What should your life look like if all the stable delusions, self-deceiving thoughts, blind faith into the “expert” opinion and non-checked hypotheses disappeared from it at all? If the search for truth, constant development and a flexible perception of troubles are all familiar and close to you, then four life rules of Carl Sagan will help you make yourself better.
It is possible for people to deceive themselves for years by taking wanted thoughts as truth and not doubting quite doubtful things at all. This thing touches all fields of life, starting from small routine delusions and ending with serious personal principles that can destroy one’s life. What is more important: searching for truth or living with pleasant illusions?
Below we are going to describe four live rules of Carl Sagan, who devoted his whole life to the search of truth, stated lots of hypotheses about space which haven’t been denied till this day, and helped regular people to find out more things about our Universe and ways of its functioning.
If to use these four rules in your life, you’ll be able to know and understand much more, to become an erudite and a good storyteller, and just to be a person who is always cheerful and knows that every problem can be analyzed from different viewpoints.
Fake Info Detection Kit
First of all, Sagan was a scientist, and his calling determined his outlook. He once told about what can be called as a “fake detection kit.”
This kit will help you to test arguments and to find out which data is a fake. This is a great instrument to practice your critical thinking skills, too. Here is a part of that “kit”:
- Every fact is to be confirmed by the independent source of info when it is possible;
- Debates between people having different viewpoints and proofs are good;
- Arguments stated by “respected” specialists have not more weight than words belonging to other participants of a conversation. “Authorities” were mistaken in the past, why shouldn’t they do that in future? In science, there are no “authorities”, at best there are experts.
- Do not use hypotheses and guesses only. If there are misunderstandings, try to explain to them while reviewing the problem from various viewpoints. Then think out ways to test these explanations to deny all of them but the right one. Going that way, you’ll have much more chances to come to the correct answer than if you’d just caught up with the first theory that seems to look good.
- Do not be too stubborn about the idea just because it is yours. Your hypotheses are milestones on the way to knowledge. Ask yourself why you prefer this idea, compare it with alternative thoughts, and think what could make you refuse it. If you don’t do that, others will.
This kit is fine to be used not only in science. It is good for any discussion or debate: from election debates and to private discussions during a dinner. The better you can notice fake info, the more strong and right your arguments and conclusions are.
Study Your Own Beliefs Attentively
If a person wants something to be true, he or she starts believing into that easily, especially if that is impossible to be proven.
Believing in something just because you want it to be true can be very dangerous. You can make a serious mistake if not doubt your own beliefs, and especially thoughts of “respected” people. Everything that really exists can be tested with research.
This touches not only beliefs about an afterlife and your religion but can be used with any belief in this life. You believe that you like something and hate something else, that you are good at something and can’t make a success in other activity.
You think so only because you want this to be true, you “program” your mind and build walls between yourself and something new by your own.
Test your beliefs: any of them can be a mistake, even the most solid one.
Remember About Your Place in Universe
It is very easy to get lost in your problems and to forget about the world around. In a speech devoted to a famous picture “Pale Blue Dot” (a photo of the planet Earth taken by “Voyager-1” from the longest possible distance), Carl Sagan reminds about that big weight people give to their problems and about their negligible weight if to consider the scale of Universe.
When solving problems or meeting negative events or hurting memories, just try looking onto them from another viewpoint, and you’ll see things are not that weird.
Get Different Knowledge
It is so easy to get stuck in one field and spend all your time to learn it. But it is known that side-projects and unusual activities help people to develop their abilities.
The will to get different knowledge allows understanding that you will always have things to work on.
Sagan understood that getting knowledge different from his scientific one is important, so he tried to find out new things about the real world: from politics and philosophy to fictional literature.
New knowledge about various things allows a person to have a fresh viewpoint on something and develops one’s creative thinking.
Maybe, this was the reason why Carl Sagan had been known not only as an outstanding scientist but an excellent storyteller and an interesting collocutor, too.
If you are a professional in your field (or even of some of them) there always are fields you know nothing about.
There is a huge ocean of information available for you. Do not stop studying this world and you’ll become an interesting person and a good storyteller, and your beliefs and thoughts will always be fresh.