The Joy of Advice

conversation
It’s often amazing how many people give advice. Advice is great – if you get it from the right people. Still, everyone has great advice to give. Here’s how to find it.

The Wrong Advice
I’m often surprised at how much people want to advise me. They advise me on everything. I work too hard. I need to work harder. I don’t eat healthy enough. Sometimes I need to live a little and enjoy some decadence. It’s really hard to keep track.

What’s even more surprising is who gives the advice. I can’t tell you how many unhealthy people have told me how wrong my dietary choices are. It probably is the same number of broke people that have tried to steer my financial future. And don’t forget those people who can’t keep a relationship who give wonderful love advice.

Getting to the Right Advice
But that’s not always bad advice. Sometimes the guy who has crashed and burned with the opposite sex really does know things to avoid. He might have learned a lot through his failures and has come out smarter on the other side.

But how can you tell? I think there are three things to look for that make this very simple. Sure, it’s not iron clad, but they should make for good guideposts to help weed out the bad advice from the good.

Three Things To Look For
If you want to weed out the bad advice, try using these simple rules.

  1. Look for Success. If someone has seen great success in an area, they probably have some great advice to give. Often success in any area takes quite a bit of hard work. Trial and error really help people understand what works when they finally make it.
  2. Look for Failure. Surprisingly failure can be just as valuable. However, this is typically when someone has advice about what not to do. If someone tried something and failed miserably, they might have a good bead on what’s best to avoid.
  3. Look for Learning. Finally, look for someone who might have failed, but has learned from their failures and is now moving forward. Failure is an excellent teacher and can lead us to a better understanding of where better to go in the future.

The Most Important Thing
The key to all this is discernment. If you want to get good advice, always weigh it. Hopefully these three rules will help to make it easier to evaluate. And when they don’t, just remember: it’s not about the advice you get; it’s about knowing yourself and what really makes sense for you.

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About the author

David is a father, speaker, blogger (obviously), and author of How to Create Amazing Presentations sharing the tools, tips, and techniques of the experts to make you an amazing presenter, 7 Steps to Better Relationships built on the stories and lessons on this blog with seven easy steps to help you maximize your interactions with the people you care about most, and The Man in the Pit to help you care for loved ones struggling with depression.

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