People will believe just about anything, but they won’t believe everything.
The perfect belief system captures the essence of that experience and uses it to it’s advantage. Instead of trying to close all the loopholes, instead of trying to use reasoning to answer all the what ifs, you simply need to do the following:
1. A set of rules that are universally attractive and profoundly important, yet still challenging common values and assumptions. Being ‘right’ isn’t very valuable unless you can (positively) change the outlook of other people through your views.
2. The acceptance that it’s impractical to uniquely reply to an infinite number of challenges, that there will be a infinite amount of questions raised, and that your best bet is to create flexibility and universality in your belief system.
3. Continuing from #2, position your belief system so that anyone who argues with it automatically reveals themselves as a complete idiot. Questions are fair and one thing, but if your system is logically sound and based on well-grounded principles, then either there will be a civil agreement to disagree, or the other person will reveal themselves to be incomplete and foolish.
4. Nothing beats back a challenge like cold, hard, undeniable success. If you achieve great success in your life, while thoroughly espousing and living your belief system, the best argument anyone can have against you is either that you’re an exception (which is a back handed way of calling you exceptional), or that you will ultimately fail. Like I said in #2, you can’t defend against everything. Defend the defensible, and if anyone refuses to accept the proof, or cites an irrational hope for your demise, let them wallow in their madness.
5. Be a man of the people. Yes, you can’t change anything from within, and yes, change only comes from those who refuse the status quo. On the other hand, effective change is about removing obstacles in your path one by one until the progression is smooth and natural, and all that’s left is the starting spark. The lesson? Be in the insider even as you bring in outside ideas. Be one of the herd even though you are leading them to a new direction. Let the people recognise you and push you to the top – it’s easier than pushing yourself there.
Side Note: Conversely, it’s infinitely less painful to exit on your own terms as opposed to waiting for the people to pull you down. Fight the good fight, but be smart.
Bonus Tip: Don’t give away everything you know in the first go. Let them come back for more.