What you can do with your advice…
April 11, 2009, 6:58 am
Filed under: Life is Wierd | Tags: ,

Harsh, man.  That title is just harsh.  Almost sounds kind of angry.  It’s not meant to be angry, but more a statement awaiting its partner on the other side of the ellipses.  The question really is what to do with advice.  I’ve given loads of advice in my life time.  I’ve recieved a ton of it.  That’s the nice thing about advice, it costs nothing to give it.  I’ve gotten advice from hair stylists, but most of it centered on my hair.  And truth be told, I’ve ignored most of it.  My coach used to give me advice about lifting wegiths, but I really felt like I should leave the heavy lifting to someone else.  Some of my professors gave me advice, which I ignored.  All these people have been so willing to give advice because from their perspective that’s what they would do or suggest you do.  However, for the most part I don’t believe in advice.

For me, I believe in self-discovery.  I think the best advice we get is often not in the supplied thinking that is meant to influence or replace our own judgement, but the advice we give ourselves as we ponder and meditate.  In the end, you are your best advocate.  You know who you are and where you are coming from.  In truth, I think we’re all afraid to rely on ourselves though.  We trust ourselves the least of all the people we know when we would rather follow the advice of someone who lives outside of our personal judgement set.  Someone who doesn’t share every taste and preference that makes up our persona.

My favorite example of this is when a group of guys asks a girl to offer her advice on how to interact with her gender or vice versa.  I love that about guys and girls, they look to one individual to be the emissary of their gender and water it down to Girls for Dummies in hopes of finding the right solution.  Getting advice from a girl on how to handle or interact with a girl gives you a pretty good idea of what that particular girl wants or needs, but very little about the rest of her gender.  The same is true for guys, if one girl were to use a particular guy as the blueprint for understanding all guys, she’s bound to find out there’s more than snails and puppy dog tails that are what boys are made of.  When we give advice, it is always from the perspective of our own judgement parameters and has very little to do with the persona of the person to whom the advice is being imparted.

Not to trash all advice, because I have gotten very good advice from people who know me very, very well.  These people do have insight into who I am and what I might like.  But these are the very same people that know enough not to just tell me what I should do.  The best advice I find lies within a Jeopardy! approach to life.  The answers come in the form of a question.

See, I truly believe that we are all equipped with the ability to find answers on our own.  Socrates thought so, and he was a pretty smart guy.  The key is for us to be asked the right questions to expose the parts of ourselves and the understanding we need to make a decision.  We usually have a good portion of the answer, we just don’t know what questions to ask.  So the statement, what you can do with your advice, follow it if its your advice.  At least, that’s what I think you should do…