Seems ironic that this piece of advice is on not taking advice. A little backstory: I stopped taking advice from 99% of people many years ago. It’s not because I’m “better” or “smarter” than they are. Actually, I would prefer to receive more advice… if it was beneficial. But most of the time, it’s not.
And I think most of my older readers would already agree with this statement. A lot of advice can be just plain ridiculous.
Like when the overweight coworker suddenly becomes an expert on nutrition & fitness right when you start dieting, and then tries to tell you to follow some fad diet.
This is a facade. It’s an appearance. Whenever you hear the words like “used to” or “when I did that”, they are usually trying to sell you on something they are not actually doing themselves.
But more importantly, there is a value conflict with advice that is often overlooked.
What You Want Is Not What Everyone Wants
Your values, your goals, your ideal results—They don’t 100% match with anyone else. This is the core problem with advice.
Do you value money over free time? Free time over job security? What is your risk tolerance? Is work culture or the actual job description more important? There are innumerable amounts of these value-deviations that are evident between humans.
And it’s exactly why advice can be so unhelpful; Others may not have the same goal(s) that you have.
If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, and talk to an established corporate worker that has been at the same company for 30 years, your values will not sync. He/She will not be able to understand why you have a desire to “be a free spirit” in the world of business.
Does this mean his advice would be wrong? No. But it almost definitely would be wrong for you. The corporate worker values stability, the entrepreneur values expedition. This core value conflict is incompatible when giving advice, and would be useless to fulfilling any goals an entrepreneur may have.
In fact, it could actually be damaging. And I could relate.
When I was younger, I was pushed very heavily to go into certain career fields based on advice from many elders/peers. So I did. And after graduation, I realized I hated working in all of those career fields with a passion.
And in my heart, I always knew I’d hate those career fields. The prospects of that kind of work always made me imagine running in the other direction. But I trusted the ‘wisdom’ and did it, anyway. Which was a mistake.
Luckily, I’ve since turned that around and found something I do enjoy. But I can only fathom how many other people fall for the advice trap, either in a big case such as mine, or something as small as dieting tactics.
The same is true of relationship advice. So many people want to tell you how to act or what you should expect in a relationship, but many of them don’t have relationships even faintly similar to your own. No matching love language, no deep-rooted relationship belief (teamwork versus love, for instance), the list is endless. But, they’ll still give you advice. And if you take it, it may actually be more harmful than beneficial to your end goal within any relationship.
What Advice Should You Take?
So I’ve given a few reasons why you shouldn’t take advice from most people. But what advice is worth it?
Not only should you take advice, but you should actively seek it. But from a very small amount of people.
People that you know would have similar values and goals to you. If you prefer free time over money, and you know someone else does as well, find them and get any advice off of them as possible. Use sparingly, and always question it. But definitely seek it.
If you want a love-based relationship over a trust-based one, find a person who has that kind of relationship and ask them for advice. Ignore the advice from those that have been divorced three times, or those who have a teamwork(roommate)-based relationship. Seek advice from those who practice the life you want. Those people who do not share your value-base will lead you astray with their advice, because they don’t see the world in the same capacity you do (and likely cannot put themselves in your shoes prior to delivering said advice).
It’s just an obvious answer hiding in the woods. If you’re dissatisfied with something, you can’t seek advice from people that are satisfied with that exact same scenario. The inverse scenario also applies.
Think bigger and figure out your goals/values and how they conflict with anyone else giving you advice.
You can tell when you’re moving in the right direction. Others can’t tell you that.
Once you have this down, you’ll be set to actually gain something from advice.