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Rejecting Proffered Advice August 12, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Mindfulness, People.
50 comments

alice26th“You should go back to school and get a degree in Taxidermy.  It’s an up and coming field.”

“If you don’t have kids now, someday you’ll run out of ideas to fill all your free time.”

“You should buy this lime-green and pink polka dot dress to wear to your college reunion.”

Often, when people offer advice, they are merely saying what they would do if they were in my shoes.

Only they are not in my shoes ~ I am.

Then, again, maybe they are merely hoping to watch me fall flat on my face after encouraging me to make a series of unfortunate decisions.  

Calvin-gots-an-IdeaI am in a unique position. I am the only expert on my life, my dreams, my motivations, my preferences, and my priorities.

I have the best vantage point to decide which choices are right for me.  I also am the one who has the most at stake and who must live with the consequences of the choices I make and actions I take.

That’s not to say that I don’t bounce ideas off friends from time to time, but I don’t even consider implementing their proffered advice unless it resonates with me.

As a somewhat extreme example, it’s been 16 years since I stopped practicing law.  Someone near and dear to me STILL thinks that I should open my own law practice . . . despite the fact that there has not been a SINGLE day that I have missed being in a courtroom or taking a deposition.

snow_white_appleHer advice has nothing to do with ME.   It has to do with HER.  She likes the idea of me being an attorney because of how it makes HER feel.

I am disinclined to substitute her opinion for my own.  It would be like biting into a poisoned apple.

Does this mean we should stop the giving and receiving advice?  Of course not.

* If I overhear someone talking about going to an Indian restaurant, and I know of a good one, then I’m going to be inclined to share that information.

* If I hear someone say that they are going to start a blog, I may chomp at the bit to share a bit of what I’ve learned on SLTW.

* If someone is complaining about feeling stressed out, I may let them know how mindfulness and meditation has helped me and point them to some resources.

Donald-Duck-BaseballWhat the recipient chooses to do with the proffered information is his or her business, not mine.

I tossed it out there as a GIFT.  If they choose to ignore it, that’s fine.

True gifts from the heart don’t come with strings attached.

My advice (no strings attached):

If someone offers you well-meaning but misplaced advice, feel free to leave it sitting on the runway as you continue your journey . . . wearing your own shoes.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related posts:  “I Know What You Should Do!” * How Do You Know? (Awakening to Your Story) * The Matrix of Choice (Think Simple Now) * Whose Shoes Are They Anyway? * Other People See Your Problems More Clearly Than You Do  (Raptitude)