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Giving and Receiving Advice is Complicated

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Giving Advice

Advice May Be Ill Advised

Yep… there’s irony in that heading… advice about not getting or giving advice. We write tons of personal development content that could be construed as advice. The issue is that generalized advice could be spot on or completely wrong depending on your season of life, your goals, opportunities, mindset and maturity.

We’re avid learners and regularly tuning into sage advice from books, coaches and virtual mentors. But giving — and listening — to advice is complicated.

Giving Advice is a Sticky Wicket too

As a lifelong autodidact, I elevate and immerse daily in mindset, gratitude, elevation and education. Starting each day with meditation and visioning establishes an even foundation from which to create your day.  Following that with contemplation and edifying content via audiobooks, podcasts, and wisdom from phenomenal minds and mentors sets my focus and rhythm for a fantastic, consciously created day.

This ongoing and deep immersion has revealed that even some of the best thought leaders of today give advice that may be bad advice, depending on your perspective, context and season of life.

The Hazards of Generic Advice

One Sunday morning I was listening to an interview with a man who coaches people on how to bridge the gap between some of the popular “new age” teachings into simpler and more understandable terms. He’s earning $50k/month as a law of attraction coach with a monthly membership program of around 500 people currently, which is truly amazing success for any type of coach, let alone within such a micro niche.

His advice is for people to “relax around goals and planning”, and “do what feels right”, “presuming your head is in the right place.”

Seasons of Life – Context Matters

The really challenging thing about generic — non-specific to you — advice is that it doesn’t take into account individual needs and context. General advice doesn’t take into account your individual circumstances, current emotional state or season of life, for example.

If you see or hear advice out of context, it could be perfect or it could be exactly opposite of what you need at the time. So if you don’t hear what precedes or follows the comment, it could be the worst advice for now.

Your background, season of life, growth, mentality, etc, are all a part of the context or medium you’re growing in. Plant the wrong seed into the wrong medium, and you won’t get the results you’re looking for.

For example, if you’re someone who is unstable, scattered, floating through life and not responsible or focused, the advice to take it easy, not set goals and do what feels right is not what you need most. Conversely, if you tend to be hyper focused, over-scheduled and/or driven, and aren’t nurturing your more creative and intuitive self, it may be time to slow down, engage more spontaneity and relax into creating more peace and mental space through meditation and visioning.

Wisdom from Jim Rohn’s Seasons of Life Book


“In truth, what is the formula of success for one will lead to self destruction of another. As certainly as our creator made us individually unique, so did He also preserve for each of us individually unique answers to the challenge of life.

It is the purpose of this book, therefore, to awaken within each of us the storehouse of inspiration and answers that lie sleeping where they have been since being placed there at birth — within the hearts and minds of each of us.”

~Jim Rohn, author – The Seasons of Life, 1930-2009

In truth, what is the formula of success for one will lead to self destruction of another.
~Jim Rohn, author – The Seasons of Life, 1930-2009

Opposite Advice

The next day, I was adding some more quotes to our Mel Robbins Quotes article, and Mel’s message is persistently crisply clear: You need to do things that don’t feel good… because you’re never going to feel like it… like doing the hard things that will help you grow and improve and take you to your next level.

But later, when you’re stable and established at your next plateau of growth, the next best thing for you could be to open up and relax into your spontaneity and intuition.

But later, when you’re stable and established at your next plateau of growth, the next best thing for you could be to open up and relax into your spontaneity and intuition.

If You Believe It You Can Achieve It

I love the cover photo in this article titled If You Believe It You Can Achieve It.

The image is a toddler standing before a massive wall of stairs, as he stares intently at the very first step. It’s illustrative of the journey we’re on. The steps can appear ominously looming. Often we cannot even see the top. But… one step at a time, progressing one day at a time, the steps diminish and the top appears in view — and eventually — within reach, if we keep climbing and pushing on, even when it’s hard. Because it will be.

Yet even that article title is giving advice that could be misleading if you don’t read the article. If you just scan the title without the 1450 words or so of context, it could be the wrong advice for your season of life. It could lead you to assume that all you need to do to achieve is to believe, without the effort.

The Secret

The immensely popular book and movie, The Secret, received almost equal criticism to accolades. While it contained profound ageless wisdom, it implied that all you needed to do was sit and wish and affirm and all that you desire would come to you. Right concept relative to the power of mind, but wrong or incomplete context.

Think and Grow Rich

Another highly popular book giving advice on life, success, visioning and the Law of Manifestation is Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. We love Napoleon Hill’s books and very much believe in the essentiality of the visioning process. Hill’s books are filled with tangible “how to”, which go far beyond the title… likely co-crafted with the help of a clever copywriter, is misleading. However, if you just heeded the title, without the supporting context of the book, it could be construed as bad advice.

You can’t just “think” and grow rich. You must vision, think, plan and do.

Conflicting Advice Examples

Example 1 – Bad Advice

Everything we do is a matter of conditioning. So be sure you’re conditioning what you want and not what you don’t.

Example 2 – Good Advice

“Everything we do is a matter of conditioning. So be sure you’re conditioning toward your highest aspirations.”

Context is King

Do you see the difference between the two examples that could be construed as giving advice? If someone is struggling with destructive habits that interfere with their personal development and growth, then you don’t want to advise them to “condition for what they want”, without qualifying that desire.

If they’re obese you don’t want to coach them to condition to eating whatever they want whenever they want it, and avoiding healthier foods. Same thing if it’s a recovering addict or a dedicated Netflix binger… (someone who’s prioritizing consumption over creation at the expense of their creative aspirations) for instance.

We wouldn’t coach them to condition for indulging in whatever consumptive patterns was not serving their higher aspirations and life goals. That’s where the common advice of “do what feels good” is not of service and interferes with aspirational achievement, which ultimately, never leads to lasting happiness.

Depending on your season of life, you may need to push harder, or you may need to meditate and reflect. You may need to slow down and do less, or you may need to gear up and do more to reach your goals.

Steps upward, require an upward thrust followed by a plateau for balance before the next upward effort. Steps are always harder to take than a straightaway, but… they build more muscle, strength and ability. Both literally and metaphorically. Now I prefer stairs — two at a time — whenever there’s the opportunity. Subsequently, I now find stairs a fun fitness aid and my legs are healthy and strong.

In any area of your life that you want to change, there’s one fact that you need to know: You’re never going to feel like it.
~Mel Robbins, commentator, author, speaker, b.10/6/1968

In any area of your life that you want to change, there's one fact that you need to know: You're never going to feel like it.
~Mel Robbins, commentator, author, speaker, b.10/6/1968 #GivingAdvice #ReceivingAdvice #JustDoIt #MelRobbinsQuote

Coach Nick’s Advice

Short Version – Out of Context

“Get into a place where you feel good and just follow your impulse.”
~Nick Breau, LOA coach, author

Fuller Version – More In Context

[The new paradigm is to…]“Get into that place where you feel really good and you’re really connected to your heart guidance, acting purely on impulse.”
~Nick Breau, LOA coach, author

Here, the important qualifier to Nick’s words are the gestures he made as he clearly kept pointing to his heart and head.

There’s a dramatic difference between following lower impulses, usually related to lower-desire fueled consumption, and higher impulses, more often related to creativity, compassion, conscience and spirituality. To follow your impulses from higher ground… from the high road of self, is to act more on intuition than impulsive desires.

Advice for Your Seasons of Life

The seasons of life add further complexity, because what’s right for us in the summer of life may not be relevant in the fall of life.

In the garden, there are plants that get nurtured inside and transplanted to the garden as seedlings. There are plants that get planted directly in the soil as seeds. All of these need care and protection from the elements, pests and predators until they’re strong enough on their own. Same thing for us in our growth.

When Nick Breau speaks to following the impulses of life, he’s speaking of doing so from a healthy inner — and outer — environment. To flow from a heightened awareness and connectedness, rather than from any lack or directionless impulsivity.

But again, some may hear that advice out of context, and use it to justify making impulsive decisions that may not serve their higher life goals and aspirations. There’s nothing wrong with desires. They’re necessary to propel into increasingly higher levels of pursuit for transformation to aspiration. But until then, for best success and happiness, we need to not make major life decisions based on impulse, nor function from there from day to day.

More Context from Nick

In fact, Nick goes on to say that:

“It’s not about being impulsive, but it’s about following your inspiration. It’s about understanding the power of impulse, but doing it from the right headspace, the right mindset.”
~Nick Breau, LOA coach, author

Nobody can give you wiser advice than yourself.
Marcus Tullius Cicero, Roman statesman, philosopher, 106-43 BC

"Nobody can give you wiser advice than yourself."
Marcus Tullius Cicero, Roman statesman, philosopher, 106-43 BC
#Advice #CiceroQuote #ReceivingAdvice #JustDoIt

Listen to your elder’s advice, not because they are always right but because they have more experiences of being wrong.

Follow Your Aspirations

So how do you know for sure? Most of us know the right answer for us if we inquire with objective honesty. We know deep down whether we’re on track or not, for our soul leaves clues in our psyche and communicates through our conscience, gut and intuition.

Speak to your heart, face to face in the mirror, and truth will be revealed. Don’t judge just learn. Don’t fret if you’re off track. Forgive, understand and then proceed to elevate your course.

Don’t Follow Your Passions, if…

The advice to “Follow your passion“, Is intended to refer to one’s highest calling. However, some take it to mean to follow their infatuations or sensory pleasure pursuits. So it might be more relevant to say, “Follow your aspirations.”

The meaning of aspire is to rise up, to soar. It’s also connected with breath, as in aspiration — to live… to breathe. Passion used to be in the context of the Passion of Christ… meaning the suffering and submission of his persecution.

Today pursuit of passion has morphed to a much more pleasant meaning, either romantically or as in following your dreams. Yet it’s poignant that to pursue your passion to success, will require submitting to whatever it takes to make that happen, including suffering for bringing dreams to live often includes some struggle.

But then again, aren’t your dreams worth it?

What you seek is seeking you.
~Rumi, Persian poet, 1207-1273

Rumi Quotes: What you seek is seeking you.
~Rumi, mystic, Persian poet, 1207-1273 #RumiQuote #WhatYouSeek #Inspiration #GivingAdvice

Some Funny Advice for Comic Relief

Good Advice, Bad Advice Comedy With Jimmy Fallon

If you want a bit of a chuckle, visit with Jimmy for a few minutes.

Jimmy Fallon on Worst Advice Ever

Get Gratitude.

The Day is the Way.

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