Be the shepherd, not the sheep.
Sometimes I think that, after a lifetime of being told to follow the rules, we forget to question things. People tend to accept what they are told as gospel, especially if it’s someone with a degree that’s telling them.
This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make.
What if they’re wrong? People are imperfect. Mistakes can be made. Ultimately, you are the one responsible for your health, your career, your path in life. You are the one that has to live with the outcome.
We are told from the time we are young to follow rules, to color within the lines… basically, we are told to conform. Yet some of the most amazing people in history were successful without ever graduating college or because they were willing to think for themselves and try what others would not. They weren’t afraid to stand out.
This applies, of course, to every aspect of our lives. Whether it’s following fads in fashion and music, politics, or just simply not forming your own opinion about subjects based on what others around you think. (I see this a lot in social media!)
Decide for yourself if you agree with what you’re told. Take those statements as suggestions, then research, and make your own decision as to what’s best for you. Be independent. Be a leader of your own life, of your own destiny.
This does not come naturally to everyone! It may require a little work to change your way of thinking.
For some of you, the little troublemakers in school, the ones always pushing your limits as kids, you may have just let life beat you down and have suppressed this side of your personality.
Either way, there are a few things you can do to change that thought process!
- Be flexible! You must be able to have an open mind. This means challenging your former way of thinking and being open to the potential that, in fact, you were wrong. Look at all possibilities, and get as many perspectives as you can in order to analyze the outcome. Weigh all of the pros and cons.
- Trust yourself! Develop that self confidence! Listen to your gut. Only you know what’s best for you. We are all different and it’s time to be comfortable in your own skin and instinctively follow what’s best for you.
- Be well educated! I can’t say this enough. Research, research, and then research some more. In this day and age, we have no excuse to be stupid. There are far too many resources available to anyone who takes the initiative to find them. The more you understand the subject matter, the easier it is to draw your own conclusion.
- Do not cave under pressure. This is especially important in the area of your health. Regardless of whether it’s pressure from a doctor or your family, do what’s best for YOU. Don’t let fear or guilt influence your decision. Slow down, take a step back and analyze the situation, and really weigh the consequences of any decisions you have to make, and never allow yourself to be rushed into making one.
- Don’t be afraid to do what’s unpopular! Never let peer pressure from others make your decision for you. Be a trailblazer. Own your decision!
Sometimes our decisions are just based on a lack of information. Once you have done your research… an educated decision can be made. Find all options and learn about them (with your open mind) before you form an opinion. Once a decision has been made, an opinion formed, it’s time to become resolute… but that’s another subject entirely!
“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” ~ Alvin Toffler