Your Ultimate Guide To Success In Your Profession
The first step toward reaching The Invisible Path to Success is what I call
Let go of opinions and use what works for you.
Walk into any bookstore and go into any sectionyou’ll see lots of books on the same subject. If you were to read all those books, you’d see that while they have some things in common, most of the authors disagree on just about everything.
Assemble a group of ten experts on any topic, put them into the same room, ask them the same question, and you’ll most likely hear ten different opinions.
The world has many great religions that completely disagree with each other. The disagreements are so serious sometimes that wars result.
A doctor could appear on television tomorrow morning claiming to have discovered the cure for cancer, and let’s assume the doctor really found it. She could give dramatic evidence and provide extensive documentation of the validity of her discovery, and while some people would believe her and accept her discovery as true, other people would not.
A huge face could show up in the sky today claiming to be God. He could demonstrate tremendous power and offer the ultimate truth of the Universe. While some people would believe it was God and the ultimate truth, other people would deny it or think it was the devil.
When I was in a high school history class, I remember reading a thin little book called Ten Possible Interpretations of the Cause of the American Revolution. It had ten chapters, each written by a different author. Each author explained his or her theory of what really caused the American Revolution.
I read the first chapter and said to myself, “That makes sense. That’s what really caused the revolution.” But then I read the next chapter and felt the same wayeven though it came to a completely different conclusion.
The same thing happened for the remaining eight chapters. They all made sense. They were all intelligent opinions. But they were totally different.
I could stand in front of you and claim I had magical powers. I could make a huge diamond or a giraffe appear out of thin air. You might believe I had magical powers. But based on some of the great magicians you’ve seen, like David Copperfield, or the special effects you’ve seen in movies, you might just think it was sleight of hand or an illusion of some kind.
Throughout history, we have absolutely believed that something was true, like when we thought the world was flat. But later, when we got more or different information, we changed our opinion. It happens in science all the time.
It has happened in your life, hasn’t it? You were absolutely sure something was true until you found out it wasn’t one day.
How can this be? How can so many intelligent, informed, and educated people have such different opinions and change their minds so much?
The simple answer is that life is too complicated, and even with all the brainpower and egos in the world, none of us are smart or knowledgeable enough to figure it all out. Not right now anyway.
This is especially true about the deeper, more philosophical questions such as: Who am I? Why am I here? What is my purpose? Why do things happen to me the way they do? Is there a God, and if so, what is his or her role in my life?
It doesn’t matter how strongly you believe, how much proof you’re given, how deeply you feel in your gut that something is true, how smart a speaker is, how many powerful demonstrations you see, or how much you trust or respect someone. You may never know what the absolute truth is about anything.
Stop and think about the significance of that for a few seconds.
How could you? How could you be absolutely sure about anything?
Something could make sense logically. A lot of people could agree with it. It could feel right on. But how could you ever know it was absolutely true?
I would suggest you can’t. Not right now anyway.
When I came to that conclusion that I might never know the absolute truth you know what I decided? I decided that debates about what’s true and not true, right or wrong, good or bad, correct or incorrect don’t matter.
Everything is just opinion. Every opinion could be wrong. The only thing that really matters is what works.
If there’s something you want to understand or do in your life, and you’re considering ideas or someone’s opinion on it, let go of what you think, let go of opinions, let go of rules, formulas, generalizations, correct, and incorrect. Experiment with an open mind and use what works for you.
Let what works for you become your standard to measure success by, not your intellectual analysis of what’s right or wrong, good or bad, accurate or inaccurate.
Mohandas Gandhi, the famed spiritual leader from India, said:
“As long as I have not realized this absolute truth, so long must
I hold by the relative truth as I have conceived it. That relative
truth must, meanwhile, be my beacon, my shield and buckler.
Though this path is straight and narrow, and sharp as the razor’s
edge, for me, it has been the quickest and easiest.”
If a particular set of beliefs, a cure for a disease, or an approach to managing finances or improving relationships works for you, and by “works” I mean it helps you produce the results you want, then it’s relative truth for you, and you should continue using it as long as it continues to work for you.
But if it doesn’t help you produce the results you want, discard it and keep looking until you do find something that works for you. This is the only standard to measure an idea or a belief system against. And the only way you can know if it works or not is if you have an open mind; experiment, and see for yourself.
I believe that what I’m sharing with you here is true and accurate. But whether it’s true and accurate or not, it works for me so I keep using it.
It also works for people from different countries, different races, different cultures, and different backgrounds. Because it works for me and other people, it could work for you too, but the only way you’ll know is if you use it and see what results you produce.
If you evaluate what you discover here in your head, just by using your intellect and analytical skills, and you accept or reject it without seeing if it works for you, you do yourself a great disservice.
It’s the same with opinions you may hear about nutrition, exercise, how to run your business, how to be a better parent, how to invest your money, how to get healthy, or how to solve a problem you have. Anything!
Let go of whether you agree with it or not intellectually. Let go of whether you or someone you know thinks it’s right or wrong, good or bad, accurate or inaccurate. If you feel motivated enough, and that’s the key, if you feel motivated enough, go ahead and try it. If it works for you, use it. If it doesn’t work, keep looking until you find something that does work for you.
But please, for your sake, not mine; if you’re like I used to be, get out of your head and start trying things, because that’s the only way you’ll ever know if something is right or wrong, good or bad, accurate or inaccuratefor you. You can only find that out through experiencenot thought.
The bottom line: If you accept that, you may never know what’s true, and an effective strategy can be to experiment and use what works for you. It can help you to be more open-minded in your interactions with other people. It can also make you much more humble.
Gandhi also said:
“The seeker after Truth should be humbler than the dust. The world crushes dust under its feet, but the seeker after Truth should so humble himself that even the dust could crush him. Only then, and not until then, will he have a glimpse of truth.”
This step might seem simple and obvious to you, but it’s the foundation upon which everything else we’ll be talking about rests.
So what’s the first step toward The Path to Success? Since you may never know the absolute truth, Let go of opinions and use what works for you!