Conflicting Opinions, Or Are They?

Robert Terson

Periodically I’ll come across what appears to be conflicting statements/opinions from two other writers; however, upon closely examining the statements/opinions, it turns out they’re really both right. Of course, that’s my opinion. In the example I’m going to illustrate, you can judge for yourself.

On August 31st I wrote a blog entitled “The Peril of Meekness.” My good friend and colleague in the North America’s Best sales mastermind group, Doug Rice, commented on my article. This is what he said; I’ve used bold type to highlight the part I want you to pay special attention to:

I can certainly relate to Tim. I’m unassuming, non-confrontational, and fairly passive by nature. But success isn’t about who you are; it’s about what you do. Any progress I’ve made in developing my personal and professional platform can be directly linked to my willingness to make myself uncomfortable. “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?” I love this sentiment and think about it often. Thanks for caring enough to be pushy…

This was my reply to Doug:

Pushy? Moi? Gee, Doug, thanks for getting me in touch with that side of my personality–I think. (LOL!) You might be able to relate to Tim, but trust me, you’re nothing like him. As you said so eloquently: “…success isn’t about who you are; it’s about what you do.” Tim’s afraid to enter the arena; you enter the arena every day of your life, and just think–you’re just getting started. Tim could take a few lessons from you, my young friend. Thanks for commenting, Doug.

Now we jump to a guest post I put up on September 13th—“It’s Not About What You Do”—by another member of North America’s Best, the incomparable Dan Waldschmidt. I hope you’ll read Dan’s wonderful article in its entirety; believe me, it’s worth your time. In Dan’s guest post he says, “The hard truth is that success isn’t a series of actions. It is an attitude. It’s not about what you do. It’s about who you are.”

So, who’s right, Doug or Dan? I gave a lot of thought to that question—I respect them both—and, after analyzing the question from all perspectives, decided they were both right. How so? I’ll explain:

Dan’s statements are spot on, because first comes the attitude—you don’t take the necessary action without first possessing the required mindset; but Doug is right, too, because all the correct attitude in the world is meaningless without diving in and taking action. Yes, attitude comes first, no doubt about that, which is why I always say “attitude is everything”; but I’ve known plenty of people (including myself) who had the right attitude, knew what needed to be done, but…for whatever reason in that particular circumstance, couldn’t pull the trigger, couldn’t enter the arena and take the necessary action.

None of us operates at full throttle 100% of the time. There are times when we know what needs to be done but just can’t do it, we’re immobilized.

So when you come across conflicting opinions, analyze them closely. Astonishingly, both may be right.