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My Advice is “You.”

Whenever people ask me for advice, my second priority is to offer them a bit of perspective that may assist them with their particular issue.

My first priority is to use my position of influence as an opportunity to help them develop a deeper trust in their own internal compass, in their own capacity for sound judgment, in their own ability to glean insight from exploring,  engaging, and experimenting with life for themselves.

Of all the pieces of advice I have ever received, there’s one that consistently remains at the top of my list: you are more capable of figuring out what’s right for you than anyone else.

How much are they willing to pay for the consequences of their bad advice?

peerpressure“Everybody else is doing it is an excuse, not a reason. It could be that everybody else isn’t, but the Devil is introducing you to the few that are in the hopes that he can fool you.” -Paula Knoderer Hrbacek

Here’s a simple lesson my Mom taught me back in elementary school about doing the right thing: peer pressure is a one way street.

The “friends” who coax you into compromising your values are not going to knock themselves over in an effort to take punishment for you if you get into trouble.

You can always find people who will help you make trouble.

It’s a lot harder to find people who want to help you get out.

Your life is like a big fat check that you get to write for yourself. If it’s good, everybody wants a piece of it. If it bounces around and fails, the majority will just give you a lecture about how irresponsible you were while they leave you to sort out the details.

Be brutally honest with yourself about that fact.

Before you follow anyone’s advice about anything, it would be wise to assume that  you are going to be the only person shouldering the expense if that advice leads to costly consequences.

So, here’s my guiding principle for filtering through the unsolicited advice of those who are eager to tell you how you ought to run your life:

If they don’t have to pay, they don’t get the final say.

Experience life for yourself

When I worked as a waiter, I would often have other waiters warn me about a particular customer and how difficult they were to serve. Because I refused to accept my co-workers’ experiences as a law governing my own possibilities, I was able to attract a different outcome on most occasions. People who were supposed to be mean, turned out to be nice. People who had reputations for being mediocre tippers, ended up rewarding me handsomely.

I’ve gone on to learn that this transfers to other matters as well. When I allow the negative expectations of others to pollute my thinking, I tend to have sub par experiences. When I maintain a positive attitude in spite of other people’s history of negative experiences in a given area, I tend to generate pleasant results which deviate from the supposed “norm.”

Ernest Holmes wrote:

“The Laws of nature are universal, but our use of them is individual and personal.”

Whether choosing friends, business partners, schools, or a car mechanic, how events unfold for you will always be unique to the quality of energy you radiate.

Advice is nice, but so many people uncritically treat their personal experiences as a general rule when it’s nothing more than the way in which they tend to process various situations based on what they know, don’t know. fear, or expect.

Be respectful and kind to people who offer their advice, but never supplant your own judgement with another’s subjective vantage point.

The possibilities for your life are not determined by the experiences of others.

You have to experience life for yourself. There’s simply no way around it. That’s a good thing.

At least that’s the way I see it.


T.K. Coleman

If you liked this post, check out:

1. Is it safe to play it safe? 

2. Beware of advice 

3. Beware of advice Pt. 2 

If you enjoy my posts, be sure to also check out my weekly celebrity inspiration blog, Gossip Gone Good.

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