5. Intellectual guidance - help navigate & make choices - Deepstash
5. Intellectual guidance - help navigate & make choices

5. Intellectual guidance - help navigate & make choices

✅ Guide: Respect people's judgement in making choices, but are also skilled in helping us navigate the risks & benefits while learning & reaching the conclusion.

❌Seize & freeze: They seize quickly on any information with promise of resolution. Once chosen, they freeze on that ignoring any contradictory information. They’re likely to offer unwise advice that oversimplifies the issue.

❔How to know: Are they patient to understand the complexities or eager to 'fix it'?

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MORE IDEAS FROM How to know who’s trustworthy | Psyche Guides

Questions to know how dependable is someone
  • Do they get excited when I make intellectual progress, or only when they influence my views?
  • Are they fearful about sharing their ideas? Are they over-eager for others to approve of their ideas?
  • Are they willing and able to clarify their meaning if I ask them to? 
  • Do they demonstrate an appreciation of my unique perspective, needs and abilities?
  • Do they show patience in trying to understand the complexities of my predicament, or are they in a hurry to identify a solution?

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2. Intellectual transparency - Transparent, vain, or reluctant

✅Transparent: Skilled at recognising they’re sometimes in a position to strengthen our perspective by sharing their own.

❌Vain: Pretend to know things they don’t, or to have stronger evidence than they do.

❌Timid: Even when they could help, they keep their thoughts to themselves because they don't trust their knowledge & fear exposing their ignorance. 

❔ How to know: They might lack transparency if fearful of how their ideas will be perceived, or over-eager to please you or others.

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4. Audience sensitivity - appreciate unique perspective

✅Virtuously sensitive: Pay attention to our particular views, experiences, abilities, & tendencies. Fit their communications to our predicament & help us advance

❌Insensitive: Obsess more over their own features or too selective in their attention. Have a distorted view of listeners as they look for others’ weaknesses to see themselves as superior.

❔How to know: Do they show an understanding of our point of view, intellectual needs, abilities.. & communicate in a way personal to who we are?

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1. Intellectual benevolence - Prefer to guide or influence?

✅ Intelly benevolent: Help us get to the truth, gain knowledge, deepen our undertanding, develop our skill. They have mature views about our progress and take pleasure in our growth.

❌Social vigilantes: They don’t care that other people have correct views; they care that other people share their views.

❔ How to know: Pay attention to what they get excited about - by your intellectual progress in general, or only when they succeed in influencing your thinking?

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Who can we trust for guidance

We often turn to intellectually dependable people... to guide us through our blind spots. It's about considering the facts in light of our values & objectives... think things through together to figure out what we should do with the facts in our particular situation.

People's emotions, thoughts & actions show whether they are dependable or not.

Signs to look out for:

  • Intellectual benevolence.
  • Intellectual transparency.
  • Communicative clarity.
  • Audience sensitivity.
  • Intellectual guidance.

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3. Communicative clarity - want to make the meaning clear

✅Clear communicators: Easy to follow with clear main points, what's merely incidental, explain how their views might be confused with other contrasting ones. Prioritize our understanding the core meaning.

❌Profundity-colored glasses: They misidentify gibberish as containing profound meaning. Dress up their empty ideas with seductive trappings leading their followers into confusion.

❔How to know: Avoid those who shy away from putting their meaning clearly or insist it’s you who has the problem.

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RELATED IDEA

We All Are Work In Progress

There are always certain gaps in our understanding and with it comes the need of help of others to fill in the vacuum. It might be the blind spots we derive from our upbringing or our social circle, or the way misinformation manipulates or skews our thinking.

Talking to an expert seems to be the go-to method for most of us. But expertise may not be absolutely right for our problem, and can feel inadequate or unreliable to us.

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  • Humans are always drawn to pleasure but it may be a selfish indulgence that does not last. 
  • Truth, rationality and wisdom are the lasting virtues that one should be after.
  • People derive pleasure in millions of different ways, some beyond our understanding.

Example: People who hate sports cannot understand why thousands are cheering in a stadium for a few men who are chasing a ball.

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Shunryu Suzuki

"In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few."

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