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How much are they willing to pay for the consequences of their bad advice?

peerpressure“Everybody else is doing it is an excuse, not a reason. It could be that everybody else isn’t, but the Devil is introducing you to the few that are in the hopes that he can fool you.” -Paula Knoderer Hrbacek

Here’s a simple lesson my Mom taught me back in elementary school about doing the right thing: peer pressure is a one way street.

The “friends” who coax you into compromising your values are not going to knock themselves over in an effort to take punishment for you if you get into trouble.

You can always find people who will help you make trouble.

It’s a lot harder to find people who want to help you get out.

Your life is like a big fat check that you get to write for yourself. If it’s good, everybody wants a piece of it. If it bounces around and fails, the majority will just give you a lecture about how irresponsible you were while they leave you to sort out the details.

Be brutally honest with yourself about that fact.

Before you follow anyone’s advice about anything, it would be wise to assume that  you are going to be the only person shouldering the expense if that advice leads to costly consequences.

So, here’s my guiding principle for filtering through the unsolicited advice of those who are eager to tell you how you ought to run your life:

If they don’t have to pay, they don’t get the final say.

This Post Has One Comment
  1. Your mom was so right. But your mom
    and dad probably had many talks with
    you. Thought for themselves. Taught
    you to think for yourself. Involved.

    Growing up myself, then raising my son,
    never heard the “peer pressure” term
    which is a widespread phrase now. Didn’t
    need it with my son. Didn’t have the
    “Say no to drugs” talk with him.

    Taught him to think for himself, that his
    mind was a value. We both read a lot.
    Solicited his opinion on many topics.
    “What do you think about…” He was on
    the go, with purposeful intention—the
    way we all start out when we’re born.

    Are we raising leaders…or followers?

    Are we first-hand or second-hand thinkers?

    Perhaps parents are the first to trigger
    the “peer pressure” syndrome. Are
    kids witnessing their parents yield to
    “peer pressure.”

    A guy with 5 children, got promoted.
    Much higher pay. Went from being
    friends on the job to managing them.
    He continued to straddle both worlds.
    Experienced stress and a heart attack.
    Then I met him. Asked him if they were
    going to pay for his kids, put food on the
    table, a roof over their heads, a better
    vehicle in his driveway. The better life.

    Were they going to walk his life with him?
    Were they really his friends, or just the
    convenience of working together? That
    they had him on a hook and knew it. And
    weren’t going to let him off… because it
    wasn’t up to them. He needed to decide.
    Work with them or manage them. But
    whatever he decided, he had to live with
    the consequences. Not them.

    He kept the promotion and re-evaluated
    the friendships. In time the true friends
    surfaced.

    “If they don’t have to pay, they don’t get
    the final say.” Well said!

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