What Not to be Influenced By

We make decisions and then our decisions make us. And this is true for the decision of subject or course selection. Our decisions are influenced by several things like our personality, interests, aptitudes, and these help us in making decisions that will hold us in good stead. Here is a list of things not to be influenced by while making important decisions —

Your moods –

our mood is the mental state we are in, in the present moment and it does not define us or our capabilities. Moods change. A low/negative mood (frustration over low marks, anger for a teacher, overwhelmed by the amount of syllabus etc) makes us doubt our capabilities and underestimate ourselves. A high mood (euphoria of winning a competition, excitement of friends studying together, high of a challenge etc) makes us overestimate ourselves and rush into a decision for the wrong reasons. Take a deep breath and recognize the mood you are in and let it pass before you decide. Be calm as you make important decisions. A good question to ask is — What is your mood right now ?

The labels you carry –

Without realizing we carry labels about ourselves and our capabilities. These are stories that we have internalized. Like the label of a nervous public speaker because you missed a line on stage in class 3 or the label of poor with numbers because you scored poorly in math in class 5. Or the labels of being lazy, easily distractible, shy, and so on. Analyse the labels you carry to see the truth behind them. They don’t define you; labels limit you. A good question to ask s — What would you want to do if you didn’t have that label ?

Your friends’ choices –

We are naturally attracted to people like us and that is how we make friends. It is easy then to be influenced by the choices the friends are making. The point to remember is that while we are similar, we are not the same. Spend some time to understand and figure out your own aspirations and reasons for the choices you are making. A good question to ask is — If all your friends opted for something else, would this still be your choice ?

The money it brings –

Money is an important aspect, no doubt. However it cannot be the only aspect to be considered. If you opt for a subject that you don’t like or are not good at, only because it has the prospect of good income, you will be stuck with an uphill effort for times to come. Money doesn’t come from a profession, it comes from how good you are at something. A good question to ask is – If income is the same, what would I rather be doing ?

Glamour Involved –

Glamour is the how you perceive a profession. It is the attraction or excitement that you attach to it that makes it appealing to you. Every profession has hard work and effort involved, its own set of challenges which are not visible to us as we stand outside. It is important to be aware of that glamour is on the outside, not the inside. It is a quality that the person seeing it experiences, not the person who is being it. A good question to ask – If I was to take away the glamour, what do I like about the profession ?

Research of others –

It is great that someone has done a lot of research about what you may like, however nothing can match getting your own ideas in place by your own research. Read up about the syllabus of the subjects, about the pros and cons of the profession, take in a variety of views. It really helps to talk to someone in the field about the good and challenging aspects of the subject. A good question to ask – What do I know with my research ?

In the end we are a sum total of all the decisions we have taken.

Keeping these points in mind will help you make a decision for your own reasons. 

Let’s connect to help you get clarity for the decisions you are making.

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