519: No One Knows Your Life; Make Your Own Choices
Hello and welcome to Five Minute Mojo. Today I want to talk about autonomy, or actually the perception of autonomy. We like to think that we are captains of our own ships; that the decisions we make in the day are strictly of our own choosing, uninfluenced by the wishes and whims of others.
However, if you look a little harder, and more honestly, you might find out that your decisions are not always your own. One of the goals of this podcast and in the things I talk about alone and with guests is about becoming aware; becoming aware of your actions, thoughts and feelings. I never want anyone to come to the end of their life and say,
“ That wasn’t really my life. I just followed what everyone else was doing, what everyone else thought I should be doing”
Awareness will help you avoid that somber declaration. we are all influenced each day, by society, our families and our friends. Pretty much everyone has a hand in our decisions. You may be thinking you’re not some namby-pamby toady kowtowing to the wishes of everyone else but without introspection, true introspection, you just may be.
Let’s look at an example; your car. What do you drive? As I ask that question I want you to truly feel how you are going to answer. Did you answer to yourself matter of factly? or for a brief moment did you feel the need to answer the question like you would if someone asked you at a party or event. For many people a car is a symbol of status. Whether or not you own a “luxury car” when you see one you may feel a pang of desire. You may judge the owner of the vehicle.
Let me get back to my point. Regardless of what you drive, your decision to choose that car was not fully your own. Now matter how much you would protest it is.
Let’s start with the first question, new or used. If you had unlimited money to buy a car, would you buy a used car or a new car. Most people would buy a new car. Their thoughts are that they know it is untouched, it belonged to know one else. The car is their car. That perception of ownership is the first decision you made by thinking of others. You may believe that a new car is free of issues. You know, or think you know, that it has never had mechanical difficulty. But the truth is a value judgment has already been made. New is better than used. Who says that? Everyone pretty much. But why is new better. Is that true. Have you ever really thought about it for yourself. Not many people have. That thought has been instilled in us for centuries. But is their truth in it? If you buy a new car and drive it for a week and go to sell it you have to say it’s used. The car, even though, like new, is not. Therefore it has less value. Even if that new car sat in your driveway for the week, it would still be considered used despite the fact that mechanically and in every way it is new. Yet new is better than old. Ask anyone.
What about the make of car you have? Why did buy that. You can rationalize possibly that you bought it because you liked it and did research. But can you honestly say that you never saw an ad for it on TV or in a magazine? Be honest now. Can you say with one hundred percent honesty that you never thought about how you would be perceived in your car? Here’s a great question to help you. Would you drive around in a car that was absolutely brand new in every mechanical way yet had the interior and exterior of a car that was twenty years older? maybe even dinged or faded. No rear camera, no internet connectivity. A brand new car internally but externally it was 20 years older.
I could go on to ask you questions about the color and the size, but I will leave that up to you. In fact the question that I will leave you with is the premise of this episode.
Question of the Day:
Why did you buy the car you bought. Even if you did buy a used car, why did you by that car.
We like to think that we make all our decisions in a vacuum, on our own. But in subtle and overt ways we are often swayed by others. Becoming aware of when that is and what is truly important to just you is the way to live a life that truly is yours.
If you found today’s episode helpful then share it with your friends. Help them become better for themselves as well. This is Thom Walters signing off for Five Minute Mojo. Go make the rest of the day amazing, sleep tight and sweet dreams.