In the last few years I have seen several instances where seeking a second opinion has saved someone’s life – or at least saved someone from unnecessary treatment or surgery.
An incorrect diagnosis nearly doomed someone I love. I am grateful every day that he sought that second opinion.
No one person has all the answers. Sometimes listening to someone else can make all the difference.
I am certainly NOT the one person with all the answers.
But I thought I would offer some second opinions on the everyday (but still important) stuff in your life. Just so you can consider an alternate view.
Opinion: “This job sucks.”
Second Opinion: I have found with most jobs that suck, it’s not the job so much as the boss. Most jobs are a series of rather boring, but not horrendous, tasks. But working with a jerk can make tedious work into a nightmare. So here’s a different way you might want to think about it, if you are stuck with an unpleasant boss – either momentarily or for the long term: You have an idiot boss, but this idiot is actually helping you pay your bills. Isn’t it kind of cool that you can use this idiot that way?
Opinion: “I’m devastated that I didn’t get the promotion.”
Second Opinion: So you don’t have a job that sucks, but you were up for a promotion and someone else got it. Instead of hating yourself – or the person who got the job you wanted, just consider the possibility that – in this instance only – the person who got the job was the best qualified to do it. The very best response I ever heard from a person who didn’t get the job was the time the rejected guy came into my office and said, “I really wanted that job. Tell me what I can do so the next time that kind of position opens up, I WILL be the best person for the job.” And I told him where he could improve, and he worked on it. And got the next promotion.
Opinion: “My house is a wreck.”
Second Opinion: If you are have trouble keeping your house clean, or your yard neat, it is not from a lack of effort on your part. Things can so easily get out of control, and then they overwhelm you. But you have plenty of self-discipline – just look at how you don’t swear at your idiot boss and how your kids are still alive. Every once in a while, I check in with FlyLady.net – who truly helps people get the clean house they deserve in just 15 minutes at a time. Certainly you have enough self-discipline to clean for 15 minutes.
Opinion: “My childhood was awful.”
Second Opinion: It saddens me that you do not have sweet memories of being a kid. There are a few people that have true horror stories, but most people’s childhood was not unrelentedly despicable. Most of us had parents that weren’t perfect, but they did their best. And once in a while they succeeded. Can you think of one nice day? How about two? How about a day when you went to the beach? Or laughed yourself silly? The writer Anne Lamott said, “Forgiveness is giving up all hope of having had a better past.”
Opinion: “My life has no meaning.”
Second Opinion: It’s true that your life probably has little meaning to anyone but you. It has meaning to YOU! But since you are insignificant in the schema of the whole universe, then you are free to give your life whatever meaning you want. Do what you want. No one else cares that much. Don’t be depressed over that fact. Try revelling in it. And if you want to be remembered, try making someone else happy. But only in addition to you.
Opinion: “I can’t …. dance, sing, draw, balance my checkbook, give a speech…. “[whatever – feel free to fill in the blank]
Second Opinion: This is literally a second opinion – a second-hand opinion. Handed down to my from my very wise mother. She told me, “You can do everything. You won’t be good at everything, but you can do everything.” So give it a try. You can do it – even if it turns out to be one of those things you can’t do well. Just get through it. And once in a while you will find that you might actually be pretty good at something. And most of the time, you will find that not being great at something isn’t even close to important.
Opinion: “I’m ugly.”
Second Opinion: No you’re not. You’re fine. All you need to do is shower, comb your hair, dress in something that makes you happy. That’s all there is to it.
And if that opinion is not enough, here is another:
Third Opinion: No you’re not. Yes, there are some gorgeous people in the world. And they are us. Gorgeous You. Me. Gorgeous. Period.