The first time I heard about people following a concept "to a t" was when I heard the story of my mother only feeding me every four hours as an infant. It didn't matter if I was crying my head off; if it wasn't exactly on the four-hour mark, she wouldn't feed me. She told me that she would stand by my crib, crying, looking at her wrist-watch, waiting for the four-hour mark. Exactly four hours. Why? Because it was a new "concept" being practiced in their church. Every mother in their Protestant Christian church was encouraged to feed their infants only every four hours, as prescribed by a Christian author/mentor of some sort. Since it's what the church said and it's what everybody else in church was doing— it's what she chose to do, too. She chose to follow this concept like a sheep following the master's staff. The problem is— the "master" here wasn't God. Why this concept? You may be thinking right now. Well, supposedly, it would "diminish and eliminate" the "spoiled sin nature" of a child by "not feeding the baby every time it wants to be fed."
So that was the very first example that I ever knew, of how people follow concepts taught by others, to a t. No questions asked, heart and mind ignored— just follow because someone claiming to be close to God said this was God's way of eliminating sin from an infant. And it had all the scientific backing, too! The thing about science though, is that ten years later and the previous theory is always proved wrong. And then if you are product of that theory or a practitioner of it, ten years later you are sitting there, going "Oops" or worse "I'm screwed." Oh and just so you know? The theory of feeding infants only every four hours was indeed proved wrong some ten years later.
People read too much, people listen too much, people follow too much, people look up too much to other individuals who they don't even know. Now, as an author, I know too well that I can say whatever I want to say, put it into a book, and people will buy it and follow what I say. I know that it's possible, because I have those tools at my fingertips. I don't do that, though. I don't give people formulas and tell them what to do with their lives. Delivering messages of basic truths is not the same thing as giving people exact formulas of how to handle their lives, what choices to make, what to do in order to get this specific result, and etc. There is a line that's crossed, I believe, when you take advantage of your influence over people and succumb to trying to "persuade" rather than trying to "share." Sharing and influencing are two completely different things. I don't want to influence anybody. I only want to share. And that's why the things I share are mostly called "quotes" because I deliver drops of essence of basic truths, because that's all that people need, anyway. People really don't need a 500-page book telling them what to do with their lives, what kind of outlook to have, and what exactly to do. Truth is powerful enough, truth only needs a single drop on the tongue and if it is indeed truth— that single drop on the tongue will be enough to change a life. I don't believe in telling people not to feed their infants unless it's on the four-hour mark, I don't believe in telling people how to love other people, or how to raise a family, or how to be in a good relationship. There are basic truths, there is wisdom, and the truth of truth and the wisdom of wisdom— is that it is enough. Truth and wisdom don't need a bunch of "fillers" to make a thicker book or a longer speech. Sometimes I have been invited to hold live speeches in front of audiences and I have said "For what? Ten minutes? Who in their right mind will show up for a speech lasting ten minutes?" What am I going to do? Quote myself?
My own tragedy happened when I, as a teenager, read a book by Dr. James Dobson. It was a book written for teenagers, teaching teenagers what love meant. According to Dr. Dobson, love is not something that you feel in your heart; rather, it is a decision that you make in your mind. And that whole entire, thick book boils down to that one line. I applied that to my life just like every other teenager in church who was reading it and as a result, I robbed myself of the ability to feel love in my heart. I had decided that Dr. Dobson was right and that love was a decision made in the mind and that decision of mine made all the difference in my life. All the negative difference. What a robbery. What a hoax. But that was a long time ago and now I know that love is developed and felt within the heart and then the decision to commit oneself to that love is made in the mind, thus influencing all the members of the body into this burning flight of madness and peace.
The thing about reading these kinds of books is that they make you feel like you have an advantage over the entire population of society. They make you feel like you've reached a "better place" of knowledge. And of course, that's what the authors and the publishers want you to feel like, because that's how they make money! But the truth is this. The truth is that everyone who writes a book or makes a speech or preaches in church is just another person. And everyone needs to make money. Even people in church need to make money.
I believe that every person on earth is just as close to God as every other single person on earth. God is there. God is beside you, all the time, every single second. It only takes an opening of a window and the rest is up to Him. Nobody needs to teach anybody how to walk through a door; that first step is taken by simply showing somebody where the door is. Every soul has a distinct Destiny. A distinct Honor. A distinct Love.
The only books of guidance that I follow are the ancient ones. The ones that can be downloaded for free, were written about a thousand years ago, that nobody's making money off of. Books of learning, books of discovering wisdom and truth. Basic truth. Basic wisdom. No manuals, thank you. Our intuition and foresight must be our manuals. See, the problem with the world today is that people don't seem to have intuition anymore. People cannot see beyond what's in front of their eyes. And that's because everything is spoon fed to them. People are used to having manuals that come in every shape and size— from Cosmopolitan Magazine to Christian Literature. Nobody exercises their extra senses anymore; everybody relies on somebody else. Everybody relies on roadmaps. Everybody wants a blueprint; nobody uses instinct, nobody uses understanding, nobody has foresight, clairempathy, claircognizance, clairsentience, etc. etc. etc. People put these things in the backseat in favour of someone else telling them exactly what to do with their lives. The new generation is indeed inferior to the ancient ones. Yes, we have science now, and all that... but then what? Science prolongs people's lives; but what kind of lives are being prolonged these days? And for what? Where are people going? What are people doing? How are people thinking?
The worst "manuals" that I have come across in this modern day and age— are those by Robert Greene. How to master the art of seduction, how to master the art of power, and etc. Bringing out the pitfalls of humanity, magnifying them, putting those dirty pitfalls up onto a pedestal, enthroning them, enhancing them... and these books are best sellers.
Please, before you follow anything to a t, try seeing your soul as worthy enough to be instinctive, empathic, cognizant, foreseeing, sensing, visionary... the Kingdom of God is within.