People try to mean well when they give advice to others. If you see somebody struggling with an issue, then you might feel compelled to go over and give them advice on how to deal with their issue. It may even be advice that you are not qualified to give. Either that, or it could be stereotypical advice like, “Stay in school and get a degree, so you can get a good job.” But, advice like this is not for everyone. It may be great advice to some people, but for others, it might be the wrong advice. The only way to really understand what is good advice is to ask yourself what you want in life.

If somebody gives you advice that coincides with your goals then it may be advice to consider. Most of the time when people give you advice, they are really trying to give advice that they had wished others had given them when they were in your position. You cannot really trust any advice that sounds good for this reason. We are all unique in certain ways. Therefore, someone else’s piece of “good advice” not work for you the way it is intended to.

A philosopher once said, “The best advice that can be given to anyone is to never take advice.” This means that those who go searching for answers will continue to search for the answer they want until they get it.

For example, if you want to be rich, you may go searching for various books and guides on how to get rich. These informational texts are supposed to teach you the secrets of getting rich by giving advice in how to go about doing it. Of course, these books cost money and the profit goes to the author.

You have to think to yourself, “Why would somebody bother selling the secret advice of how to get rich when they could just do it themselves?” Obviously, this is a scam. Many so called “gurus” have profited with millions of dollars from selling their advice. It may be hard to determine good advice in your everyday life, but when someone is trying to sell you advice, then you can be sure it is a sham. So, don’t ever pay for good advice because it will always be bad advice.

Not all advice is sold though. In fact, the people whom you trust the most in your life most likely give you advice all the time. Your parents, for example, have probably given you more advice than anybody else you have ever known. But, do parents know everything? You would have to evaluate your parents’ lives and determine if their advice has worked for them. The same goes for anybody else who gives you advice.

Take a look at the person and decide for yourself if their advice had worked for them. You may find that most people who give advice don’t follow their own advice. In other words, they are hypocrites. It’s not that they mean to be, they just want to feel useful and help you by giving their opinion. But that’s just it; most people who give you advice are really giving you their opinion. Such people have little experience to back their opinions up, yet the advice may sound great to you. You may have a college dropout telling you college is great and you should get your degree. Well, obviously they didn’t think it was that great or else they would have stayed in college themselves.

Remember that “most” good advice won’t work for you. That doesn’t mean all good advice won’t. The only good advice out there is from people whom you can verify their advice has worked for them.

One example of this could be bodybuilders who work out at the gym. Have you ever been to a gym and had some strong guy come up and give you advice about your workout? Did you feel intimidated by him? This would be a situation where you’d be getting great advice because you can see the results of the advice on the person that is giving it to you. If it were an out-of-shape obese man who gave you workout advice, obviously he wouldn’t know what he is talking about or else he would have practiced what he preached.

Of course, not all advice can be noticed on a person by simply looking at them. Sometimes, you’ll have to do a little investigating to determine if they are right or not. For example, if someone gives you advice on how to keep a marriage happy then you will have to determine if he has a happy marriage himself. This might not always be easy to determine. Most unhappily married couples put on a fake persona when they are in public, in order to make others think their marriage is happy. But behind closed doors, the truth comes out. So, how do you find out this truth? You’ll have to ask a lot of questions about their own situation as it relates to their advice. If you can catch them in a contradictory statement then you’ll know that you caught them off guard. This means their advice is really just an act of kindness and not true advice.

In the end, you have to come up with your own conclusions about people’s advice. You may be a very trusting person and care about the opinions of others. That is a very noble way to be, but in a world that is changing rapidly, it may not be something that you want to take to heart. You could easily retain advice that somebody gave you 20 years ago and try to apply it in your present life. In that timeframe the world can change dramatically and the advice won’t be as relevant anymore. This is why you need to be your own advice-giver.

You know what is good for you and you know what you have to do. Don’t look for others to tell you what you have to do because you most likely already know what that is. So, go ahead and do it!

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  • http://thehappinesstree.wordpress.com Nicole Johnston @ The Happiness Tree

    Love this, it’s insightful and thoughtfully written. Shared it on The Happiness Tree :)