Make Your Own Decisions

Lately I’ve been picking up the habit of watching what people do and acting accordingly. There’s a few reasons I think it showed up. Maybe because I’m trying to soak up everything I can from my boss now. Could be because I’m trying to level up my social skills, so I watch others. It might just be that’s something that I always do and I just now noticed.

I see my sister brushing her teeth for example, and suddenly I think it’s a good idea. I see people joking around and I try to join. What other people are wearing dictates what style of clothing I’m wearing that day. That sort of thing.

It’s not totally a bad thing. It’s a good skill being able to tune in and blend in. True, you always want to stand out. But a homeless man stands out quite strongly at a Royal Wedding. You want to know how to stand out, so tuning in is a good skill for that.

I did feel however that it was too much. A little too much going on of stealing expressions, likes, views, and behaviors. I realized it when I started copying things that weren’t right.

My family was all sitting together watching pictures of my baby nephew. I was getting bored and I saw that my brother had shut his eyes. I thought “perfect, he just granted me permission to do the same.” I did, and 30 seconds later he got up and started being social.

I felt terrible. I felt childish and immature. If I was asked why I did it, I couldn’t have brought myself to say, “because he was doing it too.”

I remembered an important lesson. It’s important that you decide what you think is best, and then act on it.

You’ll get it wrong most of the time, guaranteed. Everyone does, if they’re dealing with new experiences. But that’s just the way it is. You never have all the information you need to make a decision. There’s bits and pieces, and you have to make your best guess as to what’s the best idea.

When you fuck up, if you do, two things will happen that are great. First, you’ll be able to explain yourself. If you say, “Oh, I didn’t tell you because I thought it would be cool to surprise you”, it goes much better than, “Oh, I didn’t tell you because… I don’t know, I just didn’t.” One lets other people understand what pieces of information you didn’t have, and it shows your intentions (which is good, assuming your intentions are as well.) The other just makes it seem like you’re hiding something.

Second, you’ll see exactly where you messed up. When someone, or reality itself, brings the mistake to your attention, you’ll understand why more clearly. “I don’t like to be surprised at 2:00 am” is much more informative than, “Why the fuck are you hiding stuff from me?”

Make your own decisions. Think for yourself, own them, and be clear on why you did it.

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