Have you ever stopped to realize that everyone, including you, makes decisions based on some kind of information? Most of the time we make our decisions based on the way we think things should go. After all, very few of us make decisions and plan our lives thinking that things will turn out badly. Who would be foolish enough to do that? We all believe the decisions we make every day will cause things to turn out well. All of that is good common sense.
What I am talking about in this particular Tip is not so much the WAY you make decisions, but WHO you listen to in order to get good information that will help you in the decision making process. I have known people to make important, life altering decisions after talking to their brother-in-law, or their aunt, or their next-door neighbor, or a co-worker. While there is nothing wrong with any of these people, they may not be the ones to whom you should be talking.
Please allow me to give you a specific example. Who do you listen to regarding your financial investments? Do you let a total stranger who called you one day on the phone handle your financial investments? Although a broker can be helpful, someone humorously commented that the reason stockbrokers are called “brokers” is because they are broker than you are! I do not want to follow the advice of someone who is guessing about how to handle money. I want to follow someone who is successful at knowing how to make wise investments.
The same could be true in other areas of life. If you are interested in a better marriage, you should talk to someone who has been married a long time and ask them what they have done to have a successful marriage. If you want to start a business, it might be a good idea to talk to someone who has started a business and ask about the necessary steps to take in order for your business to succeed. If you are seeking help in spiritual matters, you should find someone who is spiritually minded and has a deep walk of peace in their relationship with God.
It is amazing to me how much I have learned as a business owner about the difference between socialism and capitalism. A person could study that topic in school for twenty-five years and never come to a clear conclusion until he or she started a business. Only then would the concepts of freedom, capitalism, an entrepreneurial spirit, cash flow, hiring correctly, salary and benefits, profit margins, and personal responsibility really be understood. All those things must be “caught” rather than “taught”.
No one knows everything; therefore, it is important that we read good literature, listen to good information and associate with as many people as possible who are actually doing what we want to do. Proverbs 13:20 says, “He who walks with wise men shall be wise; but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.” That pretty much sums it up. If you want to learn how to be wise in a particular area you must find someone who has already gained wisdom in that area and listen to them. In the past that was called an apprenticeship. In my opinion that was the best way to learn anything…learn by doing! The older I get, the less I ask advice from people who have no experience in any particular area of life. I have found it to be a big mistake and a waste of time.
Ask yourself who you are listening to get good information. Who do you listen to for advice? Who do you go to for wise counsel? These questions will cause you to take a step back and perhaps reconsider who you are interacting with or from whom you are seeking advice.
There are twenty-four hours in each day. How those twenty-four hours are spent will largely determine the direction of a person’s life. I cannot afford to give my time (which is my life) to people who are unproductive, wasteful, and unwise.
I want to be a help and encouragement to others, and I can only do that as I am growing to become wiser myself. The best way I have discovered to grow personally and professionally is to know who to listen to about different situations and circumstances. I am very careful who has my ear because I am going to follow the advice of those I listen to. I choose to listen to people who have experience and are wise and have proven themselves in certain areas. I trust you will learn to do the same. You will be glad you did!
Tip: Who do you listen to?
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm