On Monday night I received a call from a phone surveyor in a boiler room operation for a political candidate and I found it to be a very interesting experience – one I wish to share.
It was one of those vague surveys with questions about almost everything and some very pointed questions about a few things that served the candidate. It was all about global warming but couched in terms that were wishy-washy and didn’t call it that. It asked about environmental issues and wanted to know where to point the finger. I guess he was trying to decide just what his stand was on this issue and a few other issues delicately hidden in the survey.
The surveyor asked many questions about architects and their responsibility to the environment. And he asked about the responsibilities of their professional associations and how familiar I am with them. (Why I should be closely familiar with architectural associations is a mystery to me). The survey took over thirty minutes of “prime time” which I consider an imposition on the part of the candidate who commissioned it. Of course, I could have refused to take it but I figured I could learn something and I was curious to know who sponsored it.
What was the most interesting to me was the bias of the questions and the wording of the answers. It seemed that he was trying to sway my opinions more than he was trying to ascertain them. I hate that. By the time I finished the survey both the surveyor and I were laughing at the ridiculousness of the questions as well as the absurdity of the answers.
And so what does this have to do with Self Improvement? Pay attention here:
If you have low self esteem and a lack of self confidence, you might fall for this obtuse and wordy survey and not be aware of its agenda. You generally need or want to please everyone, even those conducting a survey. But even more than trying to please, if you have low self esteem you tend to accept what others say as authority. You might buy in to the opinions blatantly put forth in the survey before you’ve formed your own opinion based on your belief system and knowledge of the political process, the issues of the campaign and the integrity (or lack of integrity) of the candidate.
If you don’t know what you stand for you’ll fall for whatever sounds best by a candidate that looks good and delivers the best speech.
This is true in other areas of your life as well. If you don’t know what you believe and rely on others to form your opinions for you, you will buy whatever the salesman is pushing, you will accept what the teacher is teaching regardless of the price you pay.
Your opinions are as good as anyone else’s. Do you know what they are and can you stand by them?