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What I've Been Thinking About Lately #34

The Hammer Salesmen

In WIBTAL 29, I talked about my struggles around recovering from knee surgeries and loss of my physical capabilities. Despite this feeling, I confront my affliction each day in an attempt to recover.

My surgeon isn't sure why I haven't recovered, so I've seen every type of professional that I envision could possibly help me, physical therapists, personal trainers, massage therapists, acupuncturists, and even a chiropractor. At this point I'd see a wizard if someone told me it helped them. After a few sessions with each professional, I ask the same question, "What do I need to do to get better?"

Without fail, each of the professionals tells me I need more of their services to recover and that I can get to 100% if only I keep coming. This is almost certainly false as I haven't felt lasting progress in any capacity, but coming back aligns with their incentives. When I ask the follow up question, "What do you think about this other strategy I've been doing?" Each of them tell me it's fine, but it won't fix me like their own services will.

I don't blame them for trying to sell me instead of helping me find the best solution, in fact I'm not even sure they're aware of their own bias, often times we convince ourselves the best solution to any problem is the one advantageous to us. However, it gives me a sinking feeling to be a man in need of a screw tightening when all around me are hammer salesmen who tell me "A few more swings and we'll get that screw in there!"

The learning from my search for a screwdriver is this: your welfare is paramount to none but you and it can't be outsourced. You must shoulder the responsibility of investigating, learning, implementing, and iterating strategies for your life, because no one else will do it for you with as much care as you will.

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