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The psychology of doing it yourself or having the professionals do it for you?

October 26, 2017

As a psychologist I have always been interested in major contrasts in behaviour. One of the most important contrasts in life is the question we all face: Should I do it myself or ask “experts” to do it for me? Another way of saying it would be, Should I be independent or dependent for my own sake? Or, should I start my own business or work for others?,  Or,  should I buy  1000 shares of Microsoft at $20 per share in 1980 or ask my broker what to do with my $20,000 savings? Or, should I propose marriage to my partner or ask my parents what they think?  Or, should I ask my oncologist to order an MRI or let him decide on CAT scan? Or, should I find out how to have a personal relationship with God His way (God forbid My Way or Frank Sinatra’s My Way?) Or, ask my priest, Rabbi or Mullah what to do? Or, should I raise my kids my way or ask a teacher in school what to do?  May be Berney Sanders in the USA or the NDP in Canada know best?

I want you to look at your life and choose 3  basic categories; 1) Love life, 2) Financial life, 3) Health life. Ask yourself the question everyone should ask themselves  – and don’t! Do I make most of the decisions in my life or let others do it for you? According to Chinese psychology the answer is, “No, only one person out of 10 is independent enough to make 99% of all his decisions.”

Let me tell you about myself and you can tell me about yourself. I was born in Israel in 1936. For 25 years all my decisions were made by my parents and the circumstances of my life. I didn’t do very well. From 1961 till 1998 I lived in the States. All my decisions were made by society and my circumstances. I did better because I had more opportunities for education and business than in Israel. One day I looked at my life and said to myself, “I wonder if I could do even better if I make all the decisions in my life myself? From 2000 on I did. My love life improved. My financial life improved. My health improved. How did I do it? I read Daniel Kahneman’s book Thinking: slow and Fast. I read the book 5 times, took notes, practiced and changed my attitude from dependency to making all the decisions myself! What does it take? Lots of self-love, lots of self-confidence, lot’s of Hutzpah, lot’s of thick skin and lots of knowledge. If you try it please stay it touch. I think arrogance is a good tool for independence, may be after all other people may not know things better than you?

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