When Is Doubt Helpful?

Our doubts can range from healthy skepticism to unhealthy paralysis. Everything from questioning someone’s intentions to doubting our faith (or lack of it) can be beneficial or crisis-inducing.

When is doubt helpful? Or, more specifically, how do you know when it’s good to listen to that inner voice of doubt?

Related questions:  What do you do that you shouldn’t?, When is it useful to fail?, What is necessary to change your mind?, How important is intuition?

How Do We Know What We Don’t Know?

Even the most learned among us is ignorant. There is so much to know about our world that it is impossible to know it all. How, then, do we categorize what we don’t know? If we don’t know something, how do we realize that there is a gap in our knowledge? When we examine ourselves, how can we tell if there is a lack or some learning that needs to be done?

How do we know what we don’t know?

Related questions: How do we grow? What does it mean to learn? How do we organize knowledge?

What Is Necessary To Change Your Mind?

Once you make up your mind on a particular topic, it can be very difficult to accept new ideas or to consider alternate points of view. Ideally, we would be open to new interpretations or different ways of looking at things, but it doesn’t always happen.

How can we be more open to alternate points of view? What is necessary to change your mind?

Related questions: How can you achieve compromise? How is a decision made?

How Much Of Our Thoughts Are Our Own?

If you take away everything we have, we are left with our thoughts. It would certainly seem like they form the very core of who we are, or our individuality. If I don’t own my thoughts, what else could I possibly own?

And yet there is great efforts made to try and control how we think. A movie can make you cry, an ad campaign can make you buy a product, a politician can earn your vote. Manipulating someone’s thoughts to make them do something is incredibly powerful.

I want to believe that what I think is somehow up to me and me alone, but I know that isn’t true. Hence the question: How much of our thoughts are our own?

Related questions: How can we determine how we have been manipulated? What makes you you? Why do we like what we like?

How Does Your Vocabulary Influence How You Think?

It seems clear that your word choices impact how you express yourself to others. But I wonder if it might be true that the words you know can influence how you think about a particular topic.

How does your vocabulary influence how you think?

Related questions: How does the language you speak shape you? How can you grow your vocabulary? Why do accents exist?