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Thinking. We all do it (sometimes); often about the wrong things. The times we choose not to think are usually the times we need it most: when it’s something we need to decide or take responsibility for. With so much “knowledge” out there today, many people suspend their ability to think independently, thus allowing it to atrophy, and then wonder why they aren’t getting what they want. It’s because you’re allowing other people to think for you. Bad idea.
[TRANSCRIPT] How To Think For Yourself
“Thinking for yourself.”
This is a phrase that I use very often when dealing with people. Over the years, I have been receiving questions through email, tweets, Snapchat, and comments on my Youtube videos, on a lot of topics. One of the things that I have noticed is that I get a lot of people who reach a point where they have gotten so much information from me — they feel like I know so much — that they start to suspend their own ability to think. They start expecting me to provide answers for them when they need to be providing these answers themselves. That point is when I start using the phrases:
“You need to think for yourself”
“You need to start using your brain and make some decisions for yourself.”
When people spend too much time around a guru or expert, to whom they go to for information and advice, they start to think that they no longer need to use their brains. They suspend their ability to make decisions and become dependent on that “all-knowing” expert. They take whatever that person says and just do it blindly without even considering if it even makes sense for them or if it even relates to them as a person in their particular situation.
In life, thoughts control everything. That is the one thing that anyone, as a human being, has 100% control over — our ability to think and what we think about. We have 100% control over the energy that we put into our thoughts or the amount of neglect we put into our thoughts.
There is nothing else in life that we have full control over other than thoughts. We don’t control circumstances, time, weather, other people, anyone’s opinions, animals, products, services, computers or phones. Sometimes, they do things that we don’t want them to do. However, we can always control the way that we respond to the things that happen to us. If you stop thinking for yourself, you are basically committing suicide because you are neglecting your ability to control the one thing that you can.
Thoughts are everything because if you look around, everything that you can see started as a thought in someone’s head — the roads that you drive on, bridges that you cross, cars, buses, and trains that you ride, computers that you use are all things that somebody thought of, made material, and sold.
Knowing that we control our thoughts 100% means that everyone controls every single thing that takes place in their lives. Thoughts are everything; thus, you control everything.
You have control over everything that happens in your life whether it is how you think about it, what you do about it or what you want to happen — you have some level of control. You can’t control the circumstances, but you can control your thoughts. It’s a natural law, just like gravity. If you jump off a building, it’s not gravity’s fault that you die but it’s your fault because you already knew that gravity existed. In the same way, if you neglect to take control of your thoughts and you do not get the outcomes that you want in life, then that is your fault.
I’m going to give you 3 ways so you can start to control your thoughts — which will control every single thing that ever happens to you from this point forward for the rest of your entire life.
Trust your own judgment and instincts more than you trust the judgment, opinions, beliefs, information, and the instinct of other people.
Even if they have already made a thousand times more money than you;
Even if they already played in a league that you want to play in;
Even if they have already written 30 books and you’re still working on the first paragraph of yours;
Even if they already have a million-dollar website and you just started on wordpress.com;
It doesn’t matter who that person is, you must always trust your own judgment and instinct more than you trust other people.
A common problem is that when people stop thinking for themselves and they start to neglect their ability to think for themselves, they get around people who may have more experience, more knowledge, more money, more accomplishments, and they start to believe that whatever that person says, does and thinks, they need to follow.
“I need to just accept it, I need to start thinking that way, I need to start being that way, and I need to do exactly what that person did”
That is absolutely wrong. At that point, you have already chosen to neglect your ability to think for yourself and by doing this, you are neglecting to have any control over your destiny in life. You might as well not be alive if you don’t want to take control over your own destiny.
Your instincts never lie to you.
If your instincts push you in the wrong direction, all you have to do is listen to them again because they will immediately tell you,
“Okay, that’s the wrong direction. Now, we need to go this way.”
If your judgment is telling you one thing and another person’s judgment is telling you another thing, I would suggest that you trust your own judgment.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should always do exactly what your instinct says.
If somebody you cut off while driving suddenly jumps out of his car, started shaking his fists, and started screaming at you, your instincts might say, “Get out the car and beat the guy up.”
That might not necessarily be the thing that you want to do but you can listen to your instincts and then you can control them with your thoughts by saying,
“Instinctively, I’m thinking I should get up and beat this guy to a pulp for yelling at me and saying what he said to me, but I’m going to control my thoughts and I’m going to make sure that I use good judgment and not do something that’s going to hurt me in the long run.”
If you’re controlling your thoughts and thinking for yourself, it doesn’t mean that you should follow everything your instinct says. Instead, you should listen to those instincts and decide whether or not to follow them based on your conscious thoughts — whether or not to follow your instincts.
No matter what it is that other people give you as an opinion, it’s still your responsibility to decide what you will do or not do with that opinion.
Other people don’t have to live with the outcome of your actions, you do.
Basketball players come to me and they say,
“I’m thinking about going to this school, but it’s really big. It has a lot of talent, and I’m not sure I’ll make it; or I can go to this school. It’s a smaller school. They’re not really talented. I know I can make the team, but I don’t know if I’ll get exposure. What do you think I should do?”
I never ever tell them what to do,
I always say to them,
“Well, you know what your options are. It seems that you only got 2 choices so pick one, live with it and keep moving.”
Stop waiting for someone else to tell you what to do. You need to make your own decisions for your life because no matter what I tell you, I am not the one who is going to face the consequences. If I tell you to do one thing and it turns out to be a disaster, it’s not my fault; It’s your fault because you decided to follow my advice. You need to think for yourself and decide for yourself, what you want to do.
When another person gives you their opinion, judgment or advice on what they think about you and/or your situation, making the decision is still your responsibility whether it was good or bad advice.
If I offered you some advice and say,
“You should go to the bigger school because you’ll get more exposure, and you’ll get to play against better competition, and maybe get yourself a scholarship.”
You go there, but it turns out that you’re not good enough to get on the team, it’s still not my fault because you’ve decided to take me up on the opinion.
At the end of everything, what you do is always 100% your responsibility. What you don’t do is always your responsibility.
When you’re receiving advice, remember that you’re the person who has to live with the actions that come from that advice. You need to make sure that you always consider that when you’re taking someone else’s advice. Because if it turns out to be the wrong thing, you can’t come back to them and say,
“Hey, you gave me this advice to do this.”
You decided to take that advice. It’s not their fault, it’s your fault.
Books, podcasts, speakers, experts, and gurus do not exist to think for you.
Any book, podcasts, professional speaker, expert, guru, or any accomplished person is not there to think for you. Their expertise does not mean that what they say is the golden word for you to follow as if you have no brain. All they do is offer you information, experiences, what they know, what they think, their opinion, and their advice. Your job is to take that information, weigh it against who you are, what your situation is and then see how it might or might not work for you so that you can make an educated decision and then act on that decision. That is your job.
If you listen to some speakers that say,
“You need to post on Twitter, 35 times a day.”
Then, you do it and it turns out to be disastrous for you and you get no returns on it after you did it for a year straight, It’s not the speaker’s fault;
It’s not the expert’s fault for telling you,
“You need to get on Snapchat, Pinterest and Facebook, and you need to post it on all these platforms 2-3 times per day for the next month because that’s going to get you a better ROI.”
If it doesn’t work out, it’s not their fault; it’s your fault.
All of the information that you get, regardless of the source, needs to be weighed against who you are as a person, where you are as a person, what you’re doing, and what your situation is; Then, you must ask yourself, “Does this make sense?”
It’s a four-word phrase you need to start using internally. You answer that question and make a decision on what you will do. It’s not anyone else’s problem or success if you fail or you succeed, it is 100% yours.
This is all about thinking for yourself in life. Here is a recap of the 3 points:
- Trust your own judgment and instincts more than you trust the judgment and instincts of other people, regardless of who that other person happens to be.
- You should not stop thinking and just blindly follow what a person says just because they have offered you information, advice, judgment, what they think, where they’ve been, their achievements, their accomplishments, or their experiences. Instead, you can use what they give you to educate yourself and decide what you want to do with that information.
- Books, podcasts, speakers, gurus, experts, accomplished people, or unaccomplished people are not here to think for you. They offer information — what they’ve done, what they do, what they know or what they think they know. Your job is to look at that information, weigh it against who you are as a person, where you are as a person, and your situation, and decide, “Does this make sense for me to use it or does it not?”
You make that decision. Whatever the result of that action, it’s 100% on you.
In conclusion, you control your thoughts 100%. Everything that has taken place in our civilization was controlled by thought. It started with the thought that someone had and acted on. If you neglect to take control of your thoughts, you’re neglecting your life.