Advice On Advice

Today, I gave advice to a friend. Not the first time, either for dispensing advice or for advising this particular friend.

But it got me thinking. It was funny how coherent I sounded. And calm. Collected. So wise. Balanced. Logical. One thought flowed from the previous flawlessly. It all made perfect sense.

Stop thinking about the past. Move on. Stop obsessing over the past. Comparisons need to end. What has happened has happened. Don’t lose faith. Keep believing and you’ll get there. There will be a point in her life when none of this would matter. Stop wasting time and be more productive. Be strong and harness the power inside you.

And so on… (Damn. I should have recorded that phone call!)

Tooting my horn aside, I have to wonder: when did I get so coherent? Or calm or collected or wise or balanced or even logical for that matter? When did I start dishing out advice as if I had all of life and it’s difficult questions figured out?

Because I’m not and I haven’t!

Faced with any “trouble”, I would have exactly been the opposite of all these. The simplest of things, I over-think. Faced with a difficult situation, I easily lose sleep. I barely move on, remembering each and every detail and impression and what was said and what was not said. I obsess over things in the past. Comparisons never seem to end. I find it near impossible to let bygones be bygones. I lose faith easily, especially in myself. The one constant wish is for none of this to ever matter and yet, it does. I waste time rather than being efficient and focused and I give up. Very, very easily.

So why on earth am I trying to sound like I have all the answers? How on earth do I sound like I have all the answers?

I suspect it’s all about perspective.

Someone from the outside, a third person, telling you something that you almost always already know. Someone reaffirming what you already thought. Perhaps with a slightly different approach and in a slightly different way that gets the ball rolling. And helps you make that leap of faith that you were missing.

And of course, this is easier to do for someone else than for yourself. Hence, the whole calm, collected, wise and logical aspect.

But what we should remember is that everyone and anyone can give you good, practical advise. Everyone and anyone will give you good, practical advise. The only thought that counts, whether wrong or right, is your own.

Giving yourself a different perspective is one of the hardest things to do but that is the only kind that matters, at the end of the day.

My advice to you: the choice must always be yours.

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