“Many a good newspaper story has been ruined by over verification.” ~James Gordon Bennett
When you want to be certain about something, what do you do? Do you look for a way to prove it? Proofs can be useful, just ask any geometry teacher. With a proof you now know that something is true.
But what about a future event? How to you predict an outcome with any certainty there? One place people commonly go is to install some kind of verification apparatus. The thinking is that if you can create a proof system in advance, you can have confidence today.
There is just one problem with this: Verification does not necessarily result in truth, it just produces data.
Verification Has Its Limits
When you start with suspicion and add verification, the product is not trust. What comes out is fear of the unknown, a new suspicion of whatever it might be that you didn’t think to verify.
You can’t add something (like verification) to suspicion and get trust. Nothing you add to dirty water will make it clear. You may render it drinkable, but not clear.
You have trust only when you don’t require verification. Verification can actually harm trust as the confidence is shifted to the verification scheme rather than the process, environment or people involved.
Trust Lies Beyond Verification
There is a science to life and there is an art. They are two sides to the same coin. But you cannot apply the same rules to both. Measurables are useful, desirable even. But without the immeasurables and the unponderables, you cannot have achievement, success, or more especially satisfaction.
When you find yourself yearning for verification, look deeper. What evidence can you already embrace? What reality can you create out of your preexisting confidence? We tend to get what we focus on. If we zero in our distrust, misgivings and doubts, we can expect more of the same.
Intuition Trumps Suspicion
This is not to say we should ignore negative data or even dark forebodings. As we hone our intuition, it becomes better and better as an early warning system. However, if our fears are based in irrational paranoia we are never going to be able to venture out on the ledge where all the good stuff happens.
“The opposite of suspicion is not trust.” click to tweet
Elvis was right: We can’t go on together with suspicious minds.
How have you made your way to trust? Tell us about it by commenting below.
Photo credit: Total Verification Agency