Your Approach to Life
But what's the alternative to being gullible or being cynical? Ask yourself if an idea, or their suggestions, are plausible. Become a skeptic, be skeptical!

There's a lot of misunderstanding about skeptics and cynics. Although many don't comprehend the difference, they are not at all the same.

As a skeptic, if you know the answer is no, then you say no, just like both the cynic and the gullible. If you know the answer is yes, then you say yes, again the same as the others. But when you don't know, you'll change your life by appreciating the power in the skeptical approach.

The Skeptical Approach
What happens when you're faced with new information, or a possible new direction or course of action? Since you don't know anything about it, as a cynic you will say no. When gullible, you'll hope for the best and say yes.

But as a skeptic you don't pretend to know when you don't. You reserve judgement rather than rejecting it out of hand. You know you don't know enough to choose yes or no, and you're content to say: I don't know yet.

Then you investigate the issue, checking it out until you have enough information to make a decision. The secret of success is to come to a tentative opinion, since gaining complete knowledge about all aspects of the matter, along with discovering the context of everyone and everything involved, is time-consuming if not impossible in practice.

So investigate the matter for yourself, and you keep investigating until you have an answer which fits the facts. Now you have an initial tentative decision which remains valid until more facts mean your opinion needs updating.

Of course, this means you will also change your life by investigating any beliefs you have already adopted, and checking out the validity of their consequences. Be skeptical about their plausibility!

Should Taxpayers Bail Out Banks in Trouble?
Being skeptical about the path a politician recommends is a great place to start.

Many politicians maintain it's essential that the taxpayers - that's you - should bail out banks and companies in trouble (think Goldman Sachs, AIG, Fannie Mae, TARP, Chrysler, etc. ... ). You'll change your life when you understand this is just one egregious example of the economically illiterate misinformation most of them feed to their tax-paying voters.

When a company gets it wrong, the secret of success is to ask why should the taxpayer - YOU - have to pay for their mistakes? Iceland's voters refused to bail out their troubled banks which, of course, did cause some short-term problems. Yet just three years later, the unemployment rate has fallen and Iceland's economy is growing. Other countries (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Spain) have followed the bail-out path recommended by their politicians, and their problems simply continue. Julie Kozack, IMF mission chief for Iceland, admits: "For a country whose entire financial system collapsed, Iceland is doing remarkably well."

Why Rush into an Immediate Decision?
Why be hurried into making an immediate decision. If a cynic feels pressure to answer in a hurry, he'll say no rather than: Maybe, I don't know yet. The gullible also can be pressured into making a decision hastily, and saying yes rather than reserving judgement.

In the grey area when you don't yet know, both the cynic and the gullible stop investigating any further. They may later reverse their decision because it doesn't feel right, but that's generally an emotional decision, rather than a thoughtful approach to life.

As a skeptic, your secret of success is to say maybe when the answer is neither yes, nor no. You're not in a hurry to give an answer, since you don't want to pre-judge the situation. Since you don't know yet, your rational position is maybe yes, and maybe no. You keep investigating until your position has solidified and you do have an answer. Until you are sure, you're a definite maybe!

When you are not entirely sure, you generally benefit by sitting on the fence as you continue to check it out. Sleeping on any decision overnight is usually very helpful...

© Copyright worldwide Cris Baker, All rights reserved. Republishing welcomed under Creative Commons noncommercial no derivatives license preserving all links intact, so please +1 and share this widely!

Food for Thought
"The skeptic (is not he) who doubts, but he who investigates or researches, as opposed to he who asserts and thinks that he has found."

Miguel de Unamuno, 1864-1936, Spanish philosopher, essayist, novelist, poet, and playwright

Author's Bio: 

Cris Baker has much practice in overcoming adversity, he's been screwing things up for years! Why suffer the consequences of your own mistakes? Now you can benefit from real knowledge, crucial know-how gained from his vast experience with extensive pain and suffering!

You'll find enormous joy in overcoming your self-sabotage; check out the many secrets of success at Life Strategies and discover how to change your life!