Advice
# December 5, 2016

People seem to have advice about everything. And especially, it seems, if they've never done the thing they are giving you advice about. How many times have you heard find a safe job or follow your passion from someone who can't stand their job and is struggling to make ends meet? Everyone seems to have advice about money, relationships, about what you should do with your life. But what do they know about what is best for you, what you should be doing with your life? Shouldn't you know best, not others?

Grow up, go to school, and get a job.

Dad

Marry a rich man so you don't have to struggle like me.

Mom

You cant make a living studying the arts or anything creative. Go into math and science

Everyone

Your parents want to see you succeed, but they don't always know what that is for you. They can only relate to their success and mistakes. To what they see in others living the good life. But their experiences may be outdated or they're trying to make you into something you're not.

Don't take advice from people who are not living the life you want to live.

Yes, this means that sometimes you have to ignore the people you most respect - your parents, teachers, or friends. Yes, mainly your friends. This isn't to say you should never take advice, but be selective about who you take advice from. Don't take relationship advice from someone who has never been in a relationship. Don't buy a house simply because everyone says its a good investment. Think about it, work it out for yourself.

Its also not that we always have the trouble of bad advice, but sometimes its good advice that pulls us in different directions. Follow your passion, follow the money, do what you’re good at! Theres so many different pieces of advice to follow, but which one is right?

The fact is that there are countless ways of getting something done, your job is to find the one that best suits you. Sometimes that means you have to take a leap and figure it out for yourself! How many times have you seen multiple people receive the same advice and see it work for some, but not for others. Maybe you and a friend received some advice that you both followed and it worked for them, but not for you.

Not all advice is meant for you. It's your job to figure out which is. Take for example the following two pieces of advice.

  • "Burn the boats!" Commit to something so that there is no way back or at least that figuring out a different way is more trouble than simply doing the thing that needs to be done. This forces motivation and ideas that would otherwise have been extremely difficult to obtain.
  • "Test before commiting". Don't commit to something until you know it will work. Start with something small and always have options in case it doesn't work out.
While these may seem like conflicting ideas, they are just two different methods. Everyone is different and for some people burning the boat is exactly what they need. But for others when they see the boat burning they become so panicked they try to jump in the boat and sail back home before the boat burns. If you know the type of person you are then you can listen to the advice that best suits you. The people giving advice do so from their experiences. It is what worked for them, but that doesn't mean it will work for you.

On the other hand, giving advice is hard. How many times have you ever given advice - bad advice. I know I have. I've given advice I genuinely though was good, but looking back at it now, I just hope they didn't listen to me. We think that by reading a few articles, analyzing those who are successful and those who aren't - that this somehow qualifies us to give advice. Then there's experts whom might be so good at what they do, that they can't comprehend what it's like to not be good at those things. They don't understand how hard it is for you and me, so they give advice that would never work for us.

Enjoy your time in high school or college because it's gonna be the best years of your life! Because after that its all work, suffering, and responsibilities.

That one miserable guy

Maybe it is...for them. And its probably like that for many people, but it doesn't have to be for me or you! Besides, how do you defines best, and what's fun for someone else may not be fun for you. Ultimately you need to follow your own advice, what you feel is right and live with the consequences. It may involve burning a boat to see if you can handle it. So go out there live your life through whatever smart or dumb decision you decide to take and be okay with it.