Dr. Eric Westman wrote, “In the end, every person is different, and no study can tell you exactly what will work for you.”
The message is simple: think for yourself!
Research is not a substitute for self-experimentation. No matter how much evidence there is for a particular proposition, you can’t possibly know what that means for you until you test it against your own judgment, your own tolerance for risk, and your own personal experience.
In some areas of life, you are going to be the exception. In other areas of life, you’ll generate the same results as everyone else. Either way, you can’t discover which category you belong to merely by placing blind faith in the studies of experts.
Does research matter? Absolutely!
Do clinical trials and scientific experiments matter? Absolutely!
Do the suggestions and claims of people with professional credentials and specialized skills matter? Absolutely!
The question, however, is “not do they matter?” The question is “how do they matter?”
Here’s the answer: they matter because they are catalysts for further inquiry, independent research, and critical analysis.
Believing scientists is very different from being scientific.
The former is no less dogmatic and unscientific as placing blind faith in the words of a psychic.
The latter is all about embodying the spirit of scientific inquiry by holding yourself accountable to the process of examining the evidence and assessing the data for yourself.
There are experts, thought-leaders, authors, and degree-holders on every side of every debate. Don’t hide behind other people’s credentials. Don’t orient your life around other people’s confidence. Be open enough to learn from anyone, but be skeptical enough to place unearned trust in no one.
When it’s all said and done, the experts can’t live your life for you. You can blame them if you’re unhappy, but you can’t get a refund on your life. Keep that in mind before you take or avoid risks in the name of some general study that may have everything or nothing to do with the specifics of your individual life.
Again, the message is simple: think for yourself!