Someone in your sphere of influence loves to give advice. Regardless of the topic or whether you ask for advice, you’re going to get it. The question, however, is should you take that advice.
Do you want to take advice from someone who only has an opinion? Opinions are fine for talking about sports or even an editorial column in the newspaper. Should you take advice from someone who has never put that advice into practice?
Have you ever noticed that the guy at work who has never been promoted is more than willing to give advice on how to get promoted. He will say he knows how to get promoted because of all the times he’s been passed over for a promotion. Or, he will say he’s happy where he is and doesn’t “want” to be promoted. Mmhmm….right!
Instead, only take advice from someone who is more successful in the given subject than you are. Just because the person has experience in a given subject, doesn’t mean his advice is useful. I have experience getting migraine headaches but I’m in no position to give advice on how to not get them. Why? Because I haven’t yet figured it out.
I have two requirements for taking advice:
1. More successful than me – For me to take your advice, you will have to be more successful than me in that subject. You may be worthy of giving me advice in one subject but not another. If you haven’t experienced success, I won’t listen to you.
2. Trust – Even though you’re more successful than me, if I don’t trust you, I won’t take your advice. People can be successful because of a number of reasons. They could have been lucky. They could have achieved success through illegal or immoral means. Or, they could have known what they were doing and achieved success because they deserved it.
I need to know you. No, I don’t necessarily need to know you personally or be your best friend. But I need to know what you stand for. I need to know you are honest, hard-working and intelligent in your given subject. It’s important for me to be able to know the advice you give me is solid advice and you will help me implement the advice rather than just telling me what I need to do.
Do you have requirements for taking advice? What about the advice I’m giving you right now? Are you going to take it just because it sounds good (hopefully it does anyway)? Or have you gotten to know me through my other posts and have learned to trust what I say? I hope the latter.
The more important something is in your life, the more you need to be critical when looking for advice. You don’t want to take advice, apply it to the situation and then find out it was bad advice. Your life is too short and too important to do that. So have some skepticism and challenge any advice you’re given.
One thing is certain in life: If it sounds to good to be true, then it is. Don’t fall into the trap of following advice because it sounds good. Research the history of that advice and accept it only after being sure you can trust it.
Does good advice always lead to good things? What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.