If you read the news or listen to your friends about politics, social issues, or anything really, do you find yourself adopting and shaping yourself to their viewpoints? If you do not think so, then you need to take a hard look at yourself. Take a moment and think, who do I let into my life and what is their realm of influence. Let us take news sources for example, which news source is the one you always go to? CNN? Fox News? New York Times? Washington Post? The Blaze? The Guardian? If you chose any of these, I guarantee that you are constantly being fed only one side of a story. Not only that, but you are choosing to accept the opinion’s of someone else instead of you formulating your own.
You may not realize this, but news sources do not just tell you what happened in the world, they interpret what the story means and why you should care. It is not about them giving you the information and you deciding what your stance on the subject is. If you honestly believe that news sources are not bias, then, to be frank, you are sucked into a pit of ignorance. News companies constantly support their side of the political spectrum. This is why CNN and New York Times blast Fox News for being more conservative and Fox News blasts CNN and New York Times for being more liberal. All of these companies have different perspectives, which cause them to feed the kind of story their customers want. This is all fine and dandy, but you need to realize who you are accepting your information from.
Control your own life
When you start analyzing and thinking who you let into your sphere of influence, you will realize how much people and the media has control over you. The opinions that you think are your own, probably spawned from another individual. Think about how your family has raised you. Do you have certain habits because of them? Probably, this is why you need to start thinking now. Take control of your life and do not let others decide your opinions, because you do not stop to challenge how they think and how you think.
So, what can you do now? Do you start over thinking every little decision you made or everything that you have said in your life? Of course not, you cannot just start thinking about every single opinion that you have had; but, this does not mean that you should sit around and do nothing. I would recommend starting at where you receive your news from. Is it your friends? Or maybe you like to watch CNN? Or do you find things out on social media? Whatever your source is, determine whether it is left or right leaning. Also, think about how many sources you are receiving information.
Because I am a stickler for making a decision that I am comfortable with, I will read a CNN article, a Fox News piece, an article from New York Times, more information from the Wall Street Journal, and the list goes on. I try to make sure that I have read all sides of a story before coming to my own opinion. Sometimes I lean one way and sometimes I lean the other, but I always trust that I have formed my own decision and I have not let someone else control me. If you have the time and are super interest in the news, then I recommend listening from all sides with an open ear. You find out the strengths and weaknesses of both sides. However, if you do not have the time or do not care enough, then it is completely fine. I am mainly trying to urge you to not willingly follow others and listen to their opinions for absolutely no reason.
Once you have figured out where you are receiving your news from, I suggest moving into how your family and childhood has affected you. I guarantee that you will find some very juicy habits and opinions from there. After that, think about your friends and school/work. It is easy for uneducated individuals in a subject to continuously spread their opinions especially when other uneducated individuals listen. These poor opinions spread like a parasite and next thing you know, you are infected with the terrible opinion of another. With this said, watch out for who you are surrounded with.
Change your life by making your own decisions
You can change your life by starting to analyze why you have certain opinions and habits. I sometimes challenge the viewpoint of my friends with a simple “why?” and they cannot answer my question. Their only reasoning is “because” or they just do not respond. The reason why is because they know that I will find some flaw in their opinion. Often times, I am literally only trying to learn how they think and what their opinion is, but they are still fearful of their opinion being shattered. This is because their opinion does not have strong foundation. Because of this, I urge you to start changing your life by making your own decisions based off of evidence and logic. Do not let yourself be a talking head for someone else and their opinions. This is your life and not theirs.