This word “discernment” only made it to my regular vocabulary when someone used it to describe me 4 years ago. I found that most explanations for this word were from spiritual angles, even though I strongly believe it’s a quality everyone should possess.

What is discernment? It is the ability to grasp and understand things beyond the surface. Some would say it is being able to comprehend things that aren’t obvious. Whichever way it’s defined, one concensus is that it enables us take better decisions, and express ourselves with such clarity of thought that shows depth of understanding.

Here are some practical ways to be more discerning:

1. Take time to reflect on information. This is why I usually advocate reading a book/post more than once or reading certain segments repeatedly till the message sinks. No need reading volumes, and walking away with little or no insights

2. Consider multiple but only relevant factors, including logical and emotional (especially when dealing with people), before drawing a conclusion.

3. Understand the limits of your current knowledge, acknowledge it and seek out relevant sources/people to broaden views. Emphasis on “relevant”.

Overall, it is difficult to be discerning if one rushes to conclusions. That’s how one falls for fake news, misinformation or makes hasty decisions. There’s a certain stillness of “spirit” required to gain proper clarity sometimes. This is not to be mistaken with indecisiveness though: just enough time to consider those 3 points above.

Have a lovely week people.

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Babatunde Akin-Moses

I am currently CEO and co-founder of Sycamore, a peer to peer lending platform that connects lenders to borrowers using technology. I love to write about business, economy, policy, startups, inspiration and entertainment. I am also deeply passionate about making Nigeria and Africa as a whole, a much better place to thrive and prosper for all.

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