Seek advice: from other people! This isn’t some grand new idea that I came up with on my own. And plenty of you probably do this on a regular basis. But, I think this is slowly becoming a lost art. Especially for my generation, who with a simple voice command, can search millions of articles on a database, only a few of which might actually be valuable.
I have always been a fan of seeking advice from real people, in most of the areas of my life. Whether relationships, marriage, starting a new business, spirituality, sports, working on cars, you name it! We are surrounded by so many people, most of whom have experience and skill in an area that I DON’T! To me, it just seems silly not to ask around.
I’m pretty sure I’ve annoyed people (especially coworkers and managers) by asking so many questions and trying to get their input on everything I do. But, it also allowed me to succeed in many areas financially, with career accomplishments, relationships, etc. And ultimately, I’d rather spend 10 minutes of a person’s time asking them a question, then 1+ hours asking them to helping me fix a stupid mistake!
Now, just because you are seeking advice from other people, DOESN’T mean you have to take it! I constantly ask advice, but ultimately, I make my own decisions. People only know so much, and sometimes, you really are smarter than the person you ask. It can be especially dangerous if you ask advice from only one person, and then act on it. Everyone has their faults and biases. And some people are very good at persuading you with their false ideas. If one person tells you something, take it with a grain of salt. If 10 people tell you the same thing, you might want to listen!
Nonetheless, no matter who you talk to, be humble, ask for their advice, thank them politely, then make your own decision and assume the responsibility for it. This brings up another point. HUMILITY. You have to be humble to ask a person for their opinion. Sometimes this isn’t easy, especially when they are all too eager to share their opinion with you, and tell you exactly how you HAVE to do it. But in my experience, even the most jackass of advisers will still have grains of truth and value, intertwined with their preconceived notions about how you should live life!
I see many younger people do things without seeking any advice from their peers and elders. They buy a car that is unreliable, a PC that will die soon, pursue a business idea that has little or no available market. Worst of all, they decide in their mind what they are doing, and won’t be persuaded to change, no matter what valuable experience and insight you have to offer. Our generation, especially in Western Culture, loves to be individualistic and independent. That’s great, I do too! But don’t let that make you naive and stubborn! There is no shame in heeding counsel from another person.
I’m not sure why I chose to write on this subject today. Maybe the importance of advice is weighing even heavier on me as I approach some major decisions for my company. Maybe it’s because of the times I gave sound advice to friends and family, and yet had to watch them ignore me, making costly mistakes. Or maybe, I needed to write a blog article, and this was the first thing that came to mind.
Either way, take my advice: go ask people for advice in your life! 😉
What are some experiences in which you asked people for advice and were extremely glad you did ?