How much do other people’s opinions of you matter? I have to occasionally remind myself there’s only one person’s opinion that matters. And that is my own.

John Cali

The other day I saw a quote from Dale Carnegie I absolutely loved:

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?

Here’s Spirit.

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.

They live out their lives’ purpose by simply following their instincts or, you might say, by following their hearts.

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.

As you grew in years and physical maturity, you forgot all the wisdom of your child self. And your “authority” became whatever other people’s opinions were. Those opinions were often embodied, and even formalized, in many different ways — in your religions, governments, educational systems, and so on.

We are not saying religion, government, and schools are evil. We are saying, however, they generally do not encourage you to rely on and trust your only real authority — you, your higher self.

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

The opinions of others do not matter. We are not saying you should never listen respectfully to others. But we are saying you should always take what they tell you with, as you say, “a grain of salt.” Run their opinions through the “filter” of your own inner guidance.

Trust your feelings — they are your clearest form of communication between you and your higher self, between you and God.

And then you will have released yourselves from the prison of other people’s opinions.