will usually want to prolong making a decision until it gets all the facts straight.
You may find that after you’ve sorted everything out your gut was right all along.
Save yourself time and trust yourself.
Following the crowd is fine if you’re making that choice consciously. But do not follow the herd simply because you’re afraid of standing out.
Do not be afraid of being seen or being heard either. You have every right to defend your own opinion, however unpopular it may appear to others.
Don’t be afraid to be different.
Gandhi was different. Einstein was different. People used to think they were nuts. Now they are considered geniuses.
“Newly reformulated” products are usually just newly reformulated packages. If you feel you just have to buy a new version of your camera, phone, or iPod every 6 months, ask yourself the simple questions:
Are you buying it, or is it buying you? Do you really own your things, or does the attraction of possessing them own you?