| What do you hold to be true? Why did you choose these beliefs? Do you act according to those beliefs? Perhaps you believe particular widely-held values that provide an excellent standard for judging right and wrong, good and bad, important from trivial. Perhaps you have other values and believe something else. Knowing yourself requires a careful examination of your own values and beliefs. What are they? How did they originate? What are they based on? Why do you hold these beliefs? Are they based on reliable evidence? Are your goals and actions consistent with your beliefs? How do your beliefs align with your values? How have they evolved over your lifetime? How do they help you live a gratifying life?|
Adopt a robust theory of knowledge and use it to carefully choose your own values and beliefs.
- A statement, assertion, or theory you accept as true.
- Our basis for deciding, choosing, and acting.
Myths and Misconceptions:
Many people profess beliefs that are obviously false. Here are some of the more destructive and common examples:
- I had no choice.
- He made me do it.
- That's just how I am.
- It's all my parent's fault.
- It's all your fault.
- If we don't talk about it the issue will disappear.
- The past constrains the future.
- Denial is a solution.
Discard these unhelpful and false beliefs along with unhelpful primal rules that may be harming your decision making.
An assumption is an unfounded belief. Assumptions are unchallenged, unquestioned, unexamined, and very often untrue. Many terms describe unfounded beliefs including: rumors, myths, legends, folk-lore, blind-faith, and wives-tales. Our bias, prejudices, ignorance, and experiences manifest in our assumptions. Apply your theory of knowledge to challenge rumors and assumptions before basing decisions on them. Stay curious. Don't be gullible, don't be fooled.
Possibilities and speculations may become firm beliefs after curiosity, inquiry, and exploration transform assumptions into opinions and opinions into facts. This is the substance of wisdom.
Each of us approaches a new idea, information, rumor, proposal, or explanation with a particular presumption. This presumption can range from a very unlikely, dismissive, and skeptical stance to a very likely and accepting stance. This presumption is plotted on the vertical axis in the following diagram, ranging from unlikely at the bottom, ranging through possible in the middle and extending to likely at the top.
To determine the truth of a belief we assess the correspondence of this belief with reality. As we become more curious about the proposal we can learn more about the evidence that supports or contradicts its accuracy. Our understanding of the evidence begins to increase as a result of our inquiry and exploration. As more and more information becomes available, we become better informed and create a more accurate understanding and assessment of the situation. This accumulation of evidence is plotted on the horizontal axis in the following diagram. It ranges from unexamined on the left to examined on the right