People love giving advice. No matter how frugal people become, one thing they’ll always be ready to give: free advice.
Everyone has thoughts and opinions about how someone else should go about their life or work. Sometimes this is due to the human nature to help others, and other times due to the human instinct to make one self feel important.
Yet there is one kind of advice that we should avoid giving. The one we are not willing to take ourselves.
“Advice is one thing that is freely given away, but watch that you take only what is worth having.” — The Richest Man in Babylon
People feel important when they give advice. They feel wise, they feel good. Yet many people are happy to talk, but not to execute.
Your wisdom is useless if you yourself are unwilling to put it into action. Unless you have personal experience with something, usually your advice appears baseless.
“Only take advice from people you are willing to trade places with.” — Darren Hardy
It’s easier to talk, difficult to put in the work. It’s so much easier to sit in front of a TV and comment what someone else should have done. So easy to find fault in others. To give your expert advice to actual experts of the field. But it’s so much difficult to put in practice some of the advice you so readily give.
I avoid telling people they should hit the gym. Even if someone would really benefit from it. This is something I should be doing as well, but as long I’m not willing to take my own advice, I avoid giving it as well. (Unless someone asks for it specifically 😉
A lot of time people give advice coming from the right place. They actually do want to help others. But more often than not, they have as much experience with the situation as we. An extra pair of eyes definitely helps. But in the end, the chances of their advice hitting home is the same as that of your thoughts. Who would you trust in this situation when both have equal chances of being right? Them or you?
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So the next time before giving your 2 cents freely to people, think if you would take your own advice. Instead be genuine about the suggestions you make. Lead by example. That way people will easily trust your word and follow what you say.
And the next time you feel like asking for advice from someone, think if you would actually trade places with that person in this regard. If they actually know about this, or it’s one of the things they just like to ‘talk about’.