For whatever reason, quite a few folks I’ve spoken with lately are struggling with “bad” choices some of their loved ones are making. They’re also often struggling with other people’s opinions, especially if those opinions differ from their own.

I love this Dale Carnegie quotation:

“Did you ever see an unhappy horse? Did you ever see bird that had the blues? One reason why birds and horses are not unhappy is because they are not trying to impress other birds and horses.”

Our wise and wonderful animal friends are often great role models for us, are they not?

Autumn is one of my favorite seasons of the year. I love the fall colors, the cool air, the beautiful blue skies — and the falling leaves blowing in the wind.

The leaves, beautiful though they are, are powerless. They go wherever the wind takes them. Leaves have no choice. But humans do. We don’t have to be tossed about by the choices or opinions of others, like leaves blowing in the wind.

Here’s Spirit:

“Animals certainly are great role models for you, as John said. They are also great teachers for you, especially if you observe them closely. They don’t know they are teachers, and they don’t care — after all, your opinions of them do not matter. All that matters to them is that they live joyfully, uninhibitedly, doing what comes naturally.

“Most humans do not follow their hearts. They allow themselves to be guided by outer circumstances. In fact, many of you were taught, as little children, not to follow your hearts. Instead, you were told others’ opinions mattered more than your own.

“And you carried that perspective with you from the innocence of childhood into the forgetfulness of adulthood.

“You will never, ever find any higher or better or wiser guidance than your own inner voice.

“The opinions or choices of others do not matter. We are not saying you should never listen respectfully to others. But we are saying you should always run what they tell you through the “filter” of your own inner guidance.”

Do you struggle with the choices or opinions of others? Do you let them drag you down and take away your happiness and peace? Please comment below.

John Cali’s Spirit Speaks Newsletter