To Achieve Your Goals, Beware of Conventional Wisdom

By Peter Aursnes

The most debilitating mindset a person can have is blindly and uncritically accepting conventional wisdom. And while there are certainly concepts and widely accepted viewpoints that are based in fact and are worthy of your consideration, you must do your own research and make informed decisions based on your own points of reference. Unfortunately, many people let others determine their path rather than take the time to lay out their own.

Realize that societal norms can train and push you into a preset mold that might not be best suited for you. You are a unique peg, and if you are trying to fit yourself into a predetermined, yet mismatched opening, you are limiting your own potential.

If you want to go your own way, you might have to just create your own space. In the process, though, society will pick up on what you are doing and start giving you unsolicited feedback. This is when you need to stay true to yourself and not just automatically accept the conventional wisdom. What might seem like the easy road at first due to societal norms might in fact be a major mistake if the end result is that you are incredibly unhappy and feel as if you are not tapping into your unlimited potential. It is just a matter of finding your passion and channeling your efforts toward your specific goals. As you pave your own path in life, consider the following suggestions.

Think Like a Child: Children have a natural curiosity. In fact, one of the most endearing traits of children is their innocence and purity. When a kid walks into a room, everything is new and filled with endless possibility. “What’s this? What’s that? How come?” Their viewpoint can be a valuable lesson.

As a child develops and moves on into adulthood, they are trained what to ask, what not to ask, what is socially acceptable, and what is not. This can have unintended consequences, because it can be enormously impairing for you if your subconscious mind prevents you from breaking out as you grow older. And while there are understandable reasons why some subjects might be off limits, and there is a certain level of decorum that should exist, the point is that from a very early age you are taught to keep your expectations in check, based on what is socially acceptable.

If you let this carry over into too many areas of your life and you fail to seek the answers that are important to you, it is possible that you will find yourself swept into the mainstream current that will limit your ability to make great things happen and challenge yourself, and society, to improve. Therefore, let the childlike curiosity within yourself emerge and explore the world and yourself from a new perspective.

Be Aware of Your Influences: The majority of people’s thinking is influenced by outside impulses. Radio, TV, newspapers, the Internet, politicians, friends, family, and colleagues inundate you with opinions and images on any manner of things regardless of having any knowledge about the subject or not. This can be dangerous and detrimental to your well-being and happiness, because your thinking is mostly made up of projections, pictures you have seen, or ideas you have read or heard from somewhere else.

The fact is that 95 percent of the pictures you see in your mind today are the very same images you had yesterday. It has been said that two percent of the population of the world actually thinks, three percent thinks they think, and 95 percent would rather die than think. Therefore, you need to think, and think critically, to move forward and accomplish great things in life.

Always remember that you can offer the world a specific and unique perspective, but you must be willing to go out on a limb. If you let your others in your life tell you, or convince you, to do or not to do something without investigating the matter thoroughly, you will be doing yourself and the world a disservice. The world needs your unique perspective. In fact, society depends on unique perspectives for innovation and growth.

To value someone else’s opinion is understandable and expected. However, you must be careful to realize the difference between incorporating other people’s opinions into the mix and just blindly adopting them as your own without proper vetting and consideration. Likewise, don’t fall into the trap of seeking and relying too much on the advice of like-minded people, which serves only to reinforce your preconceived notions. This does not do you any good, as you need perspective. These people are often no more knowledgeable than you are, and you need to expose yourself to a wide variety of information and seek out more experienced and expert advice.

Do Your Research: Sometimes the resistance you might experience from others is because you are forcing them to take a good, hard look at their own situation and circumstances. The idea of facing one’s own fears can lead to a subconscious effort to sabotage another’s desires. There might be legitimate concern for your well-being if you try to break out of the norm, but you also have to weigh the possibility that people are afraid of what it might mean for them if you succeed. That is why you need to always do your own research.

Your friends and family might have valid concerns, so you don’t want to go through life blind to the advice of those you hold dear, but you must recognize the difference between valid issues and those people who are having difficulty facing their own self-doubt. Sometimes it might be especially hard to root for someone if you are not happy in your own life, but if you are the one being skeptical, you have to ask yourself the question: “Am I really finding fault with what this person is trying to accomplish or am I just having a difficult time facing my own unhappiness?”

Choose Your Thoughts: The thoughts you choose – whether happy or sad, positive or negative – will eventually determine your results. All pain, pleasure, abundance, or limitations are either originated in your conscious mind or accepted uncritically from an outside source. Your thoughts express themselves through your feelings, your feelings decide your actions, and your actions determine your results; therefore, you must consider that your past or present results are not a result of your potential, which is infinite, but a result of your past or present thinking. To change your results, change your thinking.

      If you want something and you feel it is in the best interest of you and your family, do not let others tell you that you cannot do something. Even though you might be tempted to take the path of least resistance and you might be facing difficult circumstances, if you believe in yourself and your dream, you can succeed. There will be risk involved for sure, and the path to a fulfilling life will not be easy, but you have the capability to realize your dreams.

Create the Life of Your Dreams: Remember that you have the ability to achieve great things. Do not let conventional wisdom be a deterrent if you have found your passion and believe that what you are doing will lead to a more fulfilling life. You have to be prepared to change your mindset and take action. When you do, your dreams will become reality.

Use your mind, use your creativity, revert back to your childhood curiosity, and realize that you can achieve great things and go where you want to go in life. Dream big, make your own informed decisions, take the necessary steps toward your goals, and beware of conventional wisdom.

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