Sunday, April 17, 2011

Curious about Proof: How Important or Influential Is It? How Do You Establish It?

Definition of Proof: Any effort, process, or operation designed to establish or discover a fact or truth; an act of testing; a test; a trial. That degree of evidence which convinces the mind of any truth or fact, and produces belief; a test by facts or arguments that induce, or tend to induce, certainty of the judgment; conclusive evidence; demonstration.

  • That some achieve great success, is proof to all that others can achieve it as well.” – Abraham Lincoln, American President

  • Confidence in the goodness of another is good proof of one's own goodness.” - Michel de Montaigne, French philosopher

  • I chose the word “Proof” for this week’s blog for a couple of reasons. First of all, there are so many comments being made about the veracity of the Internet. It is unsettling – at least for me and others I interact with – how much of the information shared is questionable. Right now, I am experiencing so many sites that are pushing systems that will easily – with one click – make you a millionaire. No work, just collect your money. Their proof is copies of bank statements showing large amounts of income daily. These are relatively easy to create. No wonder we are skeptical.

  • Another reason – and this one is legitimate – is that I watched an excellent video this morning about Social Proof by Greg Habstritt. Social Proof is the name for testimonials and is so important to our success. When we receive incredible service, we tell others. If we experience an outstanding product, we tell others. As I surmised, the quotations I found didn’t address phony sales letters or Social Proof, but were so excellent, I want to share them with you.

Let’s get started:

  • To have the sense of creative activity is the great happiness and the great proof of being alive.” - Matthew Arnold, English poet

  • We must never assume that which is incapable of proof.” - George Henry Lewes, English philosopher

  • We're living proof that nice guys always finish last.” - Matthew Cooper, American journalist

  • You actually can make it, no matter what. I truly am a firm believer in that. Eminem's living proof.” - Brittany Murphy, American actress

  • You know that I am living proof that the American Dream is real. Growing up, our congressman cut through government bureaucratic red tape to help my mom buy our first house. That's the kind of congressman I'll be.” - Geoff Davis, American politician

  • Anything that won't sell, I don't want to invent. Its sale is proof of utility, and utility is success.” - Thomas A. Edison, American inventor

  • Achievement of your happiness is the only moral purpose of your life, and that happiness, not pain or mindless self-indulgence, is the proof of your moral integrity, since it is the proof and the result of your loyalty to the achievement of your values.” - Ayn Rand, Russian writer

  • I remember the time I was kidnapped and they sent a piece of my finger to my father. He said he wanted more proof.” - Rodney Dangerfield, American comedian

And, a few more for fun and interest:

  • Wine is constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy.” - Benjamin Franklin, American politician

  • Faith is a knowledge within the heart, beyond the reach of proof.” - Khalil Gibran, Lebanese American poet

  • Aviation is proof that given, the will, we have the capacity to achieve the impossible.” – Eddie Rickenbacker, American aviator

  • Do not be fooled into believing that because a man is rich he is necessarily smart. There is ample proof to the contrary.” - Julius Rosenwald, American businessman

  • Do not consider it proof just because it is written in books, for a liar who will deceive with his tongue will not hesitate to do the same with his pen.” – Maimonides, Spanish philosopher

  • Euclid taught me that without assumptions there is no proof. Therefore, in any argument, examine the assumptions.”- E. T. Bell, Scottish mathematician

  • In matters of truth the fact that you don't want to publish something is, nine times out of ten, a proof that you ought to publish it.” - Gilbert K. Chesterton, English writer

  • The final proof of greatness lies in being able to endure criticism without resentment.” – Elbert Hubbard, American writer

So, what do you think? What kind of proof do you need before making a decision? I would love to hear from you.