“People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.” ~Soren Kierkegaard
And now for a revolution in critical thinking skills…
I don’t intend for this to be a long post today; I was fully engaged in an IDLife event last week (working on that pinpointed supplementation pillar) and honing my entrepreneurial skills. Additionally, Paleo f(x) is in full ramp-up so my time is a bit limited. I did, however, want to quickly touch on the subject of critical thinking; it’s really been on my mind lately.
…and critical thinking as opposed to paralysis by analysis. Because anything taken to an extreme results in the complete absence of action. And action is the only thing that, to put it bluntly, gets shit friggin’ done. And on that note, check this out, from my good friend (and Paleo f(x) speaker), Matt Gesper, of Happy Living:
An excellent book on the subject of action; the forward of which was written by yours truly 🙂 Go get it, here.
But on the flip side, one can for sure be guilty of too little analysis, of not asking enough questions (the five whys!). And the following is a great example:
Absolutely nothing “wrong” per se in this article (Grass Fed Lies: The Truth about Organic Milk & Grass Fed Beef) but it just completely misses the point by *not* taking the deeper dive. Sustainability matters. Enzymatic content of a food matters. Animal husbandry matters. What’s *not* in a product is just as important as what’s *in* the product. Would anybody claim that Beijing air is no different than lungfuls of sweet, Montana air? I mean, they’re both comprised of the same nitrogen and oxygen!
But his is what happens when the full question is not explored from many angles; hyperbole, which leads to faulty conclusions. Taken to an extreme and you get the political shit-show we’ve got going on now. How did this happen? A complete, multi-generational collapse of critical thinking, that’s how. Answering questions in a yes/no, black/white fashion. Trying to “win the argument” vs exploring options, reaching a suitable compromise, and getting shit done.
Let me put it this way: self-imposed paralysis-by-analysis is the educated coward’s way of not having to act. Action means putting yourself out on a limb; possible failure. Potential humiliation! Never stepping in the ring means zilch chance of ever getting rocked in the mouth. It also means zero chance for meaningful strides forward.
As for an example of good critical thinking skills? Check out this article (On Junk Diets and Junk Science: What’s the evidence for and against the paleo diet?) written by my good friend Aaron Blaisdell.
You gotta ask the right questions. Gather enough evidence, then act in accordance with that evidence. Then, prepare to be criticised. Because action scares the hell out of those who’d rather remain mired in the safety of familiarity…no matter how shitty the current situation may be! But you simply can’t let the fact that most critics are educated well beyond their intelligence stop you from n=1 experimentation, bettering yourself, or changing the world.
And critical thinking is what lead me to even consider ID Life, when the easy answer was that all supplementation (and their companies) suck. And I’m calling myself out here, because after years of analyzing both the companies and products of numerous offerings presented to me, an unequivocal *NO* was the easy (and safe!) answer. And I did just that. Until I took a deep breath and attempted to dissuade a long-time friend from joining the company by asking some basic questions. Specific to ID Nutrition, things like:
- How is the substance dose delivered? (having hundreds of pill bottles laying around is not practical)
- How is the dose level determined? (I’m unique and my dosing requirements are, too)
- What is the quality and bioavailability of the ingredients? (doesn’t matter if the above two questions are adequately answered if your body cannot absorb what it’s given)
- What is the cost? (I might think a Tesla Model X rocks, but let’s face it — I’m not driving one anytime soon)
- What is the health, culture and vision of the company itself? (The bottom line is this: I only align with the best. Life is too short to do otherwise)
But in the end, I did one very important last step: I acted. Because knowledge is not power, my friends; it’s only a good first step. Only informed, passionate action is true power. That’s what gets shit done.
In health, fitness and ancestral wellness,