Too Much Information: Sorting Out Fact from Fiction

We live in a culture of instant and abundant information. The benefits of this are many, and mostly obvious. But there is dark side that is less clear, and that can lead to less than optimal decisions and a degrading of lifestyle and well-being. This is especially true in the arenas of financial wealth and personal health.

Consider that “mis-information” is probably more prevalent than supportable truth. Anyone with an idea about how you should handle your money or your health can post, print, or publish it easily. Such ideas are often motivated by personal agenda, embellished by questionable claims for credibility, and can be made instantly available to millions. Winston Churchill once famously said, “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”

There is a resulting proliferation of “agendized” misinformation that is usually not in the best interest of the consumer. It can be perpetrated by the guy next door, an influential group with a mission, or a huge cartel. In any case it is confusing, and difficult to assess its degree of credibility. I have seen that the average consumer has little way to discern the difference between opinion and well supported fact. This can lead to serious financial and health mistakes. How can we then sort out what is healthful, true, and helpful from the distortions and half-truths that abound? The stakes are high when we consider that acting on misrepresentation of the truth can degrade our lives by undermining financial security or leaving us physically vulnerable.

I believe that the answer lies in science. Although not perfect, the scientific method is a protocol for testing and establishing what is true. There is more than enough “pseudo-science” which improperly starts with any conclusion it wants to support. Authentic science researches a hypothesis and applies rigorous conditions which legitimize the conclusions. Successful repetition then results in strong credibility behind what is presented as true. It is this kind of truth which frees us to make high quality decisions that enhance our lives.

At Life Directions we strive to base our work on what is scientifically supportable. We choose a classroom venue to present credible research, which is then discussed in a transparent way. Our chosen clients are those who truly want to participate in learning the pros and cons of any tools or strategies. They are typically not married to any particular practices, age-inappropriate behaviors or pre-conceived notions. They are hungry for learning. Thus their decisions and plans are developed collaboratively and applied with a confidence that is rooted in “ownership” of the tools and strategies. This is a truly remarkable departure from common protocols of selling and buying cookie-cutter solutions adopted without much confidence in the decisions made. Finding supportable truth lends itself to great satisfaction in the process of putting together the pieces of complex puzzle into a meaningful and beautiful whole.