What's Real, Anyway?
I have to admit that although I pride myself on being open to new possibilities (and thus new realities), there are some things that even I take for granted.
For example, that microwaved food is not healthy. And that deep breathing is. That sleeping with the tv on is not a good habit, and that giving to charity is.
I mean, there are some things we can always count on, right? Those things are the “givens” in our world. It’s what we KNOW.
Sometimes, though, what we KNOW doesn’t serve us. And when that’s the case, it’s important to remember that nothing’s set in stone.
Lately, it seems, there’s been a lot of evidence that reminds me to question what I “know.”
Including Garrett Gunderson’s Killing Sacred Cows, where he says many things we financial planners were taught as rock solid truths actually don’t serve the average investor.
Gunderson’s argument was so convincing that I started rethinking investment principles I’ve assumed true for decades. (Including that regular savings, added up over time, benefiting from the power of compound interest growth, is a super solid investment strategy.
Maybe, maybe not.
My world was turned even more upside down after reading an article outlining several important medical benefits from indoor tanning. (Health benefits from tanning beds?! I gotta say I like it!)
Late last year I heard a very credible doctor tell me the best way to lose weight was to get more sleep. (Which fit perfectly with the “I lose weight while I sleep” mantra I’d just created.)
Fellow coach Zoe Routh recently introduced me to a resource designed to improve health by correcting the “over oxygenation” most people experience.
There’s such a thing as too much deep breathing??
Is nothing sacred?
Apparently not. Last year I was talking to a highly esteemed scientist (his title too complex to remember right), and he said that there is no real evidence that microwaves are bad for us. I’d chalk him up to crazy, if I hadn’t recently heard that 31,000 scientists have signed their name to a petition denying global warming.
What about eating salads, right? We all know leafy greens are good for us – the more the better! “A salad a day” was what I was taught to strive for.
And yet, at the Chopra Center’s “Perfect Health” week retreat, I learned through ayurvedic study of my imbalanced doshas that I needed to stop eating salads and instead eat heavier foods (like sour cream, guacamole, mm!).
What else do we know for sure? That terrorists attacked the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001? Don’t be so sure.
Kim Falconer’s explanation of reality served to scramble even more ideas about what’s real and what’s not. (Thanks for a scientific perspective I can understand, Kim!)
I don’t share these various examples to suggest we stop saving or recycling or exercising or breathing deeply, but rather to just to remind us to question what “realities” we’d change if we could.
Because, indeed, we can.