Discernment – A quality sadly lacking in life, Social Media and Internet Marketing.

discernment

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read any self-help, personal development or confidence-building book and you will see the word “values” repeated endlessly.

  • Knowing your values.
  • Honouring your values.
  • Living in congruence with your values.
  • How your values affect your business decisions.

Most coaches talk about values like, honesty, determination, courage, empathy, commitment and a huge range of others. All vitally important for success and happiness in life and business. But there is one that few experts talk about.  A neglected and underrated value, the ignorance of this value is responsible for many of the problems our Western societies are now facing.

That value is discernment.

Dictionary definitions:
  1. The ability to judge people and things well – (Cambridge Dictionary Online)
  2. An act of perceiving or discerning something. – Merriam Webster 
  3. The quality of being able to grasp and comprehend what is obscure. – Merriam Webster.

Discernment is about judging, choosing options, making choices, but above all,  thinking!

Google the word “discernment” and most of the first page results will show links to spiritual or religious sites. Discernment is frequently used in a religious or spiritual context. Both important areas where discernment is required but not the purpose of this post.

I am referring to the lack of discernment in everyday life and business activities, particularly Internet Marketing and Social Media.

Because most of us cannot discern and think clearly about new laws and actions of elected politicians, we are incrementally losing our independence and personal freedom. The nanny state is slowly taking away our individual rights to; bring up our children according to traditional family values, decide what is appropriate for them to be taught at school, practice our religion as it has been practised for generations, what types of dogs we can own and in many cases take away our assets or otherwise punish us before we have been found guilty in a court of law.

How has this sad state of affairs come about? Because of a lack of discernment by voters. People being hoodwinked too easily into only seeing the potential “benefits” of new regulations, never questioning them and not taking the trouble to consider the downside.

The fact that movements, events, waves of opinion, and celebrities can quickly attain “cult” status is a phenomenon that feeds off a lack of discernment and unquestioning, instant belief by the masses. Regrettably for every good cause that attracts followers, there is another ranging from not so good to positively dangerous that benefits from a lack of discernment.

The Jonestown mass suicide which created the “Drink the Kool-Aid” expression seems incomprehensible to most sensible people until we look at the blind adoration showered on some celebrities by flocks of unquestioning fans. Celebrities who in many cases have done nothing memorable except align themselves with whacky causes or publicly attack business and government leaders.

A glaring example of lack of discernment is the  “all rich people and bankers must be evil” campaign carefully spread by left-wing politicians and the media getting taken as gospel by many who feel “entitled” to a good life without working for it. Many of them enjoying the products and services provided by successful businesses while complaining bitterly about them. Many of the complainers surviving on benefits only possible because of the taxes paid by those same successful individuals and businesses.

Endless complaints and allegations of “unfairness” because CEOs of huge corporations providing thousands of jobs, get multi million dollar packages yet a deafening silence about the top-level football, baseball and other sports stars who get paid equally large salaries and bonuses. The same for film stars.

Knee jerk reactions and the same rush to prosecute on the slightest suspicion that some one has committed a “racist” act. Trying to force every one into the same imaginary, multi-ethnic mould instead of recognising that races and nationalities are different in many ways other than physical appearance, not necessarily better or worse, but certainly different. Individual discernment smothered under the blanket of political correctness. Serious racist incidents must obviously be punished, but wasting taxpayers money by taking people to court for stating a factually correct description of another’s race without any other harmful action, is ridiculous.

Social Media is both a cause and effect of this lack of discernment.

A cause in that it provides everybody from the barely literate to the most educated, a platform previously reserved for only those who took the trouble to write letters to editors, articles, or books worth publishing. This is great for communication of ideas, but makes it difficult for those unable to discern the good from the bad or the wheat from the chaff.

An effect because Social Media has loosened inhibitions to such an extent that every time we log on to a social media site, we face a deluge of information. Most of it the global equivalent of the latest village gossip, but with a few snippets of useful and interesting information if one has the patience to wade through it all. It is amazing that people who carefully guard their privacy in the “real” world, can be so recklessly indiscreet in the “virtual” one.  A glaring lack of discernment repeated endlessly, to be deeply regretted in the future when the repercussions bite.

The same lack of discernment is widespread in Internet Marketing. Nowhere is this more apparent than the rush to join every new opportunity that promises instant riches with little work. Or the magpie like collection of new “shiny objects” – magic bullets that promise to transform websites into crowd pulling magnets or automatic cash machines. Why is it that people who have spent years advancing very slowly in a “traditional job”, believe the wild promises of some of the more irresponsible Internet Marketers?

What values are critical to success in Internet Marketing and life? The few essentials; determination, belief, perseverance, resilience, commitment, integrity. Without discernment or the ability to make good choices, all the others could be focused in the wrong direction. No matter how good and careful a driver you might be. No matter how safe, well maintained and fuel-efficient you keep your car. If you are on the wrong road, you will never reach your destination despite all the determination, perseverance, commitment and courage you might have.

You have to follow the right map, or the right guide to get there. As in life you need discernment to do that.

Wishing you success.
Peter Wright

 

 

 

 

p.s Discerning new Internet Marketers are benefiting from the new Improved and simplified 10K Challenge. It tells you upfront that you won’t get rich overnight, that you will have to work, and it might take 2 years to build up to a good income. If you need a guidebook with simple daily action steps to help you get started, without having to spend a cent, then you need to check it out today 10K Challenge. (Affiliate link – I don’t benefit directly from you joining the 10K challenge, but may do if you decide to join associated programmes at a later date)

 

 

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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