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By Jesse Utz 

The persuasive perspective

Jess Shut Up

 


Experience + your current situation x encouragement = decisions being made. That sounds simple enough, and I am sure there are a lot of other factors involved, but really this is the basis for our decisions. Plus all you math geeks (Jeremiah and Jeff) love to get math involved in everyday life.

Commercials bombard us, politicians preach at us and influences direct us as we navigate our ship on the strong currents of life. Sometimes we run our boat ashore and cause damage until we get it fixed and move on. Life experience can be as simple as our parents telling us how they feel about a certain issue, or it can be a trial and error in our own life. But it can also be a devastating life event that alters our universe for the remainder of our existence. So experience can be trying something and failing or succeeding. It can be the way we are raised or it can be an outside force, contaminating our life drastically. Experience, either positive or negative, is a great influence on our decisions.

When we look at our current situation and consider the decision making process, we might find our ideals changing slightly, depending on the events happening right now. Let’s say our ship has run ashore and the damage seems too large to comprehend, and just then a stranger calling himself an expert comes aboard and tells us that in “his experience” we only have one option and that is to buy a new vessel. Normally, we don’t listen to someone with this much force, but he seems like an expert and times are desperate. If we were on the open waters, wind blowing through our hair, yelling from the front of our strong and sturdy ship, we would never listen to this so-called expert. We are fine and we would continue doing what had gotten us to this great moment. But we are desperate for a solution. We are going nowhere with our hull damaged and buried in the sand. In a different situation, we might consider a good boat fixer if we knew of one, but here on this shore we don’t know who we can trust.

Then there is the encouragement. Who has our ear? Do we listen to commercials? Do we have a good friend on whose words we can rely? Do we have faith in a higher power? Are our parents positive voices? Grandparents? Teachers? Mentors? Are there negative voices in our trusted circles that give absolute zero encouragement? Can we tell the difference? If everyone I know is saying buy an iPhone, do I do it without thinking about it a second time? That must be the best, since everyone I know says so. But will it work for you? Those we are encouraged by, positive or negative, absolutely have a major push in our process of discovery. Are we being encouraged to do something hard that will have great rewards or are we being encouraged to take the safe route with very little long-term upside?

When you put this all together, you can see how these pieces might sink our vessel or put us on the high seas for glory. The answer: trust your own experience, good or bad, and don’t keep making the same mistakes. Build on the proven winners. Investigate where you are at and don’t let your current situation get you bogged down. Seek the truth. Look for the positive encouragement and don’t be afraid to ask for help from your trusted allies. Surround yourself with those who will love you, winning and losing, and help you turn things around. Investigate when you are uncertain. Know the facts and act according to your goals. That means you must have goals to begin with.

The bottom line is that in any situation we do not know why any person thinks a certain way. But we can look at our own situation and act accordingly. Get to the nitty gritty and make a wise decision, not based on public opinion but on your own experience, situation and with encouragement by those who have no vested interest in anything but succeeding together with you. Apply this where you think best.

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