Home » My Thoughts » Week 5 – NO OPINIONS


Many years ago a famous artist was challenged to paint “chair”. Not an upholstered chair, or a wooden chair, or a high chair, or a patio chair. Just “chair”. A generic chair, with no distinctives that would identify it as any particular chair.

Do you know how hard that would be???

I had an odd, sinking feeling in Week 2 when I learned that one exercise

I had to do was to sit for 15 minutes a day, perfectly still, and empty my mind of all thought. THAT, I thought, was impossible! Even Charles Haanel, who originated the exercise, said no one would be able to do it for more than a few moments at a time. But the exercise was valuable for showing me how busy — can I say turbo-charged — my mind is, and how easily distracted. It’s a great awareness exercise, helpful as a starting point for controlling my thoughts.

This week’s exercise is equally challenging.

Unless directly asked, give NO OPINIONS. Period. Be the non-judgmental OBSERVER. Notice how you continue to do it in your head — how you debate and judge others’ opinions in your mind.

Within an hour, I knew I was in trouble. My son, Nathaniel, is 15, and a real thinker. He cannot read a book, or watch a movie or TV program, without stopping to express his thoughts every few minutes. I delight in seeing him develop into young manhood and following the same pattern his older brothers and sisters did. He knows what he believes, and why, and it isn’t because he’s been indoctrinated or brainwashed by his parents or teachers. He is an independent, strong thinker, just like his siblings.

But I sat there, dumbly clamping my lips tight, thinking, “I can’t even talk to my own son!” Why? Because so many of our conversations are a sharing of thoughts, ideas, and yes — opinions! I have guided my children through the years, and not forced them into the mold of my own opinions. I’d like to think all I’ve done is my job as a mom. So perhaps that isn’t what we’re to avoid in this exercise. Whether it is or not, the exercise was amazingly effective in showing me how quick I am to WANT to express my opinion!

So very many of our opinions are “attachment to our associative memory”, and as long as my associative memory is my identity, I cannot find the real truth, or my authentic self. It’s crowded out by my jumping to conclusions based on my faulty perceptions, past and present.

Wow! What a lesson!


23 thoughts on “Week 5 – NO OPINIONS

  1. Your last paragraph really helped me right now. I have had a hard time with the opinions the last few days and forgetting to be an observer of them. I am back at it today

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Absolutely fascinating Willena!

    I am not sure that I would be successful at completing such an exercise but I can see the value in trying and perhaps getting a little bit further along each time until I would be able to complete it!

    Thank you for sharing such a deep lesson πŸ™‚


  3. Yes, it is hard not have give opinions. Just yesterday, just minutes after the webinar, a person pulled right out in front of me. I was in full view, there was no one behind me and the speed limit was 55. The guy pulled out with me so close that I almost ran into him and then he proceeded to scream down the road at a sizzling 35 MPH!. My blood was boiling and, as I normally do, I started to give my wife my opinion of the driver’s IQ and speculate on his or her family tree. I opened my mouth to do so and heard Mark’s voice telling me I could NOT give my opinion no what. “Did you see that?” I screamed and then, “I love that guy. I choose to and I will not allow his actions to cause me to give an opinion of him”. It worked! Instead of fuming and wasting time being angry, I had to laugh at myself and the offending driver and suddenly, I was in control again, feeding good thoughts to my Subby!


    • It’s awesome that you caught yourself so soon after giving your opinion! It’s easy to give it in the heat of high emotion.


  4. Hello Willena, This would be an easy one for me at least for today, nobody is a round but me..I rarely give myself an opinion LOL

    I am just kidding this would be hard, I think we were all brought up to always voice our opinions, Right?

    Great Share my friend.. Chery :))

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hello Willena,

    Very interesting post you have here! This really does make you think about how quickly you express opinions and really how much you influence yourself and others with those opinions. Thank you for sharing!


    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Willena,

    Where have I been? I love this new look you have on this blog. And also the content is blowing me away! When it comes to a week of not having opinions, it must be a lesson that is well learned.
    I would think that you are doing a lot of recognizing how you think. What a great way to apply this discipline. Now this has stuck in my mind. So I will be mindful of my own opinions before I speak.
    Thanks for sharing this valuable lesson.



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