Skepticism is Healthy ~ Cynicism Not So Much

Brent BaldwinI used to think that skepticism and cynicism were the same things; from where I stood they were interchangeable synonyms.

The reality was that I just hadn’t given it much thought.

I now see the differences between the two. One is a way of looking at the world objectively, and the other is grounded in subjective reality. One fosters intelligent conversation while the other wallows in judgment and bias.

Skepticism is healthy, cynicism not so much.

The cynic looks at the world and sees people motivated by their naked self-interest. The cynic is distrustful and assumes that everyone has an agenda that is out to undermine or attack them. They show up filled with a delusional and somewhat paranoid view of the world; most particularly their world. For the most part, they just don’t like people and see only differences and offensive behavior. Individuals who are consistently cynical become very tiring. Their myopic vision is dark, distrustful of any human sincerity or integrity. Assuming that the only reason someone would display honesty would be to pull the ever vigilant cynic into a position of vulnerability.

Skepticism, on the other hand, is healthy. It is a way of looking at the world through the lens of objective reality, seeing things for what they are, looking at the available empirical evidence and coming to conclusions that are supportable and verifiable.

That’s not to say that healthy skepticism can’t be open and receptive to new, innovative and thought-provoking alternatives. Just the opposite, the true skeptic relishes the opportunity to be proven wrong or to debate a thesis to a logical end. Furthermore, no subject matter should be off-limits; everything should be open to examination; how else could we learn or evolve as respectful citizens if certain issues were deemed to be taboo?

Skeptics are often very tolerant of contrary beliefs. They respectfully choose to keep things in a perspective that is sensible and founded in critical thinking.

Be a good skeptic, think objectively ~ Think World Class

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Stewardship of Your Life

Brent BaldwinJanuary can be a pretty disruptive month for some. Filled with resolutions and thoughts of new beginnings, change and believes that this is the year we are going to take control of life and commit to becoming “better” than we have been.

This is the year that I’m going to show the world!

Rather than disrupting who we are and looking for the 180-degree solution we need to see the coming year through the lens of reality. Now I’m not saying we can’t change 180 degrees, of course, we can. We just can’t do it overnight in all areas of our lives simultaneously. And maybe, more importantly, we can’t successfully do it without first laying the foundation required from which to springboard.

This year commit to stewardship.

Instead of change, concentrate on maximizing who you are. Maximize the things you love about yourself, emphasize the unique traits that make you happy, seek to be more of who you already are.

Being a good steward of your life starts by intimately knowing who you are. Your loves, the things that inspire you, the emotional touch points that pierce your heart. And then shamelessly navigating through life with these as your guiding light. Wearing them on your sleeve and proudly being known by them.

Rather than disrupting who you are, choose stewardship and be more of the great and unique things that make you; you.

Approach the things you are dissatisfied with using self-compassion and loving fortitude. Be patient and take stewardship of your life piece by piece and bit by bit. Doing it while being congruent with your best self, heightens the probability of success and makes the journey more enjoyable and realistic.

Coming April 5th, our eight week Think World Class program. Register today at

The Dark Side of Seeking Perfection

Brent Baldwin
Brent Baldwin

There are times and situations in life where perfection is the goal. We aim for it and sometimes we even get close enough to feel a sense of pride and satisfaction.

More often that not perfection is illusive and in these cases, it inevitably has us falling short. With that comes feelings and emotions that can drive us toward despair. Don’t get me wrong striving for perfection is a worthy goal. That is until it impairs, distorts or negatively impacts our productivity.

There is a fine line somewhere between practical and the obsessive.

A line where the pursuit of perfection moves past healthy to the obsessive. Seeking perfection is fine as long as the search does not become all consuming to the exclusion of other commitments and responsibilities.

More often than not seeking perfection is a rouse. An elusive pursuit defined in terms applicable to the one who espouses the need for it. Unrealistic definitions or unattainable expectations often become an excuse or an agenda to hide indecision.

Seeking perfection can be avoidance behavior or the cloak we use to hide feelings of insecurity and doubt. “I can’t present it as yet because it’s not perfect.”

When our objective becomes one of seeking perfection, it kills our ability to see things through the lens of spontaneity. We lose the art of compromise or even worse, our ability to be innovative and to incorporate creative solutions. Seeking unrealistic perfection squashes inventiveness, resourcefulness, and imagination.

Perfection is illusive and, make not mistake about it; it has a dark side.

Don’t stop seeking perfection just be weary of those times when it becomes more than a healthy pursuit and starts to become an obsession. Everything in moderation even the search for perfection.

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