My Opinion Is Worthless

Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance. – Plato

I don’t consciously do it on purpose but I often give my opinion on a subject without much solicitation. Like a salesman that comes to your door, even if that product is something that you think you could not live without, you will still not buy it as you didn’t seek it out. Sometimes, my unneeded opinions are just that. It is something that I need to work on, but it is very difficult, this is a bad character trait that I have had for much too long and unfortunately, it has become a part of me.

You see, when I give out my opinions on things, it cheapens their value. Like anything in life, when there is an abundance of it, we become indifferent to it. So when there is an abundance of my opinions strewn about, then people tend not to seek any thoughts from me. Problem I struggle with, what is the line between being shutting up and helping out with my opinion? How do I control myself from crossing it? Deep down I only want to help but there are times that I just want to get some sort of recognition and that is where I believe the line is. How can I help a situation if what I say is invaluable to the listener? I really need to read the situation better.

How do I really fix this ugly character trait? I have tried a lot of different things. I have tried shutting up, but that didn’t work. I have tried avoiding conversations, that was counter productive. It was only until I tried listening and I mean true active listening, that I was able to not blurt out my opinions. This kind of listening was quite difficult to me and I am in awe of those people who are able to do so naturally. What I have noticed about great communicators and leaders is their ability to listen, process then respond. These great communicators often gain great knowledge by simply listening to what others have to say. This takes a lot practice, great patience and a lot self control. I still have a long way to go.

I have noticed those who are the best listeners are often those who are solicited for their opinions the most. They have become wise observers and tend to be respected more than those who just give their thoughts willy-nilly. We all want to make a difference in this world and we all want to participate in a great debate or conversation. But in the end we also want to be respected for our knowledge, and quite frankly, how can we be respected if all we do is give our best away for free?

510 / 1000 KMs walked | 26 / 50 blog posts | 11 / 10 books read