“One of life’s fundamental truths states, ‘Ask and you shall receive.’ As kids we get used to asking for things, but somehow we lose this ability in adulthood. We come up with all sorts of excuses and reasons to avoid any possibility of criticism or rejection.”Jack Canfield
Advice is a tricky cookie.
For one thing, giving advice doesn’t necessarily mean they will receive advice.
We can’t force someone to listen, no matter how much we think they need to hear it. (Or turning it around: No one can force me to listen to their advice, if I’m not willing to hear it.)
Advice that’s not asked for usually goes straight to voicemail. Potentially saved for later, but likely deleted posthaste. (Or perhaps a more recent example would be undesired advice is like an unanswered iMessage bubble: “read at 3:13pm”.)
Where the advice comes from matters too. You can give the best advice in the world, but it can easily fall on deaf ears if you don’t live out what you say.
Sometimes people genuinely want you to give them directions on their creative work or problems in life so they can find an effective way forward. Other times people want you to give them directions in life so they can ignore it, or use it as an excuse to why their life is the way it is. It’s hard to tell which is which. The only really way to know is whether or not they actually take it and run with it. It’s worth gut checking ourselves too. When we are looking for advice, are we willing to take it if it’s given?
Advice must be met somewhere in the middle:
—between two parties, one having the desire to give it, and the other having the desire to listen to it.
When I’m looking for advice, my first step is to find someone who has been through something similar I’m going through, or someone who walks the walk. If I have personal access to them I will ask them directly. It’s better to do this succinctly as possible, since time is such a precious commodity. If I don’t have direct access to them I’ll essentially read, watch and listen to everything they’ve outputted to try to gleam potential answers and directions I can take. This doesn’t always work out, but interestingly enough, during the process of seeking advice, you unstuck your thinking and can stumble upon the answer yourself.
The best advice is the advice taken. If you think it could potentially help, and you can’t think of any alternative, they try it. Even if it turns out to not work, the decision to act worth more than not doing anything.
Also, funny enough, the act of looking for an answer can be a just as powerful way of discovery as the answer is itself.
The act of looking becomes the answer to what we were looking for.
STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner
Daily Blog #584