So Friday morning I open my devotional email and it starts this way:
One of the canonical truths of American culture is that each person has the right to determine what’s best for one’s own life. In fact, we are taught to believe that what we want for ourselves is usually the best course to pursue. Graduation speakers across the land urge those who are commencing their lives to follow their own passions. More to the point, one of the speakers at the 2013 Harvard College graduation (Class Day, to be specific), proclaimed, “Do not listen to other people’s take on the life you should lead. By not listening, you can figure out what your heart is telling you to do.”
Unfortunately, our own intuition about what’s best for our lives often fails us. That’s one of the lessons from an intriguing book by Chip and Dan Heath, Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work. The Heath brothers, authors of the bestselling Made to Stick, summarize research that demonstrates how many of our firmly held opinions about our choices turn out to be wrong. We’re sure that we’re right, even though we are so often wrong. Our confidence in our own intuition may be enflamed by graduation speeches, but it should be quenched by a big dose of reality.
The first thought that ran through my mind was “Paging Hillary Clinton, Paging Hillary Clinton.” But if you really think about it, she is just one example of this problem.