Last night I was upset about something and my fiance Chris reminded me of what I had said a week earlier when he was upset about something similar. Let me tell you, my own advice was really good, but it was a weird way to be served it. It left me thinking about how often we don’t take our own advice to heart.
If you’re anything like me you give advice to friends on a fairly normal bases. We know the way we phrase it and how we deliver it is important, so our advice normally sounds much more profound than the rest of our speech, because we’re careful with it, we know it matters. Once we infuse that kind of speech with our true honest solutions we normally have something gold.
Our friends might take it to heart or they might not, but either way, we normally throw out our advice after the conversation. We don’t let it linger and we don’t give it a chance to be reused. But why? Why aren’t we taking our little nugget of gold and pondering on it, writing it down, and taking it to heart ourselves?
I’m not saying every piece of advice you give will be relevant to our lives, I know that’s not true, people get into very unique situations, but a lot of the time we are counseling on what to do with emotions, hurt feelings, and matters of the heart. We give that type of advice to others when we have a clear head. It’s when we need advice that our minds get clouded with emotion. So why not reach back and grab something from your more sane state?
It goes back to the classic “do what I say, not what I do”. We tell our friends to do things a certain way but we don’t do it ourselves. It’s not because we think we’re above the advice, it’s often because we can’t summon it when we need it. Our brains get irrational when we’re emotional. That’s okay, it happens to everyone, but it keeps our brain from reformulating the advice like you did when you gave it to your friend. So the only way you are going to hear it is if you took it to heart the first time you said it.
Life is our best teacher, but sometimes we give her a run for her money. So let your advice carry weight, let it mean something. You never know when you’ll need it.