Certainty is very attractive.  It feels so secure.

Information is more freely available than ever before.  You can find an answer you seek to just about anything- easily online- by typing your question into a search engine.  Because we’re in the “information age” though, more than ever before we need to be careful to get our information from the right sources or we risk making ourselves look foolish.

I’m a little suspicious of certainty. Even facts need context to remain relevant.  Be discerning about your sources of information, we’re in the information age where there is a lot of “ill- informed certainty” popping up.  Be careful of the allure of certainty in the absence of evidence, context and wisdom.  There are many myths circulating as truths, there are many opinions circulating as facts.

Here are five questions you can ask before taking anyone’s advise: whether it be from a practitioner, about which diet you should follow or a doctor prescribing medication or a financial planner recommending where to invest your money.

Use the acronym BRAIN.

What are the BENEFITS?  Do the benefits align with your goals or most wanted outcomes?

What are the RISKS?  Consider the level of risk factors.  What can go wrong? Are their side effects to the treatment?  Are their side effects to the diet?  You can make an informed decision only if you have all the information available.

What are the ALTERNATIVES?  Is there another option that might work better for you?

What does your INTUITION say?  Check in with yourself, does it feel like this is the right action for you to take?

What happens if you do NOTHING?  Sometimes taking your time to make a decision if you aren’t sure while you gather information is the best idea, and sometimes you need to take some action immediately.  Decide on a case by case basis.