Having an opinion
Life can be more interesting when
you start with a point of view
In recent years I’ve found life to be far more satisfying when I have an opinion. It doesn’t have to be unwavering commitment to a point of view, and more often than not I can be talked around, inspired in a different direction, or just get bored. However, it seems that life becomes more interesting when you start with a point of view. When your knowledge goes a little deeper and you care about a subject.
Life becomes more interesting when you start with a point of view
Having an opinion on everything can be hard work. For instance, I’ve not had the interest or desire to have a strong opinion on politics beyond ‘John Key is a dick’, and past experience has forced me to form some skewed thoughts on religion. Moving away from the classic and trap-ridden areas of religion and politics, It it can be beneficial to choose some things more specific topics that you want to be opinionated on. Areas that interest you, your hobbies, work related, just things that generally interest you. So where to start? It’s a big world out there. There is so much to know, and so much to form opinions on. I had a moment like this, where I realised I was spreading myself so thin that I wasn’t forming full or comprehensive ideas about anything. Grabbing at thoughts all over the place, reading random articles, feeling as though I should read all of the books. I needed to focus. Choose the things that give me the most satisfaction when I feel competent at them. I feel competent by improving skills, having a deeper knowledge and being able to hold robust conversations about those topics — in other words, having an opinion.
I wasn’t forming full or comprehensive ideas about anything
For me, these areas boil down to 3 things. Now that I’ve defined those things, I can make choices about how I spend my time, mental energy, and even social energy. When I choose an activity, blog, book, even movie or TV show I can tailor my choices to help me learn more and get better in these areas, ultimately contributing to my ability to have an opinion and hold a great conversation about them. And in that ability to hold a great conversation, my opinion can become even more informed from the knowledge imparted to me from the other people in the discussion. What, you may ask, are your these 3 thingsareas of interest? Well the areas things that give me the most satisfaction to put my time and efforts in to roughly fit into this: Run, Think, Make.
Run is pretty self explanatory, exercise and being outdoors is important to me, and although I also love hiking as well, running is the easiest thing to regularly do, improve, get involved in local communities, and even read about; in books and on the interwebs. The next area, Think, may seem broad, but for me it mostly means a lot of reading exploring knowledge and formulating of ideas. Philosophically and work related. I find these areas cross over anyway — being in a creative role design role a deep understanding of how people think and their relationship to society and the wider world can be of quite an advantage. The last one, Make, is almost directly related to my work as a designer and creative. Make things, design websites, experiences, create visual moments in other peoples’ daily life.
While my areas of interest are broad they can expand or focus as my opinions form and change. It is easy to become obsessed with a tight idea, and then only seek more information to reinforce my opinion; I often have to remind myself not to be fooled by this trap.
To me, having an opinion also means being open to others opinions, and using their knowledge to further educate and form my own.
You don’t have to have an opinion on everything, and don’t be ashamed to be honest in a conversation it it wanders into a realm you don’t know much about. Just remember, it can be incredibly satisfying to have your own ideas and opinions on something, anything! So focus and spend your time and energy accordingly.