We live in a world where information is in abundant supply but knowledge is scarce. Understanding how to recognize truth from fiction, or a sales pitch, is now arguably more important than ever. And that is especially the case in the field of maintaining and building good health!
And since building knowledge and recognizing myths can be such a heavy topic, Will van Zyl, a Wellbeing and Performance Coach, and I have again opted to discuss this in a video. Rather than me writing a reaaalllly long blog about it. You’re welcome.
What is knowledge anyway?
Let’s get a little academic first. The difference between knowledge and all the other information we carry is the experience of it being true for YOU. This ideally happens as part of personal experience but it can also be acquired through study and research of highly credible (and I’ll get back to this shortly) sources.
Now, let this really sink in… OK, let’s carry on.
As a cherry on top, this knowledge should also be tested against the information of contradictory nature.
I know, this sounds painful and it is something that goes slightly against our human nature. You’ve read something that makes so much sense, finally someone has said IT. Why should you actively seek information that might contradict it?
Well, watch the video to understand exactly why.
How do you recognize good information from a sales pitch?
One of the powerful ways of doing this is to follow a PROMPT checklist.
- Is the information in a Presentable form, i.e. no grammatical errors, clear and readable?
- What is the Relevance of this information, i.e. is it relevant to the purpose?
- Is the information Objective, rather than subjective, and steered towards bias or creating an emotional response?
- What is the Method used to gather this information? Has the author referenced a primary source of information and included it?
- Provenance – who wrote/ is conveying this information and are they a reliable/ credible source?
- What is the Timeliness of the information, i.e. is it up-to-date and does it matter in the overall context?
Popular myths and why they’re still around
‘All carbs are bad’, ‘saturated fat is bad’, ‘low-fat products are good’… and the list goes on.
Having a quick fix to our problems is such a tempting proposition. ‘If only I stop doing x then I’ll be fit, strong, healthy.’ Our bodies are complex machines, wonderful machines, that are not as easy as this. And for a good reason.
Yes, if you’re eating very well and you’re a smoker, just stopping smoking might be THE thing to get you to full health. But in most situations, it requires a bit of work.
A little bit of trial and error to see what works and definitely does not work for you and you only. Not what the magazines tell you will work for everyone.
That is why ‘all carbs are bad’ and ‘get a six-pack with this product only’ just do not work. Sustainably that is.
Now, I’d love to hear about your experience. What is the single myth you’ve believed in for so, so long only to realize it has not served you at all? And what made the ‘aha’ moment happen? Let me know!
(Sources can be found in the description of the video on YouTube)
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