About Opinions: Day One of My 30 Day Challenge

Customer Service Survey - another type of opinion poll
Customer Service Survey - another type of opinion poll | Source

I keep reading about the 30 Day Challenge and after 11 months I am finally ready, I think, to take the challenge, but I still can't believe I'm trying this. You get an idea, you sit and you write. My concern is what happens when you don't get an idea and you want to write? All I can do is see where this takes me.

I always have plenty to say so why can't I write? I mean really, my family always says I'm never at a loss for words. I can always give advice and tell someone else what to do, not saying it's always right. Don't get the idea I'm opinionated, I just want to help. I never say I'm right just "in my opinion". Everyone looks for advice and they want it in the form of your opinion. How many times has someone said "What do you think?" No matter what your answer is someone will have a dissenting opinion for sure.

Offered opinions are a good thing as long as you don't try to force them on someone as gospel or think you're right all the time. No one is right all the time and no one has the right to tell someone else what to do with their life.


Since I've moved right along to opinions, exactly what constitutes an opinion? Dictionary.com states,

1. a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty.

2.a personal view, attitude, or appraisal.

I think the operative word is "insufficient". An opinion is really insufficient to be a fact or "complete certainty". Lots of people have sound opinions but they are only opinions. It would be foolish to base any decisions you need to make purely on one person's opinion. Sure you can take someone's opinion into consideration but wouldn't it be wise to get more than one opinion? Then, after getting several opinions, weigh each one and try to decide which ones make sense and which one don't.

Gallup Organization
Gallup Organization | Source

There are many types of opinions including collective opinions and opinion polls. A Public Opinion Poll (similar to an opinion survey) is accepted for just that. A poll of people's opinions to give you a basic idea of what a group of people are thinking. Frequently public opinion polls are used in politics to give politicians an idea of what people think about what they are doing or what they are about to do. There have been many presidential public opinion polls, trying to figure out how the people people feel about the president or what he is doing or not doing. Probably the most well known public opinion poll is the Gallup Poll. It seems we've been using the Gallup Poll for over 65 years and it is used around the world and has come to be respected as reliable. Gallup continues to conduct polls and is possibly one of the most watched polls. Of course a margin of error should be factored into any poll. Someone could be having an off day and just give an answer to get the poll over with, or not wanting people to know what they really think they could give a false answer, or any other number of possible errors. A good poll taker will factor in the margin of error.

There are newspapers that feature opinion pages or articles that are stated as such, opinions. some of the opinions are from the general population and some are from the newspaper staff -the newspaper itself. An editorial is an opinion piece written by someone on the newspaper staff.

There's a website called epinions.com that provides reviews by real people on such things as cars, books, movies, music, computers, electronics, gifts, home and garden, kids and family, office supplies, sports, travel and more. This is a good site to check out how other people feel about something you might be thinking of buying. Reading several opinions will give you an idea of what people think, especially people who have already used the product you are thinking about.

Court Opinions are a little different than ordinary opinions. When a Court issues an opinion, it is really an explanation by a judge and is supported by facts. A Court Opinion usually accompanies an explanation by the Court of how or why it reached a particular decision.

What about a medical opinion? That is usually an opinion stated by a professional who has knowledge of what is happening and based on that knowledge he gives his opinion. How many times has a patient decided to seek a "second medical opinion" because he is not satisfied with the medical opinion of the first doctor?

There is an Audit Opinion whereby the auditor expresses his opinions based on sound accounting practices.

What about opinionated? I did mention that early on...people think of opinionated as stubborn and cocky. It doesn't necessarily have to be something bad. Someone who is opinionated is someone who doesn't stay quiet and isn't afraid to give their opinion. On the other hand, someone who is opinionated can be conceited and overly assertive. The problem is not the opinionated part but more the person's personality and how they express their opinions. Some people refuse to believe their opinion could be wrong...opinionated.

Of course there's constructive criticism which is also really someone's opinion of what you're doing but it's aimed at helping you improve.

No matter how you look at it or what you call it opinions are here to stay. If you're in to text messaging you'll know that IMHO means In My Humble Opinion. IMHO the best way to deal with opinions is to use them sparingly when giving them and take them with a grain of salt when they're given to you.

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Comments 13 comments

SimpleGiftsofLove profile image

SimpleGiftsofLove 4 years ago from Colorado

Great hub, on a subject few visit, but everyone participate in. Up and interesting. You are on your way!


Lisa HW profile image

Lisa HW 4 years ago from Massachusetts

A common mistake people can make is in not recognizing the difference between opinion and "thoughts on the matter" and interpreting everything anyone else says (whether that's a doctor, an auto mechanic, a teacher, or anyone else) as "opinion". When an auto mechanic tells you he believes your wearing brakes will hold up for "another little while" that's his opinion/guess. It may be an informed/experience/educated opinion, but it remains a guess. On the other hand, when your auto mechanic tells you that the wearing brakes aren't going to heal themselves and could end up costing you a lot more than what the present problem would cost if you fixed it today - that's not opinion. A lot of people are prone to confusing the two different types of "thoughts on the matter".

If a person is in doubt about whether something is "just someone's opinion" or whether it should be considered more seriously than "with a grain of salt", he should ask the "thought-giver" what reasoning is behind that "opinion" and what facts and evidence went into the forming of it.

In personal conversation (and in even in some writing situations)people often don't offer the reasoning and/or facts/evidence up front because of time constraints, or even not wanting to turn things less personal.

So asking what went into one set of "thoughts on the matter" or another can help a person know whether the speaker knows what he's talking about or not.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

Thanks SimpleGiftsofLove. Gladl you liked my subject and appreciate your encouragement on my 30 days!

Lisa your thoughts are so true. We have to learn to decipher between just educated guesses or ture thoughts on the matter. Thanks for stopping by.


diogenes 4 years ago

This is a minefield (Opinions).

"Loose a friend; advise him," is one trap, if you give unsolicited advice, that is an opinion, but not one you might have been asked for.

"Say what you mean, and mean what you say." All well and good, but who cares what you think and why alienate people with a lot of opinions on this and that.

Of course, if you never have an opinion on anything, you must be a wishy-washy individual (that's my opinion!)...though you may just be a genius.

The key word is "Ego." People often think they know best regardless of how qualified the opinion giver is (or thinks he is). Also, most asking for your opinion are actually looking for "positive reinforcement" on what they have already made their mind about.

The safest way is to only have third person opinions, and those with care. Dogmatic people rarely get well liked even although they may be usually proven right.

What's all this got to do with the 30 day challenge??

Bob


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

Bob, as usual I love your comment. Supportive of my 'opinion'. The Finance Hub you are correct, this is my first of 30 hubs. Glad you enjoyed and thanks for the good luck, I'll need it ;)


Ronnie 4 years ago

Great hub, I enjoyed it, Let your husband do the cooking so you can meet your goal. Good Luck ((~.~))


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

Great idea Ronnie, now if I can just convince him ;)


DeborahNeyens profile image

DeborahNeyens 4 years ago from Iowa

Good luck with your challenge. I'd love to do it some day, but don't know that I have it in me!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

That's how I feel Deborah so I figured the only way I'll know for sure is if I do it.


hoteltravel profile image

hoteltravel 4 years ago from Thailand

Interesting hub. People are always attributing negative connotations to simple words with straightforward meaning. You did a great job of analyzing it. Voted up and interesting.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

Thanks Hoteltravel. It is often difficult to be impartial and give an honest, unbiased opinion. Thanks for voting up.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas

An interesting essay. I'd say you pretty thoroughly poked and examined opinions! ;)

Anyway, I enjoyed your article as I always do. Well written and food for thought. Voted up and interesting.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Thanks Au fait. It was an interesting undertaking for sure. Thanks for the votes too!

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