So What – Trust but Verify Part 4

Lots of people offer advice.1 Given that fact, a valid follow up question to, “Is it so?” is “So what?”2  I think asking “So what?” is important because there are lots of people with useful information that may benefit you, and lots of people who wish to help you along your journey through life; however that does not mean that all of their advice is going to be right for you on your journey.  As I mentioned a previously all the good information in the world is of no use if you cannot find a practical application for it in your life.  By asking yourself, “So what?” you are asking the critical thinking parts of your psyche if the information provided pertains to you.

If someone says to you, “Keto is the best diet!”3 the first question you ask yourself is, “Is that so?”  Why is this the best diet? Is there such a thing as a best diet? Why is this person so certain this is the best option? All of these individual questions give us a sense of the motivation someone has for offering their advice and also help us validate the soundness of that advice. If you are satisfied that the intent and substance of the advice is valid, the next question to ask yourself is, “So what?”  This is where you see how that information, advice, or evidence fits into your life.

When we ask “So what?” we are exploring how a piece of advice4 fits into our Orientation. In this case our Orientation encompasses both what we believe to be true AND why we think it iss true.5

As you plot your course towards through life you need to be anticipating what matters when it comes to achieving your goals.  I’ll talk more about goals one of these days, but for now what I want you to consider is this: What do you want to do with your life?  What kind of career do you want, where do you want to live, and what legacy do you want to leave for the world?  Your answers can change over time (they very likely will) but when you start thinking about what you need to do, how you will go about it, and why you are making particular choices if you can ask yourself how these things fit into attaining the goals you have set for yourself it will be much easier to answer the “If so, so what?” question.

  1. I’m one of them, but don’t worry I know what I’m talking about.
  2. Rules of civil discourse suggest asking that question of yourself in your head, but sometimes aloud is the way to go. Choose wisely.
  3. Or Vegetarian, or Paleo, or IIFYM, whatever they suggest.
  4. Any new information really
  5. Orientation is much more than these things, but for now we can start here.

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