That’s the new mantra given in week 5 of the MKE, and it’s causing no small amount of reflection for participants in the course.
There is an exception, however. One must be asked and an expert on the matter. Since I’m an expert on little, I may not have much to offer.
Anyway, I’ve been asking myself a few questions. At what point do my thoughts or words I utter become opinion? Are all opinions bad, or is it a matter of degree? Honestly, can I eliminate all opinions? How many opinions do I hold of myself that would prove to be in error? And worst of all, how many innocent souls have I negatively impacted by my opinions?
Haanel describes that our mind is largely the result of heredity and the full scope of our environment. Not only that, it is influenced by innumerable impressions of all kinds — including the opinions we accept from ourselves and others.
The problem? Nearly all of it has been ‘accepted with little or no examination or consideration.’ Some idea in the mind seems plausible and ultimately passed on to the subconscious and accepted as truth.
Haanel describes that the subconscious is always at work for our benefit. It will solve any problem if we know how to direct it. It is bound by the limits of truth as determined and passed along by the conscious mind. He asks the question — Are we to be simply passive recipients of this activity or are we to consciously direct the work? Shall we have a vision of the destination or simply drift?
Drift! That word hit me hard. I’m plenty familiar with the concept.
“I can best define the word ‘drift’ by saying that people who think for themselves never drift, while those who do little or no thinking for themselves are drifters. A drifter is one who permits himself to be influenced and controlled by circumstances outside of his own mind. A drifter is one who accepts whatever life throws in his way without making a protest or putting up a fight. He doesn’t know what he wants from life and spends all of his time getting just that.”The Devil to Napoleon Hill — Outwitting the Devil
Opinions can be subtle, yet they have powerful ramifications. They can cut the moorings to our highest good and set us adrift if left unchallenged.
My opinions are worth exactly what you pay for them anyway.