One of my biggest recent epiphanies is just how much thinking and action we tend to outsource. I’ve been trying to buy a few things off of amazon and I was noticing the sheer number of ‘buying guides’ for these things. Overwhelmed by the details and specifications, I found myself quickly looking for recommendations. If only someone could tell me what to do, I could just do it and be done with it. I was looking for shortcuts just to avoid thinking. It later struck me that the recommendations that someone is making may not really be a fit for me and that the only way I can get what I need is by thinking for myself.
Another instance where this manifested was when I noticed I kept looking for validation from people around me to do something that I wanted to do. Once I did think for myself and figure out what I wanted to do, I was seeking for approvals and validation, just to feel more certain. What I noticed in that process was that people give you imperfect advice all the time. They again, give advice to their own selves, not you. I’ve come across very few people who actually put you in front and give an advice that is tailored for you. Most people are unable to separate themselves from you and are only just projecting themselves.
For once, I tried to not be discouraged by all the noise and I did what I really wanted to do. Guess what followed? It wasn’t really resistance. I saw the very same people who opposed it become supporters. They were equally surprised that my decision had turned out fine.
That left me wondering – what if I’d actually listened to these people and not to myself?
The more I think about it, the more I realise how important it is for us to have our own take on things and our own input on things. Even more important is to ask ourselves first. People’s opinions and advises can be beyond overwhelming and may not really lead to productive outcomes. While seeking out different opinions is great, I think it is only helpful once we have clarity over our opinion/preferences along with the ability to put their advice in perspective.
Coming to think of it, an alternate title to this blog post could actually be – answer only to yourself. That sums it up for me – think for yourself, take suggestions, but eventually just do what makes the most sense to you.