Last post I said you need someone in your life who knows you personally and can be there for you in moments of doubt, fear, or weakness. It’s important that they are someone who cares for you, wants the highest good for you, and most importantly, believes in you. If you don’t have someone who qualifies in that role right now, that’s the most important next step in your journey toward prosperity and enlightenment. Let’s explore some ways to do that…
It starts with something so simple and so POWERFUL you’d think that everyone would be doing it already. But almost no one does. And that is making truth telling your highest value and demonstrating to the people who are close to you that indeed, this is the requirement for maintaining a healthy relationship with you. It starts by unequivocally rejecting when people pander to you and tell you what they think you want to hear – which is what the vast majority will do.
Most people are fear-based, desperate for acceptance, and have low self-esteem. So when you ask them even simple things like how a suit looks on you, or more meaty questions like evaluating a business proposal you’re considering – they default to assuring you that you’ve made the right choice.
You have to push back, dig deeper, and prod them to get at the truth. After enough conditioning, they’ll begin to understand that you really do want their honest opinion, not to be pandered to. Once they make the change it is critical that you don’t feel attacked, get defensive, or make them feel bad for speaking their truth. Even if the advice feels brutal to you, thank them for telling you how they see it. (And do your best to process it objectively. No one wants to hear that their baby is ugly. But there are a lot of ugly babies out there.)
The second part of the equation is to be willing to offer this precious gift of truth telling in return. You will eventually train people around you to recognize that when they ask you something, you’re going to answer honestly. You’ll know right away the people who don’t really want truth because they’ll stop asking you.
This will lead to the sweet spot – you will uncover the people who will tell you the truth and want you to tell them the truth. If you can find five relationships like this in your life, you have an almost embarrassment of riches. Most are lucky to find a couple. Whatever the number is, now you know the roster of people you can turn to for guidance when making critical decisions.
It’s important to reach out for help in the proper context...
Just because your friend is a brilliant genome researcher, doesn’t mean she’s qualified to give you advice on protection against the Corona virus. Your brother-in-law who made billions in the tech space may not be a good person to ask about real estate investing. Your empathetic spiritual counselor might not be the best person to seek financial advice from.
Start with the premise that someone cares for you, wants the best for you, and will tell you the truth. But then make sure that they are qualified to give advice in the area you’re asking about. Don’t take financial advice from broke people, don’t seek exercise guidance from someone out of shape, and stop getting relationship advice from someone working on their fourth or fifth marriage.
Don’t just evaluate the advice you receive. Evaluate the qualifications of the sources and any confirmation biases they could have that wouldn’t be apparent to them. There is so much white noise, misinformation, and even deliberate disinformation around today, you have to be more proactive than ever.
At no time in human history has it ever been so important to practice skepticism, discernment, and critical thinking.
Which leads us to my next suggestion: creating an extended mastermind of critical thinkers for yourself. Which is where we’ll pick up on the next post. In the meantime, would love to see your comments below.