I recently had a conversation with a colleague about how some people make decisions based on other people’s advices and opinions. We all know that decisions that we make will have an effect on our lives. Here is my story. During my undergraduate studies, I had a really horrible advisor, but I did not realize this until a couple of years down the road in my junior year of college. I went to our advising sessions naive and trusting of this advisor whom I assumed was an expert in the field of advising and who was supposed to give me the best advice possible. Instead, I got a lot of answers that I could have Googled. Nonetheless, I trusted his advice. For example, when I tried to enroll into a Spanish language class, he suggested that I may not be ready for it because English is not my first language and I was still quite new to the English language (Russian is my native language but I studied English since I was 6). I quietly agreed and enrolled in a different course (in my senior year of college, however, after I realized my advisor was not very smart, I enrolled into an Arabic language class and learned it quite well). Little did he know that the fact that I know Russian will actually assist me in learning Spanish because of the similarities in some grammar and sounds. I probably would have been quite successful at Spanish. In either way, the point is that I listened to someone who did not give good advice and who used his personal opinion of my skills and possibilities to stray me away from what could have been a new language experience for me. Is it all his fault? No, absolutely not. It is also my fault for allowing him to make that decision for me.
This experience taught me a great deal about decision making. Now, I do not let people decide for me. I simply gather all the facts, opinions, information, suggestions, and advice, and make an educated decision about whatever is at stake. People are full of opinions and suggestions, and you cannot simply just do what they believe is good for you. It is your life and decisions you make will affect you directly. Some people have your best interests in mind, however, they are not you, and they will not live with the consequences of those decisions. You have to decide for yourself! It is great to hear people out and listen to opinions (especially from your parents) but at the end, make the choice that is the best for you. Sooner or later, we all have to learn to decide for ourselves on various topics in life, thus the sooner you start making educated and conscious choices, the better it is for you. Practice makes perfect.