One thing about the modern information age is that most people have no shortage of advice to choose from.  There are many sources willing to give you advice and tell you how the world really is.  Everywhere from TV shows, infomercials, radio talk show hosts, magazines, blogs, and books.  The people that are offering advice come from many different backgrounds, some have already achieved what they are advising about, others are researchers and others are just making things up.

With all of these sources of information, how do you choose what advice to follow?  The idea that was shared to me at a young age was "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof."  What does that mean?

An example that makes sense to me goes something like this.  Imagine you are at a party and talking to a stranger and in passing the person mentions that they like to ride horses and as a matter of fact they just went riding the day before.  Would you believe the person?  I would.  If I had no reason to believe they were lying to me, a person riding a horse is a reasonable claim and it would probably be a pretty normal situation for them to ride a horse.

As a counter example.  Imagine you are at the same party and another person tells you that they went riding yesterday on a Pegasus (a horse with wings that can fly).  Would you believe this person?  I would not.  The idea that a Pegasus exists is an extraordinary claim.  To the best of my knowledge, there is no evidence that a horse with wings that can fly exists.  I have never gone to the zoo and seen one.  These are imaginary creatures, so if someone is claiming this imaginary creature is now real it will require an extraordinary amount of evidence to convince me that it is real.

When it comes to being successful, what do I consider to be an ordinary claim?  I think that having goals is an ordinary claim.  When I have asked most people that are successful, as well as when I look back at my own success, most all of them have clear goals.  It seems very ordinary to practice this skill of setting and achieving goals is a believable path to success.

I am open to listening to all ideas about how to be successful and I will accept the advice differently based upon how ordinary or extraordinary it appears to me.  Now it is very possible that my understanding is currently limited and what I used to think was extraordinary becomes ordinary and that change will happen as I learn more by investigating those extraordinary claims.
 


Comments

You give great example of imaginary creatures like Pegasus here which inspired me lot about your thinking and mentality. Nice blog post

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10/29/2015 5:56pm

I think that having goals is an ordinary claim. When I have asked most people that are successful, as well as when I look back at my own success,

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I never thought there would be a claim for even during a horse riding. As you have said extraordinary claim i agree with it, and so it needs equal proofs to let this argument win.

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06/11/2017 11:52pm

I believe that all extraordinary things require effort and time. It's just a simple proof that you can't get the thing you really wanted in a snap of a finger, which I think is a good sign. Because if all claims and things can be gotten so easily, efforts would not exist and people would just lay down and wait for everything they want to happen. It's not part of the real purpose of living.

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