Others Don’t Know What is Best for You

Only you know what is best for you.

First principle:

Thou shalt ignore others who give you unsolicited advice.

This is the problem: whenever others try to give you “advice”, all of that advice is self-serving to the other person. That other person might be trying to “flex” how smart they are, and prop up their (low) self-esteem by putting you down; making you feel dumber, less knowledgeable, or more naive than them.

I think there are some people who genuinely do want to help you, and think they’re helping you. But the problem is that their opinion is what they think is best for you, rather than thinking to themselves: “Do I have the wisdom to know what is best for the other person?”

Obvious things like babies or young children; they need guidance from their parents. But if you’re an adult, others don’t know what is best for you, because they don’t know your thoughts, your personal motivations, or your full life experiences. Nobody but you can determine what is best for you.

This is the problem: our society has become hijacked by “experts” and “intellectuals” who think they know better than us. Furthermore, when we have preferences which are against theirs, they call us “irrational”, “stupid”, “uneducated”, “manipulated”, or “misled” (like we couldn’t think for ourselves). Nassim Taleb touches upon this in his “Intellectual Yet Idiot” essay in his book, “Skin in the Game“.

I think the same occurs in photography, business, finance, or entrepreneurship. We have all these “experts” who tell us how we “should” save our money, how we “should” spend our money, the books we “should” read, and so forth. But they are often blind to the fact that their ideas don’t apply to everybody, and shouldn’t apply to everybody.

Even in photography, we have all these experts how we “should” make photos, and they force us to shoot according to their own personal set of beliefs, rather than encouraging us to come up with our own personal ideology on our photographic process, vision, and creative power.

I know for myself, the biggest breakthroughs I’ve had in my personal photography, how I brand and market myself, and how I do business; I’ve best succeeded when I ignored everyone else, and simply followed my own gut, my own instincts, and had the courage to follow what I believed was right for myself. Even when I ended up “succeeding” when listening to the opinion of others (when I compromised my own psdonsal ideals), I felt bad about it, and disobeying my own gut ended up hurting me in the long term.

So friend as an encouragement, in almost everything in life, always ignore the advice of others. State boldly to yourself,

Only I know what is best for myself. Everyone else can go to ‘H-E-double-hockey-sticks’ [hell].

If you want to put a dent in the universe, you must go off-road. You must go off the beaten track. Go extreme in life; avoid taking the “normal” or mediocre path in life.

Follow your own artistic vision, take bold entrepreneurial risks, and put your skin on the line!

Live with blood!


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