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With a reality mindset, how can you be relevant yet maintain your sanity?

It is all propaganda. That includes everything you see in the media or hear or read anywhere. All of it, even what you produce, shows your partiality and, yes, even your bias.

Whether you are selling US Government Bonds or the popular game, Banagrams (my favorite game), you are targeting a potential audience to sway you toward their thinking.

Advertising, political, and religious leaders are dedicated to convincing you the world is in their image or in the picture they have been paid to sell you. Their outcome is for you to buy their products, ideas, favored politician, doctrine, or point of view. You are only a consumer, a patsy, a pawn, a sucker, a number, or all the above. We are bombarded with BS.
Observed events exist in a created reality, not necessarily your reality. Truth is what exists, what is accurate, and what you can touch, smell, feel, or see.
  1. The words you read in this article are constructs, propaganda designed to influence you somehow. I intend to persuade you to think in a new and different way. As a result, you become more aware of how profoundly and directly the manipulation comes at you through explicit and subliminal messages.
2. Nothing on a computer screen is real. Instead, it is renderings, dots, shapes, numbers, and unretouched photos of real objects.

Edgar Allen Poe gave us the saying, “Believe nothing you hear and only one half that you see.” Of course, this bit of wisdom is dated thinking, but still, it reminds us that agreements are highly subjective. Unless you see for yourself in real-time and have a low-bias stance, none of what you see is real.

Truth is what you believe. Reality is what is happening at this moment.
  • Your beliefs distort your views of the past and present. That past is not accurate; it is a construct, something you packed away wrapped in your belief systems.
  • “Knowledge is subtractive, not additive—what we subtract (reduction by what does not work, what not to do), not what we add (what to do).” – Nassim Nicholas Taleb in The Bed of Procrustes.
Please indulge me for giving a plug for my favorite contemporary writer, Nassim Nicholas Taleb. I am a dedicated fan of the author, a Lebanese philosopher, economist, and essayist who explores chance, luck, and probability. He has taught me to direct my thinking to access the upside/downside propositions of decision-making based on evidence rather than abstract thinking. My grand journey continues to evolve as I have studied his books over the past eleven years.

N.N. Taleb's 5-book volume, Incerto, includes Anti-Fragile, Fooled by Randomness, The Black Swan, Skin in the Game (A quote by me is on the back of the cover), and The Bed of Procrustes are a roadmap for mind clearing.
3. For a moment, I ask you to suspend your disbelief, set aside your biases, and see the world as a hard cynic. If this is beyond your ability, please stop reading; it worsens.

Truth vs. Reality is difficult to grasp and even harder to accept.
“The truth is a pathless land.” – J Krishnamurti

Who is the purveyor of which truth? Who gets to decide the truth for you, let alone what is true? Is it the observer, the presenter, the media, your enemy, or your friend?
Whose truth are we talking about here? Is it real, even if you can see, touch, smell, taste, or hear what is before you? It is only valid because your beliefs, bias, and history will allow it to be accurate.

If you block off your eyes and nose, an apple and an onion may feel the same to the mouth. So, which is real? They are both real. However, using only the sense of feel, it is incorrect.
4. Today, notice what input you see and accept; if you react emotionally, you are being manipulated. If you are instantly attracted to a neat new toy, tool, fashion item, or a politician’s bloviating, they own you. Welcome to a consumer’s life of goods, services, and propaganda.

Quick test: Turn on the TV and grade what you see, rating 1 as false and ten on the truth regarding the ads, the talking heads, and the plot. You will see your gullibility if you post all 10s.

Discernment is a formidable skill because it involves thinking through what the other party asks you to do for them. You are the manipulated patsy knowing they can eventually wear you down to accept their offering.

A good friend once bought me a sweatshirt with a red stylized square face with the words, “I don’t think so.” underneath. He said it reminded him of me because I never accepted anything at face value, constantly questioning what I heard.

In Southern California in the 1970s, there was a popular bumper sticker, “Question Authority.” Although it was scandalous then, it would not get a nod today.
5. Stop accepting anything at face value. Think instead of this, “What is in it for me?” Or “How will I benefit from accepting any part of their blather?” Then you have a fighting chance of protecting your mind.

Propaganda is manipulating you to get you to accept someone else’s truth and make it your reality. Instead, those spouting biases want you to join their cult and give them your money.

The odd part is that as you release your biases, it becomes easier to see the obvious ones presented to you. As a result, your life will become easier with fewer distortions because you can see what is real at that moment and accept that everyone is doing their best to win you over.

Protecting your mind is saving your life and your way of living. Becoming aware of the manipulating influences focused on you makes seeing their impact easier and allows you to stay above the fray.

Is this change of focus easy? Unfortunately, no. Few people can pull it off, and fewer still care. People want to live in their little safe world without being bothered by facts or sunshine.

Coach Colle Davis
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