Grain Of Salt

Enthusiasm is intoxicating, discernment is sobering.

June 08, 2023   •   1 min read  

A strike of enthusiasm can hit us at any instance.

We hear something intriguing, and suddenly we're inspired to act.

We see the accomplishments of others, we become inspired and get propelled into new goals or ventures we never intended to pursue.

It's natural to feel motivated and excited when we hear about their formulas for success. But a moment of reflection and caution wouldn't go astray.

...don’t let the force of the impression carry you away.
- Epictetus, Discourses, 2.18.24

What they are presenting may have worked for them. They may even present a valid point of view.

But it doesn't necessarily mean that they are correct, have good intentions, or that the information is relevant to you.

We need to vet what we hear with more consideration.

  • What is their unfair advantage?
  • What led them to this revelation?
  • What do they gain if you take this action?
  • What do you stand to lose from taking this action?

Ever heard of 'snake oil salesmen'?

Most of us tend to be trusting and believe in the goodness of others.

But we're still so vulnerable to conmen and fraudsters, despite hundreds of thousands of years of evolution.

Above all else, any new enthusiastic thing you're thinking of trying should pass the litmus test of your own values.

So the next time enthusiasm strikes: pause, reflect, and evaluate.

Embrace that source of inspiration but do so with more mindfulness.

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