For me, personal growth is making ourselves happier. And we do it by changing our lives using different tools (minimalism is one) and changing our attitude.
Sometimes we start a change, or a habit, or adjust our attitude because we see the need and we’ve discovered the solution by ourselves.
But often we go for guidance to different kind of experts. I also do it and love it! Listening to people who went the way to a point where I want to be may make my way simpler and faster. That is why I read and enjoyed some of Tim Ferriss books. That’s why I read blogs by other people who value simplicity. That’s why I’ve read Essentialism, Making Ideas Happen and How to Win Friends and Influence People (any many others) last winter.
So go for good guidelines. But after a time of reading and experimenting with the experts’ advice, allow yourself to step back to the old you*, to your default, effortless way of being and assess the given advice from this perspective.
(*Actually, you no more have the access to the old you as by getting the information you’ve changed at least in your attitude or consciousness of some things.)
Don’t listen to experts too much – Why?
For example, we often hear about the horrible effects of distractions: from important tasks interruptions after which we need about twenty-five minutes to focus again to breaking our families.
Or let’s take the thought that writers shouldn’t read all day because then their creativity goes down, they only consume or receive information but don’t write their own words…
Hey, but I often get ideas for my articles or books when I allow myself distractions. Like this time when listening to an interview, I’ve heard a sentence that gave me the idea for the whole article (It Was Never in the First Place… Why Everyone Is a Minimalist). It was just the one sentence that I’ve needed to hear. But I had to listen to much more words until I’ve found this sentence. It’s like fishing or like searching for gold through lots of soil, sand, and mud. In a way, sometimes we need to lose (or invest) time to find what our next meaningful step is.
Distractions can be good. Do you see it?
If you feel that you need a piece of advice, go for it but assess it through the lenses of your experiences, knowledge, and values.
Choose your experts by looking at their lives. Did they succeed in the area in which they give advice? Life of every one of us is the effect of our actions, beliefs and the advice we give to ourselves. Don’t listen to experts who are failing in their lives. Choose experts who are in their lives in a place where you want to be.
Don’t listen to experts too much. Don’t be afraid to question them! It’s your right or even your duty because only you are responsible for your life. You are responsible for whose advice you listen to. You’re responsible for your actions and decisions. You will live the effects of the decisions you’ve made (for example that you trust someone and take his advice).
Question experts. Did you know that:
– Angelina Jolie decided to have a mastectomy because she was said (by experts!) that she has a gene, highly increasing the risk of getting breasts cancer. After the operation she’s dependent on doctors and the pharmacy industry, she’ll take pills forever. A few months after her operation another research demented the information that this gene has any influence on cancer risk. ?
– The man who talks about greenhouse effect (the level of waters will go up so areas by the seas will be flooded…) bought an expensive property with a big house by the ocean?
Next time, question and don’t listen to experts too much.
In another interview, Courtney Carver, probably my favorite person to follow in the online space, said that she doesn’t see herself as an expert and that she often believes people’s stories (just like me) and experiences more than experts’ words. And her story of a woman (not expert) simplifying her life, regaining her health and sanity is here: Soulful Simplicity.