Looking around, most people are not thriving, most are just surviving. Why do you think this is the case? Do you think what you are told is the truth or best for you? Do they believe what the education system taught you? What the news tells you? What your doctor tells you? Believe your bank advisor? Believe your government? Mostly people do, yes, do you?
Do you think all these people and organizations have your best interest in mind? Perhaps... unless they also believe someone else that believe someone else... who up the line might not have your best interests in mind, therefore what are the odds they are doing the best for you? Very little, I am sure.
People are lazy, and repeat things they never looked at too closely. Do you think your doctor has read the most recent research on a particular drug before writing that script? If he has, do you think he has the skill required to figure out if the industry funded research was well done? Can he be blamed for following standard operating procedures, when not prescribing can get him in trouble in the next audit, so where is his incentive to look deeper into it?
I am not saying don’t take your medicine, just that you should always use your own mind and trust yourself over even the most qualified professional.
Can it all be Luck?
A lot of the world works on luck, the The Drunkard's Walk book by Leonard Mlodinow makes the argument that it is all based on luck (I am really simplifying the book here). Can this be the case, or is that only the case when you believe others without question? I would argue that if you believe others, you are as random as everyone else and can only attribute your success to luck.
I would prefer my choices to be from what I can figure out over luck, and learn from my mistakes. As an example, I used to be over weight, had fatty liver disease, heart disease, and was bordering on full blown diabetes. I ate well enough, probably followed the government food pyramid better than most. Had my fruits and veggies, lots of “heart healthy” grains and never had sodas, cause they were unhealthy, even I knew that.
After a worrisome doctors visit, where he recommended I ate more of what I was eating (low fat, healthy grains), I started doing what I do best, question things. I started looking at the evidence of what is considered healthy. I realized that the food pyramid was mostly industry funded, no one there has actual interests in my health. I should have already realized this earlier in life.
What can you do?
I am not here to tell you what you can or should do. Just tell you what I do.
When I want to figure out the truth of something, I try to start at the most extreme views out there and work my way towards the main stream view. I do this because its easier to dismiss extreme views and you can eliminate more possibilities faster. You also are less likely to get caught on something close to the truth but not right. When it came to healthy diets, the most extreme views at the time that I could find was keto (as example vegan would be closer to main stream thinking, but not right because its not about being healthy). Easy to dismiss diet and easy to tell if it works. I figured I would try it and see if it worked for me.
I felt terrible eating keto. I kept finding more and more anecdotal evidence that this works for so many people, but I wasn’t losing weight, was eating a near perfect keto diet and just felt terrible. I even spoke to others that have had successes, only confirming that I was doing everything right with no progress.
After a couple months of painful keto and in ketosis (tested with blood), and my wife saying she hates salads, I went back to exploring options. A more extreme option came my way, and more out of desperation than research, I jumped on it. It was the carnivore diet. Research was next to impossible to find, but it made more sense from an evolutionary perspective than keto and other diets. Within a week my wife told me I stopped snoring (before weight loss really started), and she used to wear noise canceling headphones for my snoring. Within 3 months I was down 30 lbs and my liver fat was cut down by more than half. Within a year, I lost 60 lbs, reversed all my health issues.
This article isn’t about that journey, but how I found what works for me, I haven’t stopped questioning it since, nor have the people around me.
So is it luck?
When I read books or watch documentary on health that are pro-keto, low-carb, or about reversing diabetes, they all talk about how the government food pyramid is wrong. All these doctors and experts wonder how the government got this so wrong, yet they think voting harder will fix it, and go on to believe everything else they are told. How can they see the truth in a small area, yet be completely blind to all the other lies?
It is simple, we want to live in a world that we can trust the people and information around us. But we are all being fooled. I was fooled over and over again, now I use my brain.
Think about everything in your life. Your bank advisor that sells you whatever the bank tells him to sell to you. The politician tells you what you want to hear for your vote. Your doctor tells you what the industry taught her. Do you think the people who are thriving are following all the same advise? Just look at the billionaires stances on education. So many of them quit school before making it big. Even though many finished school and still made it big, is school needed for them? Did these billionaires believe the propaganda that you need an education to be successful? What else do the people that thrive question and go against?
Thriving is about doing and thinking what is best for you, not what others want you to believe, think, or do.