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There’s wisdom in surrounding ourselves with many advisors. This village of support offers many insights we would miss on our own. But accepting influence is not the same deferring responsibility. The buck still stops with us.

We don’t have to figure out life on our own. But we’re still responsible for the decisions we make.

For instance, friends and family, faith communities, and government will all make recommendations on how we should live. And we might even hire financial, business, and relationship consultants to help us sort through specific areas of life.

While all these insights are helpful, we must still decide and take responsibility for our own path forward.

But it seems we tend to swing from one extreme to the next.

On the one hand, we might completely abdicate our responsibilities to others – blindly and uncritically doing whatever they suggest. Any shortcomings and failures are then conveniently blamed on them because they’re the ones who ultimately made the decision for us.

At the other extreme, the fear of being controlled makes us hesitant to accept the recommendations of others. We tend to reject advice and prefer to figure out things on our own. And this rugged individualism leaves us vulnerable to many blind spots.

A better approach is learning to listen and consider the multitude of advisors in our life, while remembering the final decision remains ours.

In short, we remain open to influence without deferring our responsibility. The buck stops with us, but it comes through the meaningful insights of others first. 

While not easy to do, this is a mark of maturity – leaning on the wisdom of our village while continuing to stand on our own two feet.

Take all the advice you can from others. But remember, the buck stops with you. You’re ultimately responsible for the decisions of your life.

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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