No.232: Information Validation

Willmot's Weekly Wisdom

I have a fabulous friend, Clifton who gifts wonderful books. Another, Harry has great ideas for saving money on home renovations. Rex is a storehouse of useful information on ethical sales strategies and business development. All three stand behind their recommendations. What’s unique about these people is they can validate what they say and their sharing is a generous way to make the world better.

Other people pretend that what they say is more than an opinion. These people, either naively, or mischievously give you information that is not validated, fact-checked, or referenced. The motivational and self-help industries are filled with these people. There are some motivational and self-help gurus who are no doubt helpful and sincere; there are those who are just self-serving and aggrandising. As far as I am aware, no one has ever improved from what Napoleon Hill wrote in Think and Grow Rich; which is that if you act on your beliefs, you become what you think.

I listened to a vice chancellor of a privately owned business school tell an audience that it was a fact that we used less than 10% of our brains. This is an urban myth perpetuated by the uninformed. The human brain weighs approximately 3% of our total body weight and uses 20% of the body’s energy. John Henley is a neurologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester and he states that verifiable scientific evidence shows that over a day you use 100% of your brain.

It takes courage to offer recommendations and then stand behind the advice you give. It requires no courage to throw out myths and mistruths while accepting no responsibility. Here is the crucible: you have to be able to take a practical idea applicable to you and use it successfully and immediately. Validate any advice before you consider it. Verify the claims before you use it. Fact-check all the information before you repeat it. Then make the world better.


“You’re allowed to ignore the self-help gurus who demand you always think big. You can choose to do the difficult stuff while it’s easy and the great projects while they’re small tasks. This way you’re already achieving while others are still dreaming. Mt Everest was conquered one step at a time.”
— Ric Willmot.