It’s not what you think

It’s not what you think

My father is a well-respected, somewhat-famous investment advisor. Over the past 50 years, he’s instructed at universities, led countless investment courses, consulted on financial radio shows and television programs. He’s sat on numerous boards, and wrote a book on investment in 2012, which is doing pretty well on Amazon. He advises on different boards civic and civil boards. I’m biased, but I happen to think this guy is legit.

It’s interesting that such a man, sought after for his options and theories, would have such a non-partisan daughter. When I was younger, I hated to be wrong. I also had a rather dismal ability to defend myself in any argument. I only shared my opinions with a very, very tight circle of people. Very. Tight.

Of course, this way of thinking paralyzed me as I grew older. Clearly, there were much smarter and more experienced people than me in the world. Who was I to make claims or convince others that I was right?

Over time, my passions became watered down. My thoughts were often invalidated by my own doing. I felt like a persona non-grata in a world that thrived on decisiveness.

It wasn’t until I was in college, that my father said something that had a great impact on me and changed the way I communicated. He said, “People will always argue what you think. But they can never argue what you feel.”

Hmm. I couldn’t argue with that…

It’s true. People cannot dispute what I feel. What I feel is of my own creation. This simple notion has since given me freedom to speak out on things I care about. People may knock down what I’ve thoroughly researched and fact-checked. And they may be 1000% correct. Then again, how many times have absolutes and facts been revisited and discredited over time?

Beliefs, even in the face of irrefutable truth or reality, abide.

Beliefs are feelings. They are the trust, faith and confidence we have in some thing or someone. Beliefs cannot be shaken by facts, arguments or evidence. They are built-up over time and experience and interpretation. Beliefs give us power. In fact, it’s rather useless to convince others that we’re right. What a waste of energy. What if, instead, we share our convictions and invite a conversation for another to do the same? We will learn far more, experience more fascinating conversations and travel a more interesting road, if we give ourselves the flexibility of owning our feelings about things.

Nowadays, when I’m asked to share my opinion I am excited. I often start with “I believe that…”

Go ahead, and challenge me. I may be right. I may be wrong. Either way, it doesn’t matter. Success to me, is a meaningful, articulate and open conversation.  Trust me. I’m right about this.

Tiffanny Brooks

Senior Director //